Eagles Vick-tory denied

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (centre) runs the ball against Philadelphia Eagles...

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (centre) runs the ball against Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney (left) in the third quarter of their game in Philadelphia on January 9, 2011. (REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Unlike most fairy-tale stories, this one didn't have a happy ending.

Michael Vick's season, one of personal triumph and redemption, both on the football field and off, came to a crashing end Sunday afternoon when his final attempt at glory crashed on the rocks and ended in an end-zone interception.

Instead of a TD pass to wide receiver Riley Cooper with 33 seconds left in the game and the hysteria that a completion would have set off, the clock for Vick and the Eagles struck midnight as the pass, instead, floated into the hands of Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams to seal the Packers' 21-16 victory.

Green Bay will now move on for a Saturday date against the Falcons in Atlanta, while the Eagles will scatter in the wind.

"This one (the loss) hurt more than any one, any of my previous seasons that I played a full season and had an opportunity to play in the playoffs," Vick said.

He was asked to expand on his thoughts.

"Because I expected so much out of myself," he said. "I knew in coming back and having the opportunity to play the position this year I could play at a high level in this offence.

"It's just disappointing to myself and to my teammates that we didn't finish this year the way we wanted to and I certainly feel like I could have done a lot of things better and I didn't do it. I guess you just have to learn from it. That's life."

Vick has had great years in the past with the Atlanta Falcons, but this season came from virtually nowhere.

He opened the year as the Eagles' No. 2 quarterback and was expected to hold the clipboard and cheer on the development of Kevin Kolb.

But destiny stepped in and gave Vick an opportunity to once more shine, to revel in the spotlight and become the darling of the town. In the Eagles opening game, Kolb was knocked silly and suffered a concussion when drilled to the turf by Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

That brought Vick into the game and the rest, as they say, is history.

This season Vick mostly dazzled, reaching his zenith in engineering a 28-point comeback Dec. 19 against the hated New York Giants.

But in the very next game, against the weakened Minnesota Vikings, Vick and the Eagles turned in ugly performances in a dispiriting 24-14 loss.

Injured in that game, Vick didn't play in the season finale against the Cowboys but declared himself in "100% perfect" health for this game against the Packers.

But the magic that was once so abundant had vanished and, against the Packers, Vick and the offence misfired through the opening three quarters when they fell into a 21-10 hole.

Then, with just under nine minutes left in the game, Vick engineered a 75-yard drive that ended with his one-yard plunge into the end zone on fourth down.

The two-point convert was missed, but no one in the stadium seemed to mind as they knew that the Eagles would get a final kick at the can.

And they did, as the Packers were forced to punt following the two-minute warning.

At Lincoln Financial Field, everyone, the Packers included, held their collective breath.

But the payoff never came, just the bitter taste of disappointment and nobody knows if the game was Vick's final one in an Eagles uniform.

"I thought it was going to have a different ending," he said. "You always expect it to. Just being a confident player, I visualized us going all the way, but, hey, I guess that wasn't in God's plan. It didn't happen.

"I don't even know what's going to happen next year or where I'm going to be, so I can't even say we're going to have the opportunity to do it next year. But I enjoyed this season."

Every part of it except for his final pass.


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