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(Sunday, December 6th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Atlanta 7
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Michael Vick had a successful return to Atlanta and Sheldon Brown highlighted Philadelphia's stout defensive showing by taking an interception back for a touchdown, as the Eagles dominated the injury- riddled Falcons, 34-7, at the Georgia Dome.
Vick, who was welcomed back with mixed emotions from the crowd, rushed for a score early in the third quarter and added a touchdown pass to Brent Celek in mop-up duty, as Philadelphia (8-4) rolled to its third consecutive victory.
"I'm just happy I got a second chance to try to make things right," said Vick, who played his first eight seasons in Atlanta before he was sentenced to serve jail time for his role in a dogfighting ring. "I knew something special was going to happen this week. [Eagles head coach Andy Reid] made me a captain. I was excited about that."
Donovan McNabb completed 14-of-25 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown pass to Leonard Weaver, who had 100 yards from scrimmage in the blowout. Jeremy Maclin led the club with four catches for 83 yards, as the receiving corps didn't seem to miss the absence of DeSean Jackson (concussion).
The win, coupled with Dallas' loss to the Giants later in the day, has the Eagles tied atop the NFC East with the Cowboys.
Atlanta (6-6) was playing without offensive starters Matt Ryan (toe), Michael Turner (ankle), Michael Jenkins (knee) and Harvey Dahl (ankle).
Chris Redman couldn't rekindle the magic of last week's come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay, throwing two interceptions in the club's third loss in four games. Redman was 23-of-44 for 235 yards, 104 of which went to Roddy White during his nine-catch performance.
"This was not a very good performance today," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "Obviously we were beaten soundly in all phases of the football game. We have to put that behind us as quickly as possible, and that is what we intend on doing...You can't make excuses. Injuries are a fact in the NFL."
White's two-yard touchdown grab from Redman as time expired spoiled the Eagles' shutout bid.
The score was 13-0 at halftime thanks to a goal-line stand from the visitors at the end of the second quarter. A pair of personal foul penalties set up the Falcons at the seven at the two-minute warning, and after a six-yard gain, Jason Snelling was stuffed on three consecutive rushes up the middle.
The Eagles held the ball for nearly seven minutes on their first possession of the second half, which featured Eldra Buckley getting enough to move the chains on 4th-and-1 from the Atlanta 46 yard-line.
On 3rd-and-1 from the five, Vick lined up in shotgun formation and headed to his right before cutting it back to the middle and driving his way to paydirt for his first touchdown of the season.
"When I scored that touchdown, the entire bench was halfway on the field," Vick said, referring to his joyous teammates. "Every time I make a big play, that's what those guys do. We just have a lot of respect and love for one another."
Atlanta converted a fourth-down try on its next possession, but on 4th-and-5 from the Philadelphia 22, Brown stepped in front of Marty Booker and took back the interception 83 yards down the right sideline for his fourth career TD.
Redman was picked off on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Vick, after a 43-yard completion to Reggie Brown, threw across the field to Celek for a five-yard score and a commanding 34-0 edge.
White's two-yard grab off a deflection on the game's last play was the lone highlight for Atlanta.
Philly got on the board with a 33-yard David Akers field goal 5:27 into the game, and got good field position when Eric Weems fumbled the ensuing kickoff.
Brown caught a 21-yard pass down to the four on 3rd-and-13 following the turnover, and on the next play, Weaver caught a pass in the middle of the end zone for an early 10-0 lead.
Akers missed a 39-yard attempt at the end of the first quarter but was true from 33 yards out midway through the second after another Eagles drive stalled in the red zone.
It was the 11th time in his career Vick had a passing and rushing touchdown in the same game. Vick, who was seen on the sideline with tape on his left hand following his touchdown pass, completed both of his passes for 48 yards and ran four times for 17 yards...Weaver had 37 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 63 yards...Snelling finished with a team-high 35 yards on 10 carries...Next week, the Eagles face the Giants at the Meadowlands, while Atlanta looks to get back on track at home against New Orleans.
12/06 21:37:09 ET
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