Philadelphia Eagles: Goat Was Not Akers or Vick, It Was Riley Cooper

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2011

Cooper should have tried to break up the pass instead he made a pathetic leap from behind the CB
Cooper should have tried to break up the pass instead he made a pathetic leap from behind the CBChris Trotman/Getty Images

I just got home from the Eagles-Packers game, which is sadly the last Eagles game of the season. 

I made it to every home game this year though, which is the first time I have done that in quite a long time.

First off, I want to say I feel like the Eagles overachieved this year. They won more games than I thought they would, so on that note, I think it was a good season.

This team won the NFC East when almost no one thought they would and got to host a home playoff game that was very competitive.

It was a game they could have won, but they came up a little short and the two people that seem to be on people's hit list for that are placekicker David Akers and QB Michael Vick.

To those people, I say you could not be more wrong. I thought Vick played a good game. He wasn't superman, but I would give him a solid B. He only committed one turnover (which never should have happened), he threw for over 250 yards and also rushed for a score; he took good care of the ball.

As for Akers, I understand he had a tough day, missing two field goals, but anyone who thinks they would have won 22-21 if he made those kicks wasn't paying attention. The Packers would have scored again if they had to—we couldn't stop them all day on third down. Also, Akers has been great for years, so I think he deserves a pass on this one. 

By the way, Akers will be back next year; anyone who thinks he will get cut from this game is delusional. Akers is the best kicker the Eagles have ever had, period.

I believe they lost for many reasons, and you win as a team and lose as a team. However, we all know the defense was bad and the play calling was bad and there were other issues. 

However, if you had to pick one person, if there were a goat of the game award, it would have been given to either Winston Justice or Riley Cooper.

First off, Justice committed four penalties—that alone makes him a goat. He committed two on one play. Just pathetic. 

They should have replaced him with King Dunlap or someone from the crowd for that matter. I actually got my section to give Justice a standing ovation when he went five minutes without a penalty.

However, if I had to pick one goat, it's Cooper. Many of you are probably saying, why Cooper? He didn't seem to do anything that bad.

I disagree. In my opinion, Cooper made the worst play of the game and perhaps one of the worst plays of the year. On the last play, Vick should have spiked the ball and allowed his team to huddle. Instead, they decided to run a play so he went to the end zone with a jump ball to Cooper, who is their tallest WR.

We can argue the spike ball vs. called play thing all day or the play call, but the bottom line is they called that play and on that play, Cooper did not do his job.

Vick threw the ball up and it was underthrown and intercepted. Even though it was underthrown, Cooper should have become the defender and tried to break it up. If he couldn't do that, he should have made sure it wasn't intercepted.

I like Riley Cooper, but how does he not break up that pass? In the school yard, kids break up that pass. I don't care if he got penalized, but Cooper has to make sure that pass is not intercepted. 

I don't care if he tackled the guy before the ball got there or grabbed him by the face mask and spun him around so that his helmet was backwards, or wrapped up his arms; I don't care if he kicked the guy in the nuts or took his helmet off and beat him with it, as long as he did not let him catch the ball. 

In all seriousness, Cooper has to become the defender and knock the ball down.

Worst case scenario is a 10-yard penalty for offensive pass interference and we keep the ball; best case scenario if he goes up and fights for the ball, maybe you get a flag the other way or maybe just an incomplete pass.

I don't care that he is a rookie, anyone with a brain would have known to break up the pass. 

Instead, Cooper pathetically and stupid leaped a yard behind Williams. He didn't touch him or make contact with him. He simply jumped and watched him catch the ball.

The reason Cooper is the goat is because Akers is human and a Pro Bowl kicker. While he should have made those kicks, he missed them and that can happen.

Vick played a decent game and threw a ball up for a WR to make a play. Again, maybe not a good decision, but it can happen.

Despite Justice's penalties, penalties happen.

Cooper's play was simply due to a lack of effort or stupidity. Either explanation is terrible.

It was not an accident or a dropped pass. It was something that was almost impossible to mess up and he managed to do it. It was something so obvious and simple, when my dad called my mom after the game, even my mother even said it was weird the guy didn't try to break up the pass and my mother watches about 10 minutes of football a year.

Cooper has a lot of potential and I still think he can be a good player. However, a well-trained chicken would have known to break up that pass. 

Like I said, no matter what, you make sure that guy does not come down with that ball.

So for that, the goat of the game is Riley Cooper!


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