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While David Akers might not have been the goat of the day for the Eagles, his two missed field goals were the difference in a 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Afterward, Akers was asked if this was the worst game of his career:
"Sure, football-wise, yes. It's the playoffs and you've got to do your job to keep things going. It's a tough day."
He also addressed whether the wind affecting his kicks?
"It was really all over the place today. You could see, we were kicking deep both ways at times and short both ways at times. It shifted all over the place. It's Lincoln Financial [Field] and I've played here a lot of years. You just go out and feel it how you feel it at that time. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you guess wrong, and I did on the 41 [yard field goal attempt], that's for sure."
While Akers will be the face of this loss, Bleeding Green Nation says no recap of this game would be complete without a mention of the team's season-long goat...the defense.
Honestly, if you would have told me that they would have held the Pack to only 21 I probably would have been happy with that... The final score doesn't really tell the story of how soundly they were beaten though. Aaron RodgersPackers offense wasn't flashy today, but they were incredibly efficient, dinked and dunked them to death with three TDs. Some guy named James Starks runs for 123 yards. They convert on 7 of 13 first downs and held the ball for 32 minutes... The
On the other side of the ball, the Acme Packing Company is trying to figure out who was the MVP for the Pack. It certainly wasn't the wide receivers:
The wide receivers had arguably their worst game collectively with a couple of drops and only a couple of big catches by WR Donald Driver. The running backs were almost more dangerous collectively as receivers. Still, QB Aaron Rodgers finished with three touchdown passes and a 122.5 quarterback rating. And of course, rookie 6th round RB James Starks was given a big opportunity, and he delivered with several big runs.
While the defense was generally solid, I was having trouble picking MVP candidates. That was until CB Tramon Williams made the game ending interception. A distant second nod goes to NT B.J. Raji, who held the point of attack and made a great play running down QB Michael Vick on a scramble.
The Philadelphia Eagles, a popular Super Bowl pick heading into the NFL playoffs, are one-and-done. The Eagles lost to the Green Bay Packers on their own home turf Sunday ending their season. The game ended for the Eagles with a Michael Vick interception but fans know there's plenty of blame to go around in this one.
One person who have fingers pointed at him will be kicker David Akers, who missed two field goals. And, yeah, the Eagles lost by five points so you know those mattered. Here's what Akers said after the game:
"I want to do whatever I can to help the team. I just don't want to hurt. Any opportunity I go out there, I want to do well for them. I really feel badly for my teammates, coaches, the organization and all that. I've made a lot of kicks in my day. Today, missing them, it hurts. I don't know what else to say. I didn't do what I should be doing."
Akers is one of the best kickers in the league so it's easier to forgive someone like that but it's nearly impossible to completely move past missed kicks in the playoffs. It's just a killer.
Eagles fans can't be happy with Akers this morning but I imagine most would have picked Akers if before the game if they could have any kicker in the playoffs.
Tough morning for Eagles fans. Check out Bleeding Green Nation to remember the 2010 season with the rest of the Eagles fans.
In the end, after one of the more complete games the Packers have played all year, the defense had to make a play to preserve Green Bay's win over the Eagles.
And Tramon Williams did.
His leaping interception of Michael Vick extinguished the Eagles' last-minute drive, sealing the Packers' 21-16 win at Lincoln Financial Field.
Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns in the win, but the Packers' best offensive option all day was a surprise: running back James Starks had 123 yards on the ground for Green Bay, more than he had gained in his NFL career entering today.
On defense, though, the Packers did a number on Vick, DeSean Jackson, and the explosive Eagles. Both Jackson and Jeremy Maclin made big plays — a 28-yard catch and a 48-yard catch, respectively — but Vick was harassed by the Packers' rush all day. He was sacked three times and limited as a scrambler, gaining just 33 yards on eight carries.
Vick had better luck when he did get throws away, throwing for 292 yards and a touchdown. But the interception to Williams was either a bad decision or a poorly thrown ball or both, and it's unfortunate, after his tremendous comeback season, that it will be the enduring image of Vick this offseason.
Michael Vick couldn't quite bring the Eagles back this time. Neither could DeSean Jackson.
But it was Tramon Williams and the Packers' defense that finished what Aaron Rodgers and the offense started.
After keeping Vick and Jackson in check for most of the day — both came up limping during the game — the terrific twosome hooked up for a long pass play with under two minutes to go that gave the Eagles a first down in Packers territory. After Vick found Riley Cooper to pick up a big third down, it looked like Philly had all of the momentum on its side.
Then Vick tried to go long to Cooper.
Williams made the sort of play his counterpart at cornerback, 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson, is supposed to make: twisting his body to get between Cooper and the ball, he snared it for a game-sealing interception.
After the play, all Rodgers had to do was kneel. After the second superb playoff game in his young career, it was a fitting end.
If 2010 has taught us anything about the NFL, it's that counting the Eagles out is a bad idea.
Michael Vick led the Eagles down the field late in the fourth quarter, and got into the end zone on a dive from the Packers 1, making the score 21-16 with a little more than four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But there was more drama on the two-point conversion attempt. Michael Vick lofted a pass to Brent Celek in the corner of the end zone, and the tight end got both feet down for the catch, but flags came out after he made it. Celek had his foot on the back of the end zone and was out of bounds before he came back into bounds to make the catch, making the two-point try invalid and forcing the Eagles to try again from the 12.
And on the second two-point try, Vick was chased by two Packers, shot-putted an incomplete pass, and came up limping. Replay showed that Vick rolled his left ankle on the play, and it seems likely that Vick will be limited if he re-enters.
There have been a few improbably rallies for the Eagles this season. But how many of those had Kevin Kolb under center?
And can the Eagles defense even give their offense a chance to win the game?
The Eagles finally caught a break in Philly.
Actually, make it two, considering the fumble that Aaron Rodgers coughed up came after a James Jones drop that prevented a possible touchdown catch.
Rodgers' fumble gave the Eagles the ball in Packers territory, and Michael Vick's offense wasted no time taking advantage of the field position. Vick fired a 24-yard strike to Jason Avant for the Eagles' first touchdown of the day, and after the David Akers extra point, the Eagles now trail 14-10.
It could have been 21-3 at the half, though. Rodgers hit Jones in stride down the sideline, and Jones had a step on his defender, but Jones couldn't pull in what might have been a touchdown that buried the Eagles in a three-touchdown hole before the second half.
Between that, the fumble, and a puzzling decision to not try to score points from near midfield with time and a timeout near halftime, the Packers' momentum had cooled considerably.
But they just put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive, righting the ship with a mix of the run and the pass, and capping their effort with a screen pass to Brandon Jackson for the touchdown.
It was smoother sailing early on, but the Packers are far from sunk right now. And it looks like Vick may need to jump-start the Eagles offense if they're going to keep up with the Rodgers-led attack.
The Eagles finally got the big play they were looking for.
Michael Vick found a wide open Jeremy Maclin over the middle on the first play after DeSean Jackson's return to the game, and Maclin raced up the sideline for 44 yards, giving the Eagles a possession in Packers territory.
A Vick escape helped the Eagles get into the red zone, but they weren't able to do much there, as the Packers defense stoned them and forced a field goal attempt.
David Akers converted the kick, a 29-yarder, to cut the Packers' lead to 14-3.
As Joe Buck just noted, though, the Packers have been up 14-0 at Philly in the playoffs before: in the infamous "4th and 26" game, the Packers led 14-0 before eventually falling in overtime after a miracle catch by Freddie Mitchell late in the fourth quarter.
That Packers secondary didn't have Charles Woodson, of course.
But those Eagles didn't have Michael Vick.
At this rate, it may not matter if DeSean Jackson can get back into the game for the Eagles. Unless ... can he play defense? (He just returned to the field for the Eagles, and while he didn't make a play, Jeremy Maclin was able to make a catch and run for a 44-yard gain.)
The Packers just finished their second drive of more than 10 plays and 50 yards — this one covered 57 yards in 12 plays — and completed it with a nine-yard throw from a scrambling Aaron Rodgers to James Jones. With the extra point, the Packers are now up 14-0 at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Packers fumbled twice on the drive, once on a John Kuhn dive, the next on a fumbled snap from Rodgers, but got both back and went on to score.
So far, it appears that the combination of Rodgers and running back James Starks will be enough to keep the Packers rolling. Rodgers has 88 yards through the air and two touchdowns, but Starks has been the revelation: he has eight carries for 51 yards.
To put that in perspective, Starks had just 29 carries in the regular season, and gained just 101 yards. For him to be boosting the Packers' running game in the playoffs is surprising, to say the least.
When you hear that DeSean Jackson has left the field for the Eagles with a possible leg or ankle injury, you probably envision a cramp or a turned ankle. Instead, Jackson got rolled up underneath a teammate, producing a fairly grisly shot.
That's not what you want to see your playmaking wide receiver go down with, and it briefly looked like Jackson, who left the game and then the field, heading to the locker room for further examination or treatment, might be done for the day. (And, consequently, that the Eagles might be done for the playoffs.)
But Jackson just jogged back onto the field, and is currently trying to get loose on the sideline. We still don't know exactly what Jackson's injury is, but he's back on the Eagles sideline, and the expectation is that if he's back on the field, he's probably going to get back into the game as well.
The Packers took a little while to get untracked early against the Eagles. But they've been able to get it going, and with the Eagles failing to do much on offense, that means the Packers will lead heading into the second quarter.
Aaron Rodgers capped a 10-play, 68-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tom Crabtree, and the Packers lead 7-0 heading into the second quarter.
Rodgers has been typically good in the early going, completing six of his nine passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. But the Packers' pleasant surprise has been James Starks, a running back who began the year buried on Green Bay's depth chart. He has 36 yards rushing on just four carries.
The electric Michael Vick has been bottled up so far. He's yet to complete a pass of more than 20 yards, and has run just twice for 11 yards.
The Packers seem content to let the Eagles chew off bits and pieces of yardage underneath while preventing big plays. With DeSean Jackson out with an injury, that strategy might well work.
The Eagles haven't exactly started today's Wild Card Weekend game against the Packers with a bang. And their most explosive player leaving the field with an apparent injury will not help matters.
DeSean Jackson got caught while blocking for LeSean McCoy, and had his legs rolled underneath him, likely incurring a leg or ankle injury. He hobbled to the sideline and has not returned to the game.
Jackson was shown leaving the field for the locker room to be examined. It is unclear what his injury might be, but FOX's Chris Myers reported that the Eagles believe there is something they can do to minimize Jackson's pain and get him back on the field.
If he can't go, it's a big loss for the Eagles. Jackson being hurt and unavailable would leave the Eagles without their primary playmaker in the passing game. Jason Avant would likely need to pick up some of the catches that Jackson would make.
The Green Bay Packers’ defense came out of the gates strong, forcing Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles into a punt after three plays (one of which was a sack on Vick). The punt was short and wobbly, however, and one of the Packers players touched the ball. The Eagles recovered and the officials ruled that it was Philly’s possession, despite the Green Bay player clearly being blocked into the football.
With a new set of downs in Green Bay territory, the Eagles’ offense sputtered again, going three and out and being forced to attempt a field goal. Kicker David Akers was unable to convert on a windy day in Philly, pulling his kick wide right and giving the ball back to Green Bay.
Green Bay then did its best to copy Philly’s offensive struggles, going three and out themselves and punting back to the Eagles.
So, early mistakes for both teams and at about the halfway point of the first quarter, the game is scoreless.
The 2011 NFL playoffs are only a couple of days away and we're taking a look at the NFL playoff odds for each of the games including the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers matchup this weekend. The Eagles are favored to win the game by 2.5 points, depending on where you look, and our prediction falls in line with that.
The Eagles started off the season winning seven of their first 10 games and have since finished winning just three of their final six games, including currently a two-game losing streak. The Packers have won just three of their final six games but they've also won two in a row so, if momentum is a factor, it's on the Packers side.
Keys to the game on the Eagles side include, of course, Michael Vick. He's really the key to what the Eagles do and is the engine that drives them. If he struggles, this is a very tough game for the Eagles to win. If he's on, then the Eagles can prepare to move onto the divisional round.
Keys for the Packers include not giving up big plays to the Eagles big play offense. Make Vick and Co. go 80 yards down the field every time and keep this game close.
However this game turns out, I think this is a one-score game.
The Philadelphia Eagles will host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday evening in the final game of wildcard weekend in the NFL playoffs. The Eagles are favored to win this game and, if Michael Vick plays well, that should be the case.
I said it's hard to pick against the Eagles here because of the way Vick and Co. have played at times. On that same note, Vick has also struggled lately. He completed only 58 percent of his passes for one touchdown and one interception in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago and then took Week 17 off with a slight injury.
Will we see that Michael Vick? Or the one that can throw for four touchdowns and rush for two more? That's the key question here because if Vick is on, I don't think the Packers can stop him and the Eagles win. But if Vick isn't on then this game leans in favor of the Packers.
I'm going to stick with the Eagles. I see them winning this game 30-23 over the Packers in Philadelphia. A combination of the home crowd and aa lack of mistakes by Vick will help them get it done.
The Michael Vick show will continue into the playoffs as the Philadelphia Eagles, NFC East champs, will host the Green Bay Packers. Vick, who suffered an injury two weeks ago, said he is expecting to play. Both the Eagles and Packers finished the season at 10-6.
The Eagles are a three point favorite and it's easy to understand why -- Vick. At times he's been unstoppable while at other times -- like against the Vikings in Week 16 -- he's looked human. If Vick is on, then the Eagles can expect to be playing in the divisional round.
That's not to discount the Packers quarterback who's pretty good in his own right. Aaron Rodgers is having another solid year completing over 65 percent of his passes for 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Eagles and Packers played in Week 1 where Green Bay took a 27-20 victory. In that game Vick had 175 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing so he'll obviously be a focal point.
It's hard to pick against the Eagles with Vick on their team and they way he's played this year. I'll cautiously take the Eagles by a touchdown knowing a bad performance by Vick will ruin the Eagles chances.
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