Monday Review: Packers give discount double check of reality to Eagles

The 7-2 Eagles entered Sunday's game against the Packers riding high after a huge win over the Panthers. Their only two losses were by a combined 10 points, and in both cases, the Eagles had a chance to take the lead with a touchdown right on the goal line.

In some cases, the Eagles could have been a 9-0 team entering Sunday if just a few things had gone differently in those two games. Nothing was going to change Sunday's result.

The Eagles appeared to be at their best on Monday. By Sunday, that good feeling was long gone.

Sunday presented the Eagles an opportunity to claim their place as NFC favorites. Now, they must find a way to prove once again that they belong in the discussion, a huge dose of reality handed to the Eagles by the Packers well-oiled machine.

It started off the same way many of the Eagles games this season have. The Eagles defense was out-matched.

You really couldn't fault Mark Sanchez too much in the first half. The Eagles 30-6 deficit at halftime was the result of a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball, not by the quarterback.

He had no protection from the offensive line. His receivers dropped easy passes that would have extended drives.

Defensively, the Eagles had lapses in the secondary and didn't get any pressure on Aaron Rodgers. It was a recipe for disaster that grew with each game-changing play.

There was a punt return for a touchdown. There was an interception returned for a touchdown. There was a brutal fumble returned for a touchdown.

And when the dust settled, it was the Eagles worst loss since Week 4 of last season against the Broncos.

What is most concerning is that this was the Eagles first true test since Week 2 against Indianapolis. Yes, the Eagles have played winning teams in San Francisco and Arizona. But at the end of those games, the mistakes were almost equal and the Eagles came one play from victory.

In a game like this, the Eagles were so out-matched and out-played, it is concerning as they head into the stretch of the season that will ultimately determine their Postseason fate – two games with Dallas, a huge game with Seattle and two other divisional games against New York and Washington.

Highlight those four divisional games remaining. They will likely determine the Eagles playoff hopes.

It will take a division title for the Eagles to get into the playoffs. Even with the mistakes, the Eagles have more figured out than the rest of the teams in the NFC East on paper. But the Cowboys have been an x-factor this season.

Perhaps, in Week 11, with only two losses on the season and a lot of excuses to hide behind, the Eagles needed to find a game where there were no excuses. They have nothing to hide behind this week.

Next Sunday may provide a chance for the Eagles to redeem themselves against a Tennessee Titans team struggling this season and playing on Monday night the week before.

But then, the real test begins.

The Eagles will get a short week to prepare for the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving and then face Seattle and then face Dallas again. The NFC East will be won in those three games.

Things came very easily to the Eagles last season, especially around this time. Just look at Nick Foles numbers from a season ago – 27 touchdowns, two interceptions. When the Eagles played the Packers in Green Bay last season, they didn't face Aaron Rodgers. This time around, they got what they deserved, a thrashing against a talented team led by an MVP quarterback.

This season, the turnovers keep coming and the mistakes are still there even after 10 games. It is not a sign that the Eagles can be a team to take a step forward and build on last season. A division title was great, but repeating the feat, given the state of the division, means very little. A couple of defining wins to set up some advancement in the playoffs is the real sign of progress.

Sunday left you wondering if this team has a playoff win – or even a playoff appearance – in them.

They got a dose of reality, a reminder that this season, just winning the division, and doing it the way they are, is not enough. There must be improvements on the regular mistakes. The Eagles hadn't paid for those mistakes until Sunday. When they finally did, it came in the form of total embarrassment.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.