The Green Bay Packers sprinted to a 14-0 lead, then held on for dear life to earn their first postseason win in four years and top the Philadelphia Eagles 21-16 at a noisy Lincoln Financial Field on Jan. 9 in Philadelphia.

The win was the Packers first postseason victory since 2007, but sealing it required ending a rally led by Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Packers cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted Vick in the end zone with little time left on the clock after the Eagles defense tightened in the fourth quarter and gave their offense a late shot at victory.

Green Bay received the benefit of a career-high 123-yard rushing performance from little-known rookie running back James Starks, which helped keep the electric Vick on the sidelines. When he was on the field, Vick didn’t mesmerize as he’s done for most of the year, finishing with a modest 292 yards passing and two scores. But his last throw will probably be what the 30-year-old remembers most from a highlight-filled season.

While the crowd waited for some magic from Vick, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was busy creating big plays of his own. Rodgers threw three touchdowns which when added to the four touchdown passes he made in a 2009 playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals, set an NFL record of seven touchdown passes in his first two playoff games. He nearly made it eight touchdowns, but his long throw down the right sideline was dropped by wide receiver James Jones shortly before halftime. Green Bay will advance to play the NFC’s top-seeded Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 15.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO