Starting running backs Brian Westbrook and Ahman Green were pre-game scratches because of injuries. Both of their replacements fumbled at crucial points of the first half. Correll Buckhalter of the Eagles was involved in two fumbles inside the Green Bay 5-yard line. Vernand Morency of the Packers showed a quicker burst than Green, but also the same tendency to cough up the ball.
Morency's fumble set up the Eagles' first touchdown of the night. Morency finished with 99 yards rushing and might push Green for his starting job even when Green is healthy.
The Packers outplayed the heavily favored Eagles early and led 9-7 at half on the strength of three Dave Rayner field goals. But with the Packers driving in the third quarter, Donald Driver dropped a pass and the momentum shifted. The Eagles pounced with a flurry of big plays on both sides of the ball and never looked back.
Continuing a disturbing trend, the Packers defense was torched for big plays time after time: 26 yards, 28 yards, 21 yards, 22 yards, 31 yards, 45 yards and a touchdown, 30 yards and a touchdown, 23 yards... Ahmad Carroll wasn't the only victim, but he certainly was targeted by the Eagles. Are you telling me that Mike Hawkins and Jason Horton couldn't do as well? Defensive coordinator Bob Sanders will be getting even more heat this week because way too often the Packers defense looks confused and out of position. Receivers are running free and the "poor communication" excuse is wearing thin.
Once the Packers fell behind, Brett Favre reverted to 2005 form by shaking off a wide-open running back screen to throw late over the middle, only to be picked off. But by then, the game was already decided. The rout ended in fitting fashion -- with Favre dazed by a hit and the Eagles denying the Packers a cosmetic touchdown on fourth and goal.
So, the Packers still haven't won in nine tries in Philadelphia since 1962. That was the year I was born. I'm getting old and so is this losing Philadelphia story for the Packers.
Dennis Krause joined OnMilwaukee.com as a contributor on June 16, 2006. He is a two-time Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year and a regional Emmy-award winner. Dennis has been the color analyst on home games for the Milwaukee Bucks Radio Network for the last 10 years. He has also been involved with the Green Bay Packers Radio Network for 16 years and is currently the host of the "Packers Game Day" pre-game show.
Dennis started his broadcasting career as a radio air personality in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee.
He spent three years as a sportscaster at WMBD radio and television in Peoria, Illinois before joining WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee in 1987 as a weekend sports anchor. Dennis spent 16 years at Channel 4, serving as its Sports Director and 5 and 6 pm sports anchor from 1994-2003.
Dennis grew up in Hartford, Wisconsin and attended UW-Oshkosh. He lives in Thiensville with his wife and two children. He serves as the Community Resource Director for the Mequon-Thiensville School District.