Sunday, September 12, 2010
Michael Vick nearly gives Eagles the win
The Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 to win their first game in Philadelphia since 1962. The Pack had lost nine straight in the City of Brotherly Love. While the Packers won their fourth straight season opener, and Mason Crosby set a Packers record with a 56-yard field goal, the story of the game was the Eagles quarterbacks.
In their first game without Donovan McNabb in nearly 12 years, the Eagles used two men under center Sunday. Kevin Kolb, McNabb's heir apparent, didn't play at all in the second half after suffering a concussion.
So Michael Vick stepped in and nearly rallied the Eagles to victory, and he did it in vintage fashion. He threw for 175 yards and ran for 103, becoming the third Eagles QB since 1960 to have 175+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards in the same game. The other two were Randall Cunningham and, of course, Donovan McNabb.
After mustering only 23 yards on Kevin Kolb's 17 snaps in the first half (1.4 yards per play), Michael Vick's feet got the Eagles offense moving in a big way. Vick averaged a whopping 14 yards per rush when forced to scramble out of the pocket, yet with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Andy Reid still decided to call a designed run on 4th-and-1.
The threat of Vick as a runner in the shotgun formation opened up the Eagles passing game as well. Vick completed 14-of-20 passes (7.9 yards per attempt) from the shotgun compared to just 2-of-4 (4.3 yards per attempt) when under center.
The Eagles nearly completed the comeback after getting the Packers out of their comfort zone. Green Bay did not run a play out of its base 3-4 defense the entire game, playing with at least five defensive backs on every play. In fact, they only put seven defenders in the box on six plays. The strategy worked against Kevin Kolb, who went just 5-10 with a 56.3 passer rating, but failed to keep Michael Vick in check.