City Sports Report

Eagles Can’t Overcome Miscues and Lose Wildcard Game to Packers 21-16 by Tara Miller

“I feel like if I had been out there for four quarters, maybe we would have had a chance to win the game,” that was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick after the Eagles’ week one loss versus the Green Bay Packers.

“I didn’t finish” that was Michael Vick after today’s wildcard playoff loss to the Packers.

Needing a touchdown to win, Michael Vick forced a pass to Riley Cooper, but was intercepted in the end zone by Packers cornerback Tramon Williams with 33 seconds remaining in the game, ending the game and the Eagles season, 21-16.

The loss does not fall solely on Vick; a disappointing kicking game and continued defensive struggles in the red zone played a larger role in the outcome of the game. The Packers, a light-running team in the regular season, pounded the ball, controlled the clock and kept the Eagles offense off the field.

The Eagles got off to an ominous start. Vick took a blind-side sack on the first play of the game and the first offensive drive stalled. The Packers gave the Eagles a gift when Brandon Underwood was pushed into a rolling punt, allowing the Eagles a second possession to open the game. However, the offense moved just 18 yards, and Akers missed a 41-yard field goal wide right.

After an unbelievable comeback against the New York Giants, Philadelphia looked like they could beat any team. Yet despite all the electric highlights and league Most Valuable Player talk for their controversial quarterback, the Eagles saw a second consecutive season end with a first-round playoff loss. Vick finished 20 for 36 for 292 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Not bad, but not good enough to make up for the other Eagles flaws. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews abused offensive lineman Winston Justice to the point of Justice being benched in the fourth quarter. Unlike the Packers, the Eagles never got their run game going as LeSean McCoy had just 46 yards on 12 carries. Pro Bowl kicker David Akers, who was 25 for his last 27 field goals, seemed to put the first and final nail into the Eagles coffin, missing field goals in the first and fourth quarters.

The Packers did not win with the big play but instead ran a consistent offensive strategy by running the ball and converting 8 of 13 third downs. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, with only one pass over 20 yards, lead the Packers into the Eagles red zone three times for three touchdowns. Rookie running back James Starks had 123 yards, setting a Packers rookie record for the postseason.

The Eagles defense came up with a turnover as the second half opened. Darryl Tapp stripped Aaron Rodgers and Juqua Parker recovered. Two plays later, Vick found Jason Avant and the offense seemed to come to life converting the turnover into a touchdown. But the Packers came right back with a time-consuming 90-yard drive and extended the lead to 21-10 with a 16-yard pass to Brandon Jackson.

The Eagles offense couldn’t sustain momentum. A drive that reached the Packers 16 stalled, and David Akers missed a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Eagles’ wide receiver, DeSean Jackson hurt his knee early in the first quarter when teammate LeSean McCoy fell on his leg. Jackson did not have a catch until about 8:50 left in the game. He opened the Eagles final drive with a 28-yard catch and run to give his team a chance but finished with just two catches.

The Eagles’ offense had 1 minute, 45 seconds to go 66 yards and save their season.

But they couldn’t do it.

The Eagles’ magic ran out.

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