GREEN BAY - Bill Davis knew yesterday's game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers wasn't going to be a picnic. The Eagles defensive coordinator knew there was a pretty good chance his unit was going to get roughed up.
But since not showing up at Lambeau Field wasn't really an option, Davis tried to look at the game as a measuring stick, a test, that would gauge the progress of his defense. How far they've come. How far they still have to go.
Well, boys, get on your walking shoes.
"We didn't do very well on that test today," Davis admitted after the Eagles' lopsided, 53-20 loss. "If we have to play this team again, so be it. We've got to get better and have a better plan and execute it better.
"At the end of the day, when I step back, we had a bad day. Give them all the credit for having a good one."
Rodgers is the hottest quarterback in the NFL and he torched the Eagles in a big way, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles needed to get pressure on him and they couldn't. Sacked him just once and seldom hurried him.
They needed to disrupt his timing with his receivers and they couldn't. Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, who combined for 14 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown, had few problems getting off the line of scrimmage and into their routes.
They needed to prevent Rodgers from extending plays and running for first downs and they couldn't. Rodgers ran for 32 yards on three scrambles and got outside the pocket several times.
They needed to foil Rodgers on third down and they really couldn't do that. He completed seven of 11 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown on third down. Converted six - count 'em, six - third downs of 7 yards or more, including a third-and-18, two third-and-10s and a third-and-9.
"They beat us in every phase of defense," Davis said. "We didn't get pressure on the quarterback. He was in rhythm. They hit their timing. He was accurate. They hit the deep ball.
"Third down, we couldn't get them off the field on third down even when the advantage was to us. The third downs were probably the most disappointing because we got them in third-and-manageable for us and he kept executing and we didn't.
"Give the credit to the Packers and what they did. We had a horrible day today and didn't execute on any level."
Rodgers completed seven passes of 20 yards or more, including a 64-yarder to Nelson on the Packers' first possession and a 32-yard touchdown pass to running back Eddie Lacy. The Eagles now have given up a league-high 20 passes of 30 yards or more this season.
Including the three that Rodgers threw yesterday, they already have given up 22 touchdown passes, which is just three fewer than they gave up all last season.
"All we can look at is ourselves," Davis said. "We'll fix what was wrong out there today. We'll work hard at it. We have a confident group of guys who hang together. We know every now and then you have days like this. You don't want them, but they happen in the NFL.
"We have to respond now. We have to work our tails off and get back and learn from what happened today."
The Packers are 5-0 at Lambeau this season. In those five games, Rodgers has a 138.1 passer rating. He's completed 66.7 percent of his passes and has averaged 9.8 yards per attempt at home.
He is the best third-down passer in the league, maybe the best third-down passer ever. Leads the league with a 126.7 third-down passer rating. His touchdown pass to Lacy was his 11th this season on third down.
"He was good today," said cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who got worked over pretty good by Rodgers, particularly in the first half. "He was on target on a lot of throws. He was able to scramble. He did a lot of good things. But we've got to be better."
Yes, they do. Particularly up front. The Eagles came into the game with 32 sacks, the second most in the league. They had been very effective with three- and four-man rushes. In the previous five games, 14 of their 25 sacks had come with a three- or four-man rush.
But they had little luck putting heat on Rodgers. With three or four. Or with more.
"The ball was out quick pretty early," Davis said. "He likes to get it out quick. We knew that. He got his rhythm throws going and we tried to take that away and we didn't. He threw it in some tight windows and made some big plays. Then a couple of vertical balls hurt us early.
"We just had a bad day. The plan is always to pressure the quarterback. The plan is always to smother the receivers and make sure he doesn't have the windows [to throw]. We didn't accomplish that today."
Davis defended Fletcher, who gave up the early 64-yarder to Nelson and two of Rodgers' touchdown throws - a 6-yard slant to rookie Davante Adams and a 27-yarder to Nelson.
"He had a rough start, but we all had a rough start," Davis said. "There was no pressure on the passer when he was making those throws. I was happy to see him hang in there and compete in the second half and make the plays on the vertical ball. But that's the way Fletch is wired. He's not going to quit. He's not going to give up."
The defense didn't make many mistakes against Rodgers and the Packers. It was just outplayed. Realizing the other guy is just better than you often is more disheartening than being able to find fault with your own play.
"He just played well," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "We didn't have any blown coverages. We didn't have any miscommunications. They just lined up and were better than us today. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in this league and today he showed why."
There possibly could be a rematch down the road if both the Eagles and Packers make the playoffs. The problem is it likely would be at Lambeau.
"We just had one of them days," linebacker Trent Cole said. "We have a good team. He's a good quarterback, but we have a good team. We're going to put this one behind us and move on to the next one.
"Hopefully, we'll see them again. It would be awesome to have another shot."
Said Fletcher: "We look forward to that. If we get a chance to play them again, we're gonna come back and be better."
They will need to be.
DID YOU NOTICE?
-- The temperature at kickoff was 28 degrees. The wind-chill was 17.
-- Matt Tobin gave up the first of three sacks of Mark Sanchez on the Eagles' first possession. The sack, by Letroy Guion, effectively took the Eagles out of field-goal position.
-- Aaron Rodgers converted third downs of 9, 18 and 10 yards on the Packers' first-quarter touchdown drive. He picked up 65 yards on those three completions. He converted six third downs of 7 yards or more in the game.
-- The Eagles worked a lot on dealing with Rodgers' hard count last week. But Trent Cole still jumped offsides on a third-and-23 on the Packers' second possession. On the next play, Rodgers completed a 24-yard pass to tight end Andrew Quarless for a first down.
-- Josh Huff's poor play on Micah Hyde's 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Huff also dropped a pass later in the game. The rookie is having a tough year.
-- Clay Matthews was completely unblocked on his second-quarter sack of Sanchez in the red zone.
-- Tight end Zach Ertz made a terrific catch on a pass thrown behind him on the Eagles' last possession of the first half. Ertz was wide open. If Sanchez had put the pass on the money, the play would have gained a lot more than 15 yards.
-- Sanchez had another poor throw to Ertz early in the third quarter, badly overthrowing him on a third-and-10.
-- The footing wasn't very good at Lambeau, though it seemed to bother the Eagles much more than the Packers. LeSean McCoy slipped several times on cuts.
-- Bradley Fletcher should have been called for a horse-collar tackle on a third-quarter incompletion to Jordy Nelson. Fletcher had his hand inside the top of Nelson's shoulder pads and dragged him down.
-- Wide receiver Riley Cooper had a nice block on Jordan Matthews' 10-yard touchdown catch and run on a bubble screen.
-- The poor tackle attempt by linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Eddie Lacy's 37-yard run at the end of the third quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
-- Micah Hyde's 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter was the first punt return for a TD against the Eagles since the Lions' Jeremy Ross had a 78-yard return for a TD against the Eagles in November 2012.
-- he Packers have scored 30-plus points in all five of their home games this season. They are 5-0 at home.
-- Jordan Matthews' third-quarter, 10-yard touchdown catch and run was his sixth red-zone touchdown of the season. Matthews' six TDs overall are the fifth most ever by an Eagles rookie and the most since Calvin Williams (9) and Fred Barnett (8) in 1990. Matthews is just the third Eagles rookie to have back-to-back, 100-yard receiving performances.
-- The 53 points by the Packers were the most points given up by the Eagles since a 62-10 loss to the Giants in 1972. It was only the fourth time in franchise history that they've given up 50-plus points in a game. The last time was Week 4 of last season when they were beaten by the Broncos, 52-20.
-- Aaron Rodgers extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception at home to 322. He hasn't thrown an interception at Lambeau since November 2012. He has thrown 29 touchdown passes at home since his last interception.
-- Rodgers' passer rating at Lambeau in five games this season is an extraordinary 138.1.
-- The Eagles didn't have a takeaway. It ended a streak of 22 games with at least one.
-- The Eagles have given up 22 touchdown passes in 10 games. That's just three short of last season's 16-game total.
-- Mark Sanchez's 346 passing yards were the second most of his career. It was his 10th career 300-yard passing game. It's the first time in his career he's had back-to-back, 300-yard games.
-- Rookie kicker Cody Parkey converted both of his field-goal attempts. He has made 15 in a row.