Oddsmakers made the Philadelphia Eagles 11 _ point favorites to beat up the young Green Bay Packers Monday night, and they proved to be sage soothsayers. The Eagles #1 rated offense proved too much for the green and gold on national television as the Pack fell by a score of 31 - 9.
The Pack actually played pretty well in the first half behind good defense and the strong leg of Dave Rayner and came away with a 9 - 7 lead at halftime. One of Rayner's three field goals was from 54 yards out, which tied the all-time Packer record for distance.
The Packers started a new pair of players in the backfield Monday night. Brandon Miree replaced William Henderson at fullback and Vernand Morency replaced Ahman Green at feature back. Henderson and Green have been hurt and both those guys are getting long in the tooth in their respective positions. It is another step in the complete make-over of personnel which is in full force in the Ted Thompson era. Neither Morency nor Miree had super games but I got the impression that their skills are a better fit for the new zone blocking scheme of the new regime than those of their predecessors. Henderson and Green have been valiant warriors for the Pack but their tenure now seems short on this young team.
In the second half the wheels came off the truck for the Packers. The offense did absolutely nothing and Ahmad Carroll put on a clinic of how NOT to play pass defense. It was a pathetic effort which allowed the Eagles to score 24 unanswered points. Carroll wasn't the only player to pack it in at halftime as there was no pass rush and mistakes galore across the board. Sadly, it looked to me like some players just quit playing, which makes one wonder if the coaching staff has done their job.
Cheeseheads have until next Sunday to wonder where Coach McCarthy will take this team after this debacle. I think at least one head should roll"¦ Ahmad Carroll's. Carroll has underachieved since being drafted in the first round of the draft in 2004. He doesn't learn from his mistakes and has become a huge liability for the team. Thompson ought to cut him this week and send a message.
Next week the Pack hosts the surprising St Louis Rams, who have a potent offense this year. QB Marc Bulger is having a stellar year. Steven Jackson and Isaac Bruce give the Rams lots of tools to light up the scoreboard.
Trying to shed some positive thoughts"¦ the offensive line seemed to improve a little, Dave Rayner gained lots of confidence with a nice performance, Morency runs hard and might have some potential, and Cheeseheads need to have some patience with this team. Except for tolerating Ahmad Carroll"¦who has to go!