Just inside eleven minutes in the final quarter of the season opener in Philadelphia, Michael Vick had been responsible for 201 yards of total offense. He was 6 for 8 passing, and had just thrown a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Macklin (off a beautiful, subtle route). The Eagles still trailed by 10, and starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb, was on the bench with a concussion and a 5 for 10, 24-yard performance in the first half.
The Post-McNabb Era in Reidville had become interesting…and it wasn’t just because the Eagles were wearing their throwback jerseys, honoring the only Philly team that ever won an NFL championship – 50 years ago. They got that wrong, though (no doubt for marketing), putting the modern players’ names on the Kelly green jerseys.
The chosen replacement for Donovan McNabb was off the field, and the Designated Sociopath was out there making things interesting. With still plenty of time left (but winding down, of course), Green Bay’s QB Rogers threw an interception to the Eagles’ Nate Allen (his first pick-off in the NFL), and Vick took over again.
At about six minutes, he missed (seeing) an open Riley Cooper in the end zone, trying to force a pass into DeSean Jackson. This led to a David Akers field goal, pulling the American Birds to within seven, 27-20. After the kickoff and a weak series by the Cheese Enthusiasts, the Eagles took back the ball, and just under four minutes, Vick passed 100 yards rushing.
The ordinary push and pull of an NFL game deadened the excitement for a bit.
Then, however, the Packers’ version of Troy Polamalu’s Hair Threat, Clay Matthews, took Vick down in the backfield with a very nice open-field tackle with 2:15 to go. After another completion, the guy who should have been running (in everybody’s imagination), completed another pass, but left Philly a yard short with two minutes left just outside Green Bay’s 40.
At that point, in basically a half of play, Vick was 15 for 24 for 175 yards. After a timeout, his team tried the middle, was stuffed by Matthews – watch for this guy – and basically, that was that from the City of Brotherly Changes, Indifference, Love and Hate. The score wasn’t going to change.
A friend sent a text: “That’s their best play after a timeout!??”
I replied, “NO! VICK’S ON THE FIELD!”
If McNabb wins for Washington tonight, that will be annoying, but here the issue is concussions and injuries – Kolb’s bell ringer (his head hit the ground on a tackle) and linebacker Bradley’s (a totally real concussion), as well as FB Leonard Weaver’s torn up knee and somebody named Jackson who has a torn biceps muscle…I’m pointedly not checking to see if that is DeSean Jackson. I don’t think I saw that .
But the creepy thing tonight that is, as Joe Buck said, as the second half opened in this game, “This is now Michael Vick’s team.”
He may be a sociopath, but he’s our sociopath.
He played very well.
“Green Bay at Philadelphia.” NFL Football. Fox29. WXTF, Philadelphia. 12 September 2010.