Eagles Handed Second Early Playoff Exit By Packers

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, January 09, 2011

Aaron Rodgers torched a susceptible Eagles defense.

As a fan, this was tough to swallow. As an objective observer, it wasn't too terribly surprising.

To win in the playoffs it takes a strong running game and a strong defense. A superb passing game can help to make up for a strong running game as the Eagles have shown in the past, but there is nothing that can make up for a poor defense and, unfortunately, that's exactly what the Eagles fielded Sunday versus the Green Bay Packers.

The same problems that plagued this team in the regular season unsurprisingly carried over into the playoffs: a complete unwillingness to stick with the run, lack of hot-reads for Michael Vick, and a defense that continued to show why it recorded historically bad red zone numbers in the regular season.

On the Packers first touchdown drive, Troy Aikman made the statement that it was a "foregone conclusion" that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense would score once they got within the 10-yard line. I wanted to scream and yell obscenities at the former Dallas Cowboy, but he was exactly right.

As has been the case all year, Sean McDermott's calls inside the red zone were head-scratching at best and atrocious at worst. He still wants to play man coverage and refuses to blitz when he should -- and even when he does blitz shows time and again that he's incredibly predictable.

Outside the red zone, the calls were just as bad. At one point in the game Joselio Hanson came clean on a corner blitz and gave Rodgers a pretty good shot. It clearly rattled Rodgers as his next few passes were off the mark, but McDermott didn't blitz again for the rest of the drive.

Rodgers got comfortable again and went back to tearing up the defense.

On the other side of the ball, Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid continued to show why they're the worst play-callers in the league. Dom Capers sent them an engraved invitation to run the ball with the way he was aligning his linebackers, and they still refused.

LeSean McCoy, arguably the best play-maker on the team, finished the game with 12 carries, and Jerome Harrison had one right at the start of the game. Vick had eight carries, but maybe three of those were actually called runs. The rest were scrambles because Reid and Mornhinweg refused to give him any check-downs or timing patterns for most of the game.

Instead, they wanted to pass, pass, pass, and pass some more. It didn't matter that Vick was getting knocked around because this team still has no guards and Winston Justice picked one hell of a day to have a let-down, apparently they thought if they just kept passing things would get better.

Then, just to top everything off, the always-clutch David Akers decided he would miss a couple field goals so Justice and the defense would feel better about themselves.

It's fun being an Eagles fan.

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