January 9 Philadelphia Inquirer:
The Eagles‘ magic ran out.
Needing a touchdown to win late in the game, Michael Vick forced a pass in to Riley Cooper, but it was intercepted in the end zone by Tramon Williams with 33 seconds remaining in the game, ending the Eagles season.
The defensive struggles in the red zone continued, and the Packers, a light-running team in the regular season, pounded the ball, controlling the clock and keeping Michael Vick off the field as Green Bay ended Philadelphia’s season, 21-16.
It was a disappointing finish to a season that held so much promise. Just three weeks ago the Eagles and Vick looked capable of beating anyone. But they faced a dangerous Packers team that played smart offense, controlled the clock and prevented any big plays by the Eagles.
Vick was spectacular for much of the season, but despite all his highlights the Eagles saw a second consecutive season begin with promise and end with the team leaving the playoffs empty handed. Vick, whose contract expires later this year, seems sure to return to the team in some capacity, but the Eagles front office still has to decide how much to commit to the quarterback.
He was hit hard and often as the season dragged along, and again on Sunday. Vick finished 20 for 36 for 292 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was very good but not the transcendent player who so often covered for the Eagles flaws.
Pro Bowl kicker David Akers hurt the team, missing two field goals in a 5 point loss.
The Packers missed several big play chances but instead ground out scores with powerful runs and timely third down conversions. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers ran just enough, buying time to pick up first downs and rookie running back James Starks had 123 yards, setting a Packers rookie record for the postseason.
Three trips into the Eagles red zone were good enough for all three touchdowns.
The Eagles defense came up with a big turnover as the second half opened, and the offense showed some spark in converting for a touchdown. The the offense couldn’t sustain the high level of play. A drive that reached the Packers 16 stalled, and David Akers, a Pro Bowler, missed his second field goal of the day early in the fourth quarter.
DeSean Jackson, who hurt his knee early in the first quarter, didn’t have a catch until about 8:50 was 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.
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