Sunday, September 12, 2010

Packers Pluck Eagles; No Rust on Vick

One has to wonder what in the world Philadelphia Eagles' coach Andy Reid was thinking by starting someone who's name is Kevin Kolb at quarterback when a phenomenon named Michael Vick is standing on the sideline, holding a helmet.

During the first half, when Kolb was trying his luck at moving the Eagles into the teeth of the Green Bay defense, he demonstrated what a non-phenomenon he is. The only thing he did for the Eagles was to let the Packer's Clay Matthews catch him from behind so that Matthews could slam his face deep into the dirt beneath the grass for him, giving Kolb a game-ending concussion. That, of course, meant that Michael Vick would take the helm in the second half. More on that in a moment...

But still in the brutal first half, Kolb was not the only Eagle to bite the dust; the Eagles bodies were falling like Democratic Congressmen this coming November. A total of four Eagles left the game with injuries, as did Packers running back, Ryan Grant.

Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers were putting up more points than Larry King has wives; and, it turns out, they would need them all because Michael Vick was about to launch his second career.

Now I have never been a Michael Vick-hater. I think that he manned up and did his time for his crimes and deserves a second chance like we all do. What boggles my mind is why, even last year, Coach Reid played Donavon McRedskin ahead of Vick.

Because when Vick was finally given his redemptive opportunity today, he made it very apparent that any prison rust he might have been carrying around with him has all been chipped away. And though I believe that the Packers can hang with an Eagle team with Vick, he certainly did present some containment problems for the Packers defense because of his predictable unpredictability.

With legs, moves and speed reminiscent of Detroit's Barry Sanders, Vick led the Eagles from a deep deficit and made a game out of it. (Please note, that though Vick resembles aspects of Barry Sanders, it is Sanders alone who is the only NFL player who actually could be two places at one time - here and there, simultaneously.)

It took yet another tough and heroic play by the Packers Clay Matthews to put an end to the Eagles final charge when he stopped Vick short of a first down late in the fourth quarter.

For Matthews, he picked up right where he left off last year as did The Cat, Charles Woodson, who forced a fumble and played predatory defense, as he always does.

Also looking good for Green Bay was Jordy Nelson with his three long kickoff returns, either making Green Bay's weak pre-season special teams play look like a fluke, or solidifying a role for himself for the rest of the season.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played pretty solid football after a slow start, but did throw two rare interceptions. Full back Kuhn brought the smash into Philadelphia's mouth with some impressive runs, and the rest of the offense did a pretty nice job.

So for the first outing of the season, Green Bay had more positives than negatives, played pretty good football, made some good big plays, and did not have to face Michael Vick for both halves.

It was a good win against an always-good Philadelphia Eagles team.

Game ball: Clay Matthews.

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