• July 2, 2022

Revisiting The Interception At The End Of The Packers Game

I have thought about that throw Michael Vick made to Riley Cooper since the game. Let me be clear that it was a bad throw by Michael Vick.  I can understand taking a shot, but the throw has to be higher and deeper so that Cooper and only Cooper would have a chance to bring it down.

Still I want to focus on what Cooper should have done in that situation.

I talked some former NFL receivers about what they would have done in that situation and to a man each says they would have tackled Tramon Williams in necessary and gotten the pass interference penalty, but they wouldn’t have let him catch that football and end the Eagles season.

Cooper chose to assume that Williams couldn’t get up high enough and catch the football, but he had no trouble getting up high enough to get it.  As a receiver you got to body up the defensive back and fight for the football.  You can’t go behind and him and give him a free shot at catching the football.

It’s a mistake that a rookie would make and that’s why throwing the ball to a rookie in that situation wasn’t the best decision.  You’ve got to fight for the football and make them call pass interference.  Put the pressure on the referees, who might swallow their whistles in that situation.

I remember Michael Irvin telling me that on a jump ball he would force the referee to call pass interference because he was going to push and pull to get that football.  In the future that’s the type of receiver Cooper needs to be.  He should be known as a bully, who will physically punish defensive backs who try to get physical with him. If a bigger guy bodies up against a smaller guy, the smaller can’t even jump because the pushing of the bigger guy throws him off balance.  Vick should tell Cooper to never let that happen again.  He should say, if I throw one up for grabs for you, you have to promise that you’re going to fight for it, like your life depended on it.

Cooper is one of the keys to the Eagles becoming a better and more versatile offense.  He could allow them to employ a short passing game with wide receivers operating over the middle in traffic and a speed game where they use DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin to go deep.

In the last four or five games, teams decided to force Vick and his speedy receivers to be satisfied with shorter throws.  They seemed reluctant to do it and struggled for long period during those games.

The shame of the matter in the pass at the end of the Packers game was that Cooper had come back and intercepted a ball in the Tennessee game, while the defensive back, Chris Hope was patting his glove, waiting and hoping for it to come to him. Cooper was very aggressive on that play, but far too passive on the play that had the Eagles destiny wrapped up in it.

Look at the two pictures.  In the Tennessee game he is coming back and attacking the football while the defensive back is waiting for it.

In the Packers game he’s waiting on the football and Williams is plucking it out of the air.  He had grabbed one of his arms and pulled down, there was no way he could have caught the ball with one hand.

I’m sure it’s one which he won’t soon forget.


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So, who do you blame the most?


  • Maybe Cooper was to tip it back to Celek, like Avant was trying to do in the Redskin game,
    (Drummers Hail-Mary play) The Eagles flat out didn’t deserve to win and finished their season
    3-4 over their 7 games had with close/fortunate wins over a not so good Texans/Cowboys teams and
    then a total collapse by the Giants..
    If you think about it, the last Victory that the Eagles had where the entire team played well was probably the Redskin 59-28 blowout that was 35-0 after the 1st Quarter..The Eagles were simply an
    up and down team the remaider of the way..

  • ooh, and for the record, It was a horrible pass which was 5 yards underthrown and yes Cooper should have tackled the CB ,so he wouldn’t catch it just like Akers should have made both FG’s, just like the Eagles should have ran it more, just like W Justice shouldn’t have had those penalties and play like crap and jest like the Defense shouldn’t have given up 133 Rushing yards to a 4th Stringer and the Eagles should give up 3 for 3 TD’s to the Packers in the Red Zone while the Eagles were 1-3 on Offense.
    The team has a lot of holes on both sides of the ball and Special Teams

  • You failed to mention Celek stepping out of play or not going for it on fourth and 1. If everyone is to be held accountable start with the coaches. Individual platers are only guilty of several bad decisions a game (except for Sims) Meanwhile the coaching bad decisions are aplenty. Failing to use McCoy is just one.

  • To ISeeGreenPeople jumping off the Walt Whitman Bridge,
    Don’t forget LB Chaney’s off-sides play on a 3rd & 4 yards to go play play which gave the Packers a automatic 1st Down and eventually scored their 2nd TD putting them up 14-0 also…

  • “Maybe Cooper was to tip it back to Celek, like Avant was trying to do in the Redskin game”

    Classic. That was the dumbest excuse I ever read for a guy that is supposed to catch everything. But anyhow, I sorta agree with Paulman we didn’t play like we wanted to win. Missed field goals, penalties, dropped passes, Celek stepping out of bounds (a mental error). We just weren’t strong enough mentally in that game. Not to mention the lack of talent overloading the defensive side of the ball.

  • I don’t know G… might disagree a bit with you. In my mind, the real issue was throwing to Cooper in the first place, NOT the throw itself. A rookie, that had only a handful of catches all year, and hence probably not as adapt at making adjustments as a more experience wideout. Decisions are made in milliseconds, and it could have looked in that last millisecond before release, Vick could have thought Cooper’s best shot at catching teh ball was if it were thrown actually such that Cooper would adjust, and basically stand in front of the DB while jumping for the ball. Following that logic, the throw was nearly perfect. Of course after release, Cooper did not adjust at all, and the DB had a fairly easy pick. I also don’t think it was a bad idea to go for it all, given that there were less than 40 seconds left in the game at that point. AGAIN more power to Vick for not throwing Cooper under the bus.

  • G-Cobb I said the same damn thing when I looked at the play. Yes the ball was unde rthrown. But if you watch Williams he knew that and slowed down. Cooper continued to drift behind Williams then made a lame attempt and jump straight up. Cooper should of judged the ball better and not drifted behind William but atleast even if not in front of him. Cooper let him catch the ball with 0 resistance. I blame Cooper just as much as Vick to be honest.

  • How much experience does Cooper need. Hell doesnt he know how to go after a ball? They go after balls in the SEC. If he was playing at Florida in the national championship game and the same play occured they would be saying he is a senior and has experience and should know better.

  • Maybe the Eagles can hire the Photographer from the Titans Game, then again,
    they lost that game too… G-Man, you are reaching a little bit here…
    The Eagles finished the season as they were, which is just a slighty above average team
    in an very average winnable NFC Conference..
    I would wager a little bet that the 4 Top Teams in the AFC (Patriots,Steelers,Ravens,& Jets)
    would beat the Top 4 Teams 7-8 out of 10 times..

  • Yeah blame the rookie receiver for the QB making a horrible decision and a horrible throw. That´s just Vick being Vick. The ´new´ Mike Vick disappeared about a month and a half ago after he started reading his own press clippings. The offense started sinking at around the same time.

    If McNabb had thrown that pass, people would be up in arms about how much of a choker McNabb is. Vick choked like he has always done in the past.

  • Let’s go to the Videotape!!

    Check out the vid of the final play.(hope they let me put up the youtube clip – if not just google “Vick interception Tramon Williams”)

    Stop the Vid at 4 seconds. That’s interesting to see the wide open WRS that Vick never looks at while he throws to the blanketed Cooper. Of course perhaps it was the pass rush that rushed his throw…..except there’s no rush….

    Just Vick being Vick. He decided on Cooper before the snap. Watch the vid closely….Mr “Now makes his progressions New Vick” (BS) never moves his head to look for anyone else…including Maclin standing wide open at the 15.


    Blame whoever you want….this Superstar QB that you guys drool over cannot….cannot make reads or go through progressions.

    Never has…never will.

    The only other question is why Cooper didn’t chase Williams and strip him of the ball.

  • So whats your solution Mugzy cut Vick? You sure got alot of criticizm so whats your solution? Start you at qb? Who? Trade for Jason Campbell, Palmer, who? You got the answer. Tell us what Mugzy would do? Start Kevy Kolb. Maybe Kevy can get out of the way of the blitz. He looks great.

  • Question… I’m reading comments about how Cooper should’ve tackled the defender etc. I haven’t looked at the replay of the interception and maybe I subconsciously blocked it out but wasn’t cooper falling backward or his momentum carrying home away from the defender?

  • Doesn’t offensive GENIUS reid have 1 play to get 1 frikken player open for his qb to win the game

  • Yes MTC,
    This is such a lame story to cover up for Vicks poor judgement,throw and execution on the play..
    He panicked and threw the ball up for grabs which happened 1 or 2 every game for the last 6-7 games for the Eagles where they finished 3-4.. Vicked peaked, the team peaked in Mid-November and then slowly but surelym he and they reverted back to their average ways of playing,coaching and getting prepared on a weekly basis

  • Paulman…he didn’t panic…he planned to throw to cooper pre-snap. I tried to post the vid of the last play earlier, but its still awaiting moderation.
    Go to youtube and type in “vick interception Tramon Williams”

    Let’s go to the Videotape!! (you Vick apologists are not going to like what you see)

    Stop the Vid at 4 seconds. What’s especially interesting is to see the wide open WRS that Vick never looks at while he throws to the blanketed Cooper. Of course perhaps it was the pass rush that rushed his throw…..except there’s no rush….

    Just Vick being Vick. He decided on Cooper before the snap. Watch the vid closely….Mr “Now makes his progressions New Vick” (BS) never moves his head to look for anyone else…including Maclin standing wide open at the 15.

    Blame whoever you want….this Superstar QB that you guys drool over cannot….cannot make reads or go through progressions.

    Never has…never will.

    The only other question is why Cooper didn’t chase Williams and strip him of the ball.

    The eagles have serious problems….run/pass…samll DEs…trouble on the oline….but even if they fix those, this story is going to end the same way if “One look and run” Vick stays at the helm.

  • Or McCoy running free across the middle who would have gained at leat 7 or 8 and then OB to stop clock.

  • VInnie, blame was on both. Once the ball was in the air Cooper almost pushed off a little and went deep while Williams judged the ball correctly and took inside position for the pick. But Maclin, Avant and Shady were all open, Avant even with a chance to score from the 7ish yard line if he hits him in stride. God its gonna be a long offseason…..again.

  • Paulman – I didn’t read it as a coverup. It’s pretty obvious that it was a poor throw. Thrown a little deeper would likely have been a TD. Yup, ther were better throws targets etc. No argument. Yes, the whole team sucked for the last quarter of the season and played from behind very often. Yup, they ALL regressed, no argument.

  • i blamed Reid now i blame Vick. Jackson was wide open at 15. i would still fire Reid

  • what was 610 am morning show saying this week on Vick,Reid, Kolb i missed it.

  • let’s bring back MCNABB. he threw 3 interceptions in the Superbowl , 3 intercptions 45 passing % against panthers (total of 3 points)in NFC championship,and 52 % 1 interception and lost 2 fumbles against Tampa (total of 10) Sorry that not just having bad wr’s. he had Freeman,TO,Westbrook, and thrash

  • i watched Around the Horn and choice was Kolb or Vick and it was split i thought that was interesting

  • I came to Gcobb to get my eagles fix throughout this whole season since most national media outlets like espn never seem to have a real grasp on this team and just drive me insane when they try and talk bout the team. Gcobb i agreed with most of your points throughout the year but i really feel like your missing this one. First of all i liked the decison by Vick to keep the game running and keep the packers on their heels instead of stopping the clock. And i also can agree with the decision to make that throw but the execution of the throw was terrible. If your gonna make that decision you have to be on point with the throw, period. I was at that game sitting in the corner of that endzone and the throw was way short and more of a line drive instead of to the back of the endzone and with more of a rainbow on it so your inexperienced rookie WR can use his larger frame to catch it or knock it away. But blaming that play on Cooper is crazy cuz the QB is the one that made that call, he is the 30 yr old veteran, and he is the QB which puts this on him. I cant blame Vick for the loss cause he isnt the one that missed field goals or comes up with the gameplan but im not gonna be all soft on him either, he had the chance to win the game but couldnt get it done. But either way we would have never been in that situation with MChoke who would of folded once he came out of the tunnel with his air guitar

  • The point is moot. If Celek doesn’t step out, we’re down by only 3 and Vick doesn’t need to go the end zone. Reid can call a time-out to talk strategy and if we don’t score a TD, Akers kicks the field goal for a tie.

  • I make it very clear that it was a bad throw by Vick. The quarterback bears most of the responsibility. It was underthrown and not high enough. I also mention Cooper’s inexperience, so making the throw might not be the best idea because Cooper’s never been in this situation before in the NFL. I can understand him playing the game like he did.

    Still the game and the season are on the line and he’s an NFL wide receiver. He should realize that he’s got to break up the interception. Let it happen again during Cooper’s career and I’ll be you he plays the ball differently regardless of where it’s thrown.

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