Eagles Season Ends in Frustration With 21-16 Loss to Packers

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Inside the Iggles by Ryan Messick
Lead Writer
Michael Vick, shown here during training camp, threw a few passes at practice today.

Michael Vick was frustrated after a 21-16 loss to the Packers saw him go 20-36 for 292 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Vick ran eight times for 33 yards and a TD. Vick is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason.

For a fleeting moment, as Michael Vick’s pass sailed toward the end zone, it looked like he had done it again.  Down 21-10 with 8:50 left, Vick was in the midst of orchestrating what would have been the Eagles’ eighth come from behind win of the season.  Instead, his pass for Riley Cooper fell into the hands of Tramon Williams with 33 seconds left, ending the Eagles season.

“I could have checked it down to the back and I feel like I got greedy and took a shot at the end zone and didn’t throw the right ball I wanted to throw and then it got picked off,” Vick said. “It’s a bad way to go out, but hey, I went out swinging.”

After David Akers missed a 41-yard field goal early in the first quarter, the Eagles fell behind the Packers 14-0 on short touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers to Tom Crabtree and James Jones.  The Eagles came away with a 29-yard field goal with 1:15 left in the half after an 8-play, 63-yard drive stalled out after a critical second-down drop by DeSean Jackson.

Still, they were down 14-3 and reeling from the Packers aggressive defense, which gave up just 125 first half yards while holding the Eagles to 2-for-7 on third down tries in the first 30 minutes.

“They blitzed quite a little bit,” said head coach Andy Reid. “They started off the game that way and they kept it going.”

Safety Quintin Mikell, who has spoken off and on this year about the team’s slow starts, was upset again by the way the Eagles came out of the gates.

“It is frustrating, it seems like it’s been that way all year,” Mikell said. “There was a time there where we had a three or four game stretch where it was like that for four quarters, but I can’t really put a finger on what the problem is there. I just feel like we cut it loose in the second half and in the first half we didn’t.”

Philadelphia did open the second half with a bang, as Darryl Tapp sacked Aaron Rodgers at the Packers’ 19-yardline and knocked the ball loose.  Juqua Parker recovered at the Green Bay 24.  Two plays later, Vick threaded a beautiful pass to Jason Avant for a 24-yard touchdown.  Avant finished with seven catches for 93 yards and the score.

The Packers didn’t let the Eagles build any momentum, running the ball effectively with James Starks, who gouged Philadelphia for 123 yards on 23 carries.  The back racked up 32 yards on five carries on the next drive.  The key play of the drive, and one of the biggest of the game, came on third-and-10 from the Packers’ 31.  Rodgers hit Donald Drive for 20 huge yards, stopping the Eagles from making their second defensive stop in a row.  The Packers quarterback later found Brandon Jackson for a 16-yard score on a screen play, putting the Packers on top 21-10 with 7:33 left in the third quarter. Rodgers finished the game 18-27 for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Philadelphia moved all the way to the Green Bay 35 before two incomplete passes set up a punt, and after another good series by the defense the Birds got the ball back at their own 46.  Vick hit Avant for gains of 11 and 21 yards, setting up a 34-yard field goal try by Akers on fourth-and-1, which he pushed wide right.

“You kick it and it’s an eight point game,” Reid said after the game. “The right thing to do is to kick it. The guy is a Pro Bowl kicker, so I’m thinking he’s going to make it.”

“We can all count; those points would have helped,” Reid later added about the five-point loss.

Akers, who becomes a free agent this offseason, called it the worst moment of his football career.

“Sure, football-wise, yes,” Akers said. “It’s the playoffs and you’ve got to do your job to keep things going. It’s a tough day.”

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Andy Reid David Akers DeSean Jackson Eagles James Starks LeSean McCoy Michael Vick Packers Quintin Mikell Riley Cooper

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  • Nate

    The Philadelphia Eagles began this season by seeing this as a rebuilding year. Everyone in the media acknowledged that the team would likely finish in last place in the NFC East and maybe only 8 wins. The Eagles schedule was a tough one facing NFC Central and AFC South opponents, including Indianapolis and Jacksonville. However, against all odds and with a team of young and inexperienced players, they ended 10-6 and NFC East Division Title winners AGAIN! The 2011 schedule, at least on the surface, looks a lot better for the Eagles as they will host the NFC West and AFC East. Aside from facing the Redskins (6-10), Cowboys (6-10), and Giants (10-6) twice during the season, here are the remaining 2011 opponents and how they finished this year:

    Home San Francisco (6-10), Arizona (5-11), New England (14-2), New York Jets (11-5), Chicago (11-5)

    Away Seattle (7-9), St.Louis (7-9), Buffalo (4-12), Miami (7-9), Atlanta (13-3)

    Given this year’s records, the Eagles have a much better chance of winning six or seven of these games. Even splitting with division rivals, that puts the Eagles once again at 10 wins or more. A sweep of one or two NFC East teams and the Eagles could be in great shape next season.

    The important thing is to keep the nucleus of this team together. These are young players and entering a crazy year with the bargaining agreement and situation between players and owners. The Eagles must stay focused on keeping the talent they have. We will likely lose Marty Mornhinweg to a head coaching job, but if the Eagles can maintain the rest of the coaching staff and players, this team could be “super” next season!