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Vick makes his return

Quarterback who did prison time greeted warmly by Eagles fans.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick passes during the first quarter Thursday in Philadelphia. Vick completed all four of his passing attempts for 19 yards.

AP photo

Jaguars running back Chauncey Washington, left, goes flying after being hit by Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel in second quarter.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, right, tires to scramble past Jaguars defensive end Derrick Harvey during the first quarter Thursday in Philadelphia.

AP photos

PHILADELPHIA — It didn’t take Michael Vick very long to make an impact in Philadelphia.

It took his Eagles teammates a little longer to get going.

While all eyes were on Vick during his first preseason game in an Eagles uniform Thursday, the Eagles needed a second-half rally and a 34-yard field goal from David Akers to edge the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-32 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The suspense over Vick, and how the Eagles would use him, ended much earlier.

He entered the game at quarterback on Philadelphia’s second offensive play, lined up in shotgun formation and tossed a 4-yard shovel pass to running back LeSean McCoy.

Out in the parking lot before the game, a few protesters held signs expressing their displeasure over the signing of Vick, a former Pro Bowl quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons who spent 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting operation in his native Virginia. The NAACP held a pregame press conference supporting Vick.

Inside the stadium, it was all cheers for Vick.

He received a rousing ovation the first time he took the field, and created a buzz in the stands – noticeably packed for a preseason game – during each of his five plays.

All of those came in the first half as Vick completed all four of his passing attempts for 19 yards and gained 1 yard on his only scramble to finish with a quarterback rating of 86.5. His biggest play was a 13-yard bullet to Hank Baskett in the first quarter, extending a drive that David Akers converted into Philadelphia’s first points with a 31-yard field goal.

Overall, though, Vick wasn’t on the field enough to make a difference.

Philadelphia starting quarterback Donovan McNabb was, and his longest action of the preseason turned into a long night for the Eagles first-team offense.

Three first-half trips into the red zone resulted in just six points for the Eagles and seven for Jacksonville.

A first-quarter Eagles drive stalled at Jacksonville’s 13-yard line, resulting in Akers’ first field goal. Near the end of the half, the Eagles had a first-and-goal at the Jaguars 3, but McNabb misfired on three straight passes and Philadelphia settled for a 21-yard field goal from Akers.

In between, Asante Samuel set up the Eagles in Jacksonville territory with an interception, and McNabb used a 24-yard strike to Jason Avant to put the ball a yard away from the end zone.

But on the next play, McNabb’s backward pass popped off the chest of rookie running back McCoy. Jacksonville’s Rob Meier scooped it up and raced 92 yards untouched for a touchdown, helping Jacksonville to a 17-6 halftime lead.

Jacksonville also got a good bounce on its first touchdown of the half, when receiver Torry Holt picked up a fumble by teammate Nate Hughes and stepped a yard into the end zone to give the Jaguars a 7-3 lead.

With the starters readying for the regular season opener while playing an extended stint during the third preseason game, the Eagles closed within striking distance as the second half began.

Quintin Mikell pounced on a fumble forced by Jason Babin’s tackle, giving the ball back to the Eagles offense. Two plays later, McCoy darted into the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown run as the Eagles pulled within 17-13 less than a minute into the second half.

From there, it became a little more frustrating for the Eagles.

Jacksonville’s Brian Witherspoon returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards, setting up a 21-yard field goal by Jason Scobee.

Then McNabb was picked off, and Jacksonville turned it into a touchdown with Todd Bouman’s 13-yard strike to Jarett Dillard for a 27-13 Jaguars lead.

On his final drive of the night, McNabb pulled the Eagles close with a three-yard touchdown toss to Marcus Malei with just over 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

But McNabb’s replacement, third-string quarterback Kevin Kolb, was called for intentional grounding in the end zone – a safety that gave the Jaguars a 29-20 advantage. That grew to 32-20 on Scobee’s 49-yard field goal with 12:20 remaining.

Then the Eagles made things interesting.

Kolb fired a 9-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown and Akers converted a 25-yard Akers field goal with less than five minutes to play, pulling the Eagles within two points.

And with time winding down, Kolb hit a couple quick passes, putting Akers in position to win the game.

He did by drilling a 25-yard field goal with 15 seconds on the clock to lift the Eagles to their first victory of the preseason.

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