It was a four-up play or four verticals, where all of the wide receivers go deep down the field. Michael Vick pump faked down the middle to keep the safety in the middle of the field. He then let the ball go down the left sideline to rookie wide receiver Riley Cooper.
He was going for it all. The ball was on the 27 yard line and they had plenty of time with 44 seconds remaining. They were trailing 21-16, but they had Green Bay where they wanted them despite not playing well for most of the game.
This was headed to be another storybook ending to a Michael Vick-led game. The stadium was ready to erupt if and when the Birds reached the end zone, but Vick did showed a weakness which has hurt over the latter part of the season, impatience.
“I could have checked it down to the back. I got greedy and took a shot at the end zone,” Vick said in the news conference following the game, “I didn’t throw the ball I wanted to throw, and it got picked off. It’s a bad way to go out, but, hey, I went out swinging.”
The decision to throw it up to a rookie could be questioned, but the reason it was picked off was more caused by the throw than the decision. He underthrew the ball. The throw wasn’t high enough. Vick should have put more air under it. He should have given Cooper a chance at it by putting it high enough so only the wide receiver would have a chance at it.
Regarding the decision, the Eagles quarterback could have stopped the clock and given he and the team time to decide what they were going to do, but he was trying to attack and catch the defense sleeping.
DeSean Jackson and rookie wide receiver Riley Cooper thought he was going to stop the clock by grounding the ball, but Vick didn’t think that was necessary.
He could have checked the ball down to LeSean McCoy or looked up one of the more experienced receivers as opposed to throwing it to the kid.
Do you remember rookie wide receiver Cooper coming back and intercepting a pass which was getting ready to be intercepted against the Tennessee Titans? He should have attacked the ball in the same way last night but he didn’t.
Rookie Cooper should have played defensive back and broken up the interception. He waited behind Tramon Williams and went up while figuring the ball was going to get over Williams hands. It didn’t.
The young receiver should have come back and ripped the ball out of Williams hands. He’s got to come back and go after the football. He has to put his body up against the defensive back and refuse to allow him to pick the ball off.
“We were very confident,” Vick said. “We thought we were going to win the game. I thought we were going to win the game. I had an upbeat feeling about myself. I felt like I was in control.”
Vick said he’s eager to improve and learn from the mistake he made.
“To be on the 27-yard line,” Vick said after the game, “and for me to make the decision that I made and try to get the big play, that’s something I definitely need to work on. I try to do everything I can to protect the ball and keep the ball away from the opposing team and make positive plays, and I failed to do that in that situation.
It’s something that I’ll have to really work on in the offseason, and it’s something we’re going to have to work on. I’ve just got to deal with it on a personal level.”