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Eagles-Packers Postgame: Eagles Sent Packing
The next idiot who says Mark Sanchez is a better option at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles than Nick Foles needs a swift kick in the ass.
Look, I know Sanchez isn't the only reason the Eagles lost to the Green Bay Packers 53-20 on Sunday, but he certainly was the main reason they lost.
Yes, I understand that the Eagles gave up 53 points, but keep in mind that Sanchez's horrible play led directly to two of those touchdowns the Packers scored. He threw an awful pass right to Julius Peppers, who returned it 52 yards for an easy score. And Sanchez also failed to fall on his second fumble of the game, a high snap, that Casey Hayward returned 49 yards for a TD. I don't care that Sanchez threw for 346 yards in the game, he was awful.
Sanchez finished 26-for-44 for 346 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs and 2 fumbles, with the vast majority of those yards coming with the Packers up by four scores. Can you say, "garbage time stats"?
Who is the better QB?
And speaking of garbage, I would like to introduce the Eagles defense, featuring the putrid play of CB Bradley Fletcher.
If the Eagles cut Fletcher in the locker room and told him to find his own way home, even he would understand. He started off the game by allowing a 64-yard completion to Jordy Nelson (4 catches for 109 yards & 1 TD), which helped the Packers score on their first drive of the game and take a 3-0 lead on a Mason Crosby field goal. Then the rest of Fletcher's teammates took a cue from his horrendous play and allowed the Packers to score on their next drive to make it a 10-0 game. That drive featured numerous 3rd & long conversions for the Packers. Good defenses find a way to get off the field in those situations. The Eagles are not a good defense.
The Packers threw a new little wrinkle into the massacre early, when Micah Hyde returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead. As horrible as that was, it was the only thing that the Eagles special teams did wrong the entire game and quite possibly the entire season.
And that was just the first quarter. The Packers out-gained the Eagles 172-70 in the first quarter and it looked much worse than that. It would get even worse.
The Eagles managed to get on the board with a Cody Parkey field goal to make it 17-3, but then Nelson scored on a 27 yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers, who was just toying with the Eagles secondary. At this point, the Packers held a 252-70 yard advantage and, at 24-3, the rout was on.
Sanchez had plenty of opportunities to at least keep the Eagles in the game, but he misfired on them all. After the Nelson TD, the Eagles had the ball around midfield, but Sanchez missed a wide open Jordan Matthews in the middle of the field and the Eagles were forced to punt. Rodgers calmly took that gift and marched the Packers straight down the field. Our old friend Bradley Fletcher was flagged for pass interference in the end zone to set up a 1-yard Eddie Lacy TD run that made the score 30-3. The Packers must have felt sorry for the Eagles because they botched the extra point. Parkey added another FG, because Sanchez couldn't convert in the redzone and the halftime score was 30-6.
At the half, Rodgers already was 18-for-25 for 279 yards and 2 TDs. The Packers out-gained the Eagles 314-177. And the Eagles defense didn't force a single Packers punt the entire first half. The only thing left was to see exactly how bad it was going to get before it was over. The answer should have come with one of those warning labels for graphic violence that they put on video games.
On their first possession of the second half, Sanchez fumbled the ball trying to hand off to McCoy. Then for some reason, the Packers punted. Maybe they just wanted to get their poor lonely punter some work in. Who knows. Not important.
Crosby kicked another FG to make it 33-6, before that horrible Peppers pick-6 that I described earlier. That made it 39-6, but at least there was some small measure of amusement for Eagles fans. You see, somehow the Eagles blocked the extra point. I honestly can't remember an NFL game where a team failed on two PATs. Oh well, at least I was distracted for a few seconds thinking about that. Too bad it didn't last.
As the game drags on, Sanchez misses a wide open Riley Cooper, then a wide open Darren Sproles on consecutive passes that would have been easy TDs. Eagles coach Chip Kelly finally realizes who he has at quarterback and calls for a screen pass that Matthews runs in for a 10-yard TD, to cut the lead to 39-13. (Yeah, I don't think the Packers were worried, either).
By now, it seems that the Eagles players have quit on the game, along with all of their fans. Eddie Lacy (10 carries for 69 yards & 1 TD) broke at least 5 or 6 tackles on his way to an embarrassing 32-yard TD on a dump off pass from Rodgers to make it 46-13. But not to be outdone, Sanchez answered his defensive teammates with an ugly throw that was easily picked off. By now, the Packers just want to run out the clock and get the game over with, but the Eagles aren't done yet.
Eagles center Jason Kelce has had a few bad snaps since he's come back from his sport hernia surgery and he snapped one a bit high to Sanchez. I think Sanchez probably should have handled it, but he compounded the error by not falling on the ball. The Packers took the gift and turned it into that 49-yard fumble return for a TD to make it 53-13. Sanchez padded his stats with more yardage against a Packers' prevent defense and threw a 20-yard TD to Jeremy Maclin (9 catches for 93 yards & 1 TD), to get to the 53-20 final, but they weren't done torturing their fans just yet.
The Eagles blocked another punt to get the ball inside the Packers 10-yard line........and failed to score another point. Yeah, it was that kind of day for the Eagles.
Who was most to blame for the Eagles pathetic showing in Green Bay?
Rodgers finished 22-for-36 for 341 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs for a passer rating of 120.3. He is easily the best player in the NFL. Then, he got to watch Matt Flynn hand the ball off for most of the fourth quarter of this rout. The Eagles defense allowed a pair of 100-yard receivers. Nelson caught 4 passes for 109 yards and 1 TD, while Randall Cobb added 10 catches for 129 yards.
There were a few bright spots for the Eagles though. Jordan Matthews continued to be Sanchez's favorite target and finished with 5 catches for 107 yards and 1 TD. And Kelly decided he should try to keep LeSean McCoy happy and gave him 23 carries in the blowout loss. McCoy only gained 88 yards, but that's a vast improvement over the 19 yards he gained the week before. Hey, I'm grasping at straws here. Give me a break.
The Eagles proved once again that they simply aren't among the NFL's elite, with yet another loss to a good opponent. Maybe it's not fair, since all of their losses have been on the road to legitimate contenders, but this was just a good old-fashioned ass-kicking. The Eagles went into Lambeau with a chance to make a statement about their place in the hierarchy of the league. Unfortunately, the statement they made was that they don't quite belong in the conversation about the best teams in the league just yet.
Get Well Soon, Nick. REAL Soon
The Eagles defense was bad, but Mark Sanchez was worse. If Kelly doesn't realize this and start running the football 75% of the time until Nick Foles' shoulder heals, I'm not sure the Eagles will even make the playoffs.
Mark Sanchez is a terrible quarterback. He has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns during his career and he will forever be known as "The Butt Fumble" guy. I just hope all of you idiots out there who wanted Sanchez to replace a healthy Foles a few weeks ago realize how ridiculous you sounded. Unfortunately, I doubt any of you are smart enough to realize that, even now.
Get well soon, Nick. REAL soon.