Packers Hold Off Eagles 21-16, Advance To Second Round
The Packers seemed in control of Sunday night’s playoff game in Philadelphia for about 58 minutes before the Eagles made a late surge. Michael Vick was 41 yards away from advancing to a second round matchup with the Bears before Tramon Williams intercepted a pass in the endzone, sealing the 21-16 victory for the Packers.
Here are game balls to hand out for Green Bay’s 21-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Much had been made about Rodgers’ inability to win in the playoffs, despite losing just once in his only opportunity while throwing for 422 yards and four touchdowns in that game. However, the mini-monkey is now off his back after Sunday night’s win. Rodgers had himself an excellent day that may have been overshadowed by the Packers’ run game, finishing 18-for-27 for 180 yards and three passing touchdowns. He put up those numbers despite four drops by receivers, including what would have been a 63-yard touchdown pass to James Jones at the end of the first half. Rodgers was great when he needed to be and, most importantly, did not turn the ball over. He could add another chapter to his ever-growing legacy with a win in Atlanta next week, but for now he can celebrate his first of, hopefully, many playoff victories.
Running back James Starks
If it weren’t for Rodgers picking up that first playoff victory that eluded him a season ago, rookie James Starks would have had first honors for game balls. Seemingly out of nowhere, the sixth round draft pick rushed 23 times for 123 yards in the win, bulldozing between the tackles for positive runs to keep Packers’ drives alive. Many expected Rodgers and the Packers to go with a pass-happy attack on offense, but instead they rode the hot hand in Starks to pick up the win. He didn’t find the endzone on any of his carries, but Starks also caught two passes out of the backfield for nine yards and played himself into a bigger role in next week’s game in Atlanta.
Outside linebacker Clay Matthews
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