ATLANTA -- When Mike Kafka unleashed a deep pass to Jeremy Maclin down the left sideline that resulted in a 43-yard completion to the Falcons' 39-yard line, it looked like the backup quarterback was on his way to possibly leading the Eagles to an improbable, come-from-behind win on the road.
However, the Eagles' hopes were dashed when a fourth-down pass to Jeremy Maclin was dropped to end that drive. On the game's final play, Kafka lined a pass into the end zone for a Hail Mary attempt but it was knocked down.
The Eagles fell to the Atlanta Falcons 35-31 on Sunday night, but the team learned a little bit about their backup quarterback who came into the game late in the third quarter after Michael Vick suffered a neck injury. Kafka was 7-of-9 for 72 yards and instilled confidence in his teammates if he's called into action next Sunday against the Giants.
"Mike did a great job. It looked like he was making all of the reads. He was going through his progressions. We're very confident with Kafka," center Jason Kelce said. "Mike Vick's our guy, but we're confident in Kafka as well."
Kafka came off the sideline as the Eagles were at the Falcons' 5-yard line in a goal-to-go situation. Kafka's first pass was a screen to LeSean McCoy that ended with Falcons defensive end John Abraham being called for a roughing the passer penalty. After that welcome, McCoy punched the ball in from 2 yards out to give the Eagles a 10-point lead.
The Eagles ran the ball to protect the lead, but once Michael Turner's 3-yard run gave the Falcons the go-ahead points the Eagles had to let Kafka play. Kafka hit Maclin over the middle for a 7-yard gain before the big 43-yard strike which helped build Kafka's confidence. Even though the drive ended with the incomplete pass to Maclin, Kafka knows he could have made it an easier catch for his receiver.
"I think I can help him out, get it to him a little quicker," Kafka said. "It's an 11-man operation on offense, we all know that so everyone collecitvely has to do a better job. We'll move on. We'll learn from it. It was a great learning experience and we'll get better."
And the solid stats? Kafka isn't interested in making a mark on the stat sheet if the result of the game isn't a win.
"It really doesn't matter. We lost. It's disappointing," Kafka said. "We'll move past that, move on. Learn from what we did good and learn from what we did not so good and get better."
And is Kafka preparing to be the starter at Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday?
"Coach (Andy) Reid will come up with that decision. Right now, we're still working through the kinks of this game. We'll see where that goes and Coach Reid will make that decision," Kafka said. "I know Mike's really upset about that, some of those things you can't really control. If he takes a hit like that, he's got to be safe and take care of his body."
If Kafka gets the call, his teammates say that the drive into Falcons' territory after Atlanta took the lead is proof they can get the job done.
"You saw we were driving. It's unfortunate we couldn't get the last one, but we drove on them - threw passes, ran the ball," running back LeSean McCoy said. "We did all the things we could do with the guys we had."
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