Michael Vick wobbled off the field with an aching neck late in the third quarter, all done in his return to Atlanta as a starting quarterback. Matt Ryan tossed four touchdown passes for the first time in his career as the Atlanta Falcons came back in a wild, see-saw, shoot-’em-up to hand the Eagles a 35-31 defeat at the Georgia Dome. The Eagles had seemed to take control of the game before Vick was felled by a concussion when his head bounced awkwardly off teammate Todd Herremans after being tackled as he released a pass.
Vick, who is automatically doubtful for next Sunday’s 2011 home debut as well, was 19 of 28 for 242 yards and two touchdown passes before his injury. Kafka was 7-for-9 for 72 yards and had one final chance to help the Eagles pull it out, driving them as far as the 22, before a fourth-down pass was dropped by Jeremy Maclin, who had done such a wonderful job of grabbing everything else before that. Maclin caught 13 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. His receiving yardage was just 24 yards less than the Falcons had as a team in this game. But he won’t remember any of them as well as the one he dropped at the end.
Kafka was summoned because backup Vince Young is still out with a hamstring injury suffered in the final preseason game. Although the Eagles scored a touchdown just after he entered to go up by 10 points, they were unable to hold off the Falcons, who went ahead for good when running back Michael Turner scored on a 3-yard run with just under five minutes to go. That touchdown capped a furious exchange of second-half scoring that enabled the Falcons to avoid an 0-2 start and prevented the Eagles from going 2-0 for only the second time in coach Andy Reid’s career. The first time, in 2004, they wound up advancing to the Super Bowl. This loss will be remembered as one the Eagles should have won three times over, even without Vick and Young. Hopefully Vick will make a speedy recovery because without him the Eagles seem lost.
- Kafka, Eagles fall to Falcons, 35-31 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Michael Vick Injury: Latest Update on the Philadelphia Eagles QB (bleacherreport.com)
- Ryan rallies Falcons to 35-31 victory over Vick, Eagles (denverpost.com)