For the first time in three games, Michael Vick was not a factor in an Eagles victory. After three mostly unproductive plays today, the quarterback did not have the opportunity to redeem himself.
Vick left the 27-13 victory against San Francisco in the first quarter with a thigh bruise and did not return.
The quarterback was hurt just before the end of the first quarter on a third-and-1 run. Vick was stopped short of a first down and the Eagles were left with a fourth down on their own 29-yard line.
Eagles coach Andy Reid elected to go for it, but Donovan McNabb - who went to sideline when Vick lined up behind center -was nowhere to be seen. When he finally noticed he was needed in the huddle, McNabb ran onto the field with just 10 seconds left on the play clock. The Eagles had to burn a time-out.
Surprisingly, they still tried for a first down, but fullback Leonard Weaver was stopped for no gain.
"That wasn't very good, now was it?" Reid said. "We'll always try to stay aggressive."
The 49ers, however, failed to turn good field position into points. On second down from the 16, quarterback Alex Smith found Delanie Walker across the middle, but he fumbled. Walker had beaten Sheldon Brown, but the cornerback striped the tight end from behind. Asante Samuel recovered for the Eagles.
Someone asked Reid if he thanked Brown for bailing him out.
"Yeah, I did," said Reid, who added, "I appreciate you asking, though."
Vick had left for locker room by that point. On the Eagles' first play from scrimmage, Vick lined up in the backfield to the left of McNabb. He went in motion and went out for a pass, but McNabb hit Weaver for a 6-yard gain.
Vick was not used again until the Eagles' third possession. This time he was in the shotgun as McNabb split wide left. Vick took a direct snap and gained 2 yards. His third play would be his last because of the injury.
In the previous two wins against the Falcons and Giants, Vick was involved in 11 plays - seven passes and four runs - and averaged 9.8 yards per play.
Brown sprained his right ankle when he made a touchdown-saving tackle on 49ers running back Frank Gore, who exploded for a 37-yard run in the third quarter.
Brown limped off the field to get examined. The cornerback, however, missed only the rest of the series. He had his ankle taped and was back out there breaking up a late fourth quarter pass.
The eight-year pro has played in 138 straight games in the NFL. He has not missed a game in the pros. His five interceptions this season are a career high, and he scored touchdowns in the two games before today's. He returned a pick 83 yards against Atlanta and took back a fumble 60 yards against the Giants.
Brown had five tackles today to go with three passes defended.
DeSean Jackson became the first Eagles player in 24 years to have back-to-back games with 140 yards or more receiving. Mike Quick accomplished the feat in 1985. The wide receiver finished the game with six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Last week against the Giants, he had six receptions for 178 yards and a score. . . . Wide receiver Kevin Curtis was active for the first time since Week 2. With starter Jeremy Maclin out with a foot injury, Curtis was the fourth receiver. Reggie Brown started for Maclin. Curtis has been sidelined by a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery in October. . . . Moise Fokou was announced as the starter at strong-side linebacker in place of Chris Gocong, but the rookie did not actually start. The Eagles' defense was in its nickel package for all of San Francisco's first drive and for most of its second. Fokou eventually did play and recorded two tackles.
Trent Cole reached double digits in sacks for the second time in his five-year career. The defensive end had two sacks today - his first in three games - raising his season total to 111/2. Cole had 121/2 sacks in 2007. . . . There were no surprises among the Eagles' inactive players today, but defensive tackle Trevor Laws was among them for the second straight week and the third time this season. Aside from Brian Westbrook, Maclin and Laws, cornerback Geoffrey Pope, guards Stacy Andrews and Mike McGlynn and tight end Martin Rucker did not dress. . . . If the playing field at the Linc looked particularly good a day after it snowed nearly two feet, it was because the Eagles resodded between the yard-line markers and both end zones after the Dec. 12 Army-Navy game.