It came down to the wire again, but Tramon Williams came up big and the Packers held on to beat Philadelphia 21-16 in a game highlighted by missed field goals and the sudden appearance of a Green Bay running game.
Michael Vick nearly led the Eagles back, marching his team down the field in less than two minutes, but Williams made arguably the play of his career with a pick in the end zone with 33 seconds remaining to seal the NFC Wild Card victory.
The Packers now head to Atlanta for a divisional playoff game next Saturday night.
The win is Aaron Rodgers’ first postseason victory and one of his better performances despite a costly fumble early in the second half that resulted in a Philly score. He threw for a respectable 180 yards, three touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions.
James Starks, meanwhile, came out of nowhere and gave the Packers a running game, setting a postseason rookie record with 23 rushes for 123 yards in what can only be described as a “What the EFF??” performance. Where has this been all season? Who cares if it comes at the right time, I say.
The defense played great most of the game, too, but let’s be honest. Pro Bowl kicker David Akers cost Philadelphia this game with his two missed field goals, and the Packers SHOULD have won by 12 points had perennial goat James Jones held onto yet another sure touchdown catch late in the first half.
Mike McCarthy’s inexplicable decision not to go for more points just before halftime also looms large. It’s hard to berate the man too much after a big playoff win, but (as several analysts pointed out) why let the clock run out when you have a red-hot quarterback, the ball at midfield and one timeout remaining? The guy’s thinking patterns are beyond me and will cost us the season at some point, I’m afraid.
But HEY! We won dammit! And right now, that’s all that matters. Overall this was a great team effort against a tough opponent.