Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Packers Trounce Mistake-Prone Philadelphia 39-13

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Packers Trounce Mistake-Prone Philadelphia 39-13

Article excerpt

It was billed as the "Night the Eagles Prove Themselves."

And they did.

On the road, against the NFC runner-up of a year ago, on "Monday Night Football" in front of a national, prime-time audience, the Eagles proved they weren't ready for prime time. The quarterback threw three interceptions - in the first half. The cornerbacks, who were thought to be among the league's better tandems, were repeatedly undressed. The running game called "Thunder and Lightning"? More like rain shower and slight squall, with a crucial bumble by Ricky Watters, the louder-than-life portion of the pair. It was proof positive: Packers 39, Eagles 13. No question, the 1-1 Eagles are not where they want to be. "You try to measure where your football team is," Eagles coach Ray Rhodes said. "I really felt we were a little better than what we are. You come up against a team like this, they show you exactly where you are as a football team. We have a lot of work to do." The Eagles surrendered 171 rushing yards, much to Rhodes' chagrin, because he thought his team could stop the Packers' unheralded running game. The league's reigning most valuable player, Brett Favre, and his 2-0 Pack did the aerial undressing. Skittish on his first five attempts, Favre completed his next six. The first four of those led to Green Bay's first score. He finished 17 of 31 and racked up 261 yards and three touchdowns. He hit six receivers, including Robert Brooks, for a game-high 130 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles' defensive line pressured Favre, but couldn't quite catch him. He was as precise as a knife, nimble as a dancer, cool as Green Bay in December. "It was a combination," cornerback Bobby Taylor said. "He was sharp. You can't take anything away from him. But the coverage wasn't there." Often, it didn't need to be. When Favre wasn't dissecting the secondary, running back Edgar Bennett was plunging into it. The Packers kept Eagles middle linebacker James Willis, a Packers castoff, and strong safety Mike Zordich occupied, and ran at the Eagles' left defensive tackle position more often than not. …

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