“David, I have nothing but love for David and he’s been a great kicker for years – he still is,” said Mikell, unwilling to pin the blame on his teammate. “I don’t want to, you know, put him out there, but he was going through a lot this week. He had some stuff going on and for him to even be out here was big.”
Mikell’s defense came up with another stand, and the Eagles got the ball at their own 25-yardline with 8:50 to go. Vick opened the drive with a 19-yard completion to DeSean Jackson, and later added 16-yard hookups with LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek. Vick capped the drive by punching it in on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yardline, but the two-point conversion turned chaotic.
Vick scrambled to buy time before hitting Celek in the back of the end zone, but the tight end had stepped out of bounds prior to making the catch. A flag was thrown for illegal touching, and the conversion was ruled a failed attempt. The officials sorted things out before the kickoff, though, and realized that the Eagles should have another attempt from the Packers’ 7-yardline. This time, Vick was under intense pressure and shoveled the ball incomplete in the direction of McCoy.
Philadelphia’s defense surrendered one first down before coming up with a huge stop when Keenan Clayton sacked Rodgers on third-and-10. The Birds got the ball back at their own 34-yardline, down 21-16 and sensing another comeback.
“We were very confident,” Vick said. “We thought we were going to win the game. I thought we were going to win the game. I had an upbeat feeling about myself, I felt like I was in control.”
Vick hit Jackson for 28 yards to open the drive and instantly send Philadelphia into Green Bay territory at the 38-yardline. Vick then sailed a pass intended for Brent Celek, who took a big hit on the play, in which he appeared to be defenseless.
After another incompletion, Vick hit Riley Cooper for 11 yards to move the chains with around 40 seconds left and rushed the team to the line of scrimmage. While some teammates urged him to spike the ball, Vick called another play – four verticals, sending each receiver to the end zone.
“Spiking the ball is an option, but I mean you just got a first down and you want to keep attacking, keep them on the heels,” Vick said. “Clock it for what? Take a shot downfield.”
Vick did just that, spotting Cooper in man-to-man coverage and launching the ball up for grabs. The ball was underthrown and Cooper said he knew as soon as he located it that he was playing defense. The rookie receiver couldn’t break it up, and Tramon Williams’ pick sent a tense Lincoln Financial Field crowd into a sense of shock.
“It’s tough, because I think we realize we had a great team, we had a special team,” said Brent Celek. “I’ve never been around a group of guys that were this close like this team, so I think that’s why I’m so hurt. I love all of these guys, I want to win a championship with these guys. The fact that it’s not going to happen this year really hurts.”