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The Eagles were the talk of the NFL after a sensational comeback win at the New York Giants on Dec. 19. But a stunning loss to lowly Minnesota on Dec. 28 cost the NFC East champions a chance at a first-round bye, and it seemed their Super Bowl hopes went down with that defeat.

Then again, the Eagles might have advanced if Pro Bowl kicker David Akers hadn’t missed field goals of 41 and 34 yards.

“We can all count, and those points would have helped,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

The supposedly one-dimensional Packers found a running game by giving the ball to Starks. The sixth-round pick who played in just three games had 101 yards rushing all year. The Packers had trouble running all year after Ryan Grant went down for the season in Week 1. But they exposed weaknesses in Philadelphia’s defense.

The Eagles got within 21-16 when Vick sneaked in from the 1 with 4:02 left. The 2-point conversion failed, but the defense held and Philadelphia got the ball back at the Packers 34 with 1:45 left.

Vick completed passes of 28 yards to DeSean Jackson and 11 yards to Cooper before he threw the pick from the 27.

Vick had 175 yards passing and 103 rushing in the season opener against Green Bay, nearly rallying the Eagles back from a 17-point deficit. He said afterward that he wished he played the whole game because he thought the outcome would’ve been different.

He had his chance, and fell short.

Down 14-3, the Eagles got back in it when their struggling defense forced a turnover on the first possession of the second half. Darryl Tapp knocked the ball out of Rodgers‘ hands and Juqua Parker recovered at the Packers 24.

Vick then made a perfect 24-yard TD pass over the middle to Jason Avant, who was surrounded by four defenders, to cut it to 14-10.

But Green Bay responded with a methodical, in-your-face drive. Rodgers threw a 16-yard TD pass to Brandon Jackson to extend the lead to 21-10. Jackson waited nicely for his blockers on a perfectly executed screen pass.

The Eagles failed to convert on third-and-1 from the Packers 16 early in the fourth and Akers was wide right from 34 yards out.

The Packers went ahead 7-0 late in first quarter on Rodgers‘ 7-yard TD pass to Tom Crabtree. Rodgers kept the drive going by scrambling away from trouble and tossing a 9-yard pass to John Kuhn on third-and-7. He found a wide-open Crabtree on the next play. It was the first career TD for Crabtree, who had just four catches the entire season.

Rodgers used his legs again on Green Bay’s next drive. He eluded the blitz and ran for 8 yards on third-and-5. Then his 9-yard TD pass to James Jones made it 14-0.

The Packers should’ve led 21-3 at halftime except Jones dropped a perfectly thrown deep pass in the final minute that would’ve been a 63-yard TD. Jones beat Asante Samuel on a fly pattern, but the ball bounced out of his hands.

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