I don’t discount any win in the NFL… and every opening game has so many wild-card factors going for it, you have to be satisfied with the Eagles’ cardiac special in Cleveland on Sunday…
Yeah, I know… Vick was off his chang… the timing wasn’t there for much of the game…the pass-play calls coming in from Marty were stretched a tad too vertical in the beginning before they figured it out and went to crossing patterns to their TE’s… which ultimately resulted in the last-minute game-winning throw by Vick to Clay Harbor.
Also, give the Cleveland Browns a lot of credit, too. Defensively they came up with a big game. Dick Jauron was literally inside the Eagles’ playbook.
I give safety Kurt Coleman the Game Ball for this one… All the Browns had to do in the final minute of this one was get to the Eagles’ 35-yard line from their own 30 to set up a game-winning FG by Phil Dawson. Coleman made a great cover-2 read on Brandon Weeden’s 1st-down pass and made the game-sealing INT… nice.
Vick overcame four interceptions by throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with 1:18 left as Philadelphia opened the season with a nerve-racking 17-16 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Vick led the Eagles on a 91-yard scoring drive, capping it with his short toss to Harbor on his career-high 56th pass. Before Vick rallied his team, the superstar played poorly and showed major rustiness after playing just 12 snaps during the exhibition season because of injuries.
But when it mattered most, Vick came through, and the Eagles, who hurt themselves with turnovers and penalties, escaped.
Vick went 29 of 56 for 317 yards and two TDs, his first going to Jeremy Maclin.
With Vick forcing passes, the Eagles appeared doomed and poised to follow their ill-fated “Dream Team” season with an embarrassing loss.
On Philadelphia’s winning drive, though, the Eagles converted a fourth-and-1 after Vick scrambled for 9 yards and fumbled on third down. He recovered, but Browns coach Pat Shurmur threw his red challenge flag and asked the replacement officials to review the play. However, after referee Ken Roan discussed the play with the replay booth, he announced the play was “not challengeable.”
Vick got lucky on the play before his TD pass when Browns rookie linebacker L.J. Fort couldn’t hold a potential interception in the end zone. Following his scoring toss to Harbor, Vick pumped his fist — as much in relief as celebration.
The Browns had one final chance, but Weeden overthrew his target and was picked off by Coleman.
The Eagles, recently informed by owner Jeffrey Lurie that another 8-8 wouldn’t be acceptable, had 456 total yards, but 12 penalties kept their wheels spinning.
Weeden’s day started on a comical note as he got trapped under a giant American flag being unfurled on the field for the national anthem.
The rest of his pro debut wasn’t so funny.
He finished 12 of 35 for 118 yards, had the four picks and forced several throws.
Cleveland rookie running back Trent Richardson had 19 carries for 39 yards. The No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft only returned to practice this week after undergoing knee surgery on Aug. 9.
Phil Dawson kicked field goals of 43, 42 and 22 yards for Cleveland.
After looking shaky for much of the first half, Vick finally got it together and led the Eagles to the season’s first TD in the final minute. He lofted a perfect pass down the left sideline to Maclin for a 46-yard gain. On the next play, Maclin beat Joe Haden on an inside move and Vick fired him an 18-yard bullet to give Philadelphia a 10-3 lead with 17 seconds left.
For much of the opening half, Cleveland’s defense was able to pressure Vick, who still managed to throw for 209 yards.
Cleveland was missing two starters from its secondary as cornerback Sheldon Brown went out in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and safety T.J. Ward left with cramps. Linebacker Scott Fujita, whose suspension for his role in the New Orleans bounty program temporarily was lifted Friday by an appeals panel, did not dress.
Richardson announced his arrival in the second quarter with a punishing inside run that would make Hall of Famer Earl Campbell proud. Richardson went 9 yards before lowering his head and blasting Coleman, whose helmet went flying several yards. After the Browns punted, Coleman spent several minutes being tended to on the bench by trainers, who worked on his face.
Team Stat Comparison
|Passing 1st downs||14||7|
|Rushing 1st downs||10||3|
|1st downs from Penalties||1||2|
|3rd down efficiency||8-19||2-13|
|4th down efficiency||1-1||0-0|
|Yards per play||5.2||3.6|
|Comp – Att||29-56||12-35|
|Yards per pass||5.5||3.2|
|Sacks – Yards Lost||2-11||2-7|
|Yards per rush||5.0||4.5|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-2||0-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|FG||09:12||Phil Dawson 43 Yd||0||3|
|FG||14:58||Alex Henery 42 Yd||3||3|
|TD||00:17||Jeremy Maclin 18 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (Alex Henery Kick)||10||3|
|FG||04:57||Phil Dawson 42 Yd||10||6|
|FG||14:15||Phil Dawson 22 Yd||10||9|
|TD||13:59||D’Qwell Jackson 27 Yd Interception Return (Phil Dawson Kick)||10||16|
|TD||01:18||Clay Harbor 4 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (Alex Henery Kick)||17||16|
|From Elias: Michael Vick: 4 Int, most by an Eagles QB in season opener since 1941 Brandon Weeden: 4 Int, most ever by a Browns QB in season opener|
Michael Vick is the first quarterback to win a season opener after throwing at least four interceptions since Joe Ferguson for the Bills in 1980. Vick is the first one to do so on the road since the Oilers’ George Blanda in 1962.