Packers 21, Eagles 16
The Eagles exited the playoffs just like they went into them, with a whimper. Not even Superman himself could have extended their season, as Michael Vick and Co. fell 21-16 to the Green Bay Packers yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Clay Matthews, the man responsible for ending Kevin Kolb’s tenure as the Eagles’ starting QB, provided another signature moment when he steam-rolled Winston Justice on a first-half blitz. The Eagles were forced to settle for a field goal and went into the locker room down 14-3. It epitomized Eagles football over the last few weeks. Uninspired.
“We had some games where we came out flat, or didn’t execute, and you can’t have that in the NFL,” safety Quintin Mikell said. “It’s playoff football, every half has to be like that second half. For whatever reason, we cut it loose [in the second half].”
The Eagles started the second half with a TD, when Michael Vick hit Jason Avant in stride for a 24-yard strike. And we had a game at 14-10. After a Packers TD and an Eagles missed field goal, Vick stormed back with a 1-yard TD with 4:08 remaining, but a failed two-point conversion left it at 21-16.
“We were very confident,” Vick said. “I thought we were going to win.”
But it wasn’t meant to be. Following a defensive stop, Vick threw an interception with 44 ticks showing to end the Eagles’ season, just 27 yards away from the go-ahead score.
“I tried to do too much, I got greedy,” Vick said. “I thought it was going to have a different ending, you always expect it to, just being a confident player. I had visualized us going all the way. I guess it wasn’t in God’s plan.”
What went wrong …
1 No playmakers
Give DeSean Jackson credit for returning after going down with a nasty- looking knee injury early in the first quarter, but the receiver just wasn’t himself. Jackson (two catches) seemed to be more of a decoy out there, with Michael Vick looking, hoping, praying for someone to make a play.
2 Third degree burns
The Eagles defensive struggles have been well documented. They lack a true No. 2 cornerback, have a revolving door at middle linebacker, can’t stop anyone in the red zone, etc. Add: Bad on third down to the mix. The Packers were 8-of-13 on third down yesterday, and converted six straight at one point.
3 Missed opportunities and bad decisions
Quintin Mikell didn’t even see the football, yet it was right in front of him. He had a chance to scoop up a fumble in the first half but couldn’t grab it. David Akers missed two makeable field goals; Brent Celek stepped out of bounds on a two-point conversion attempt; and Vick’s interception at the buzzer was just a terrible pass.