Michael Vick was never expected to set records months ago. In fact, Michael Vick seemed destined to waste another season in Philadelphia before going for one last big deal. Just 10 weeks later, however, he is now officially being talked about as an MVP candidate. If that was in doubt, he cemented it last night by picking the Redskins apart, and getting his second straight big win for the Eagles. As such, an already topsy-turvy year for Vick has taken another huge turn.
Before Week 1, Vick was dismissed as a mere backup, as the Kevin Kolb-era was finally set to begin. But after Kolb got hurt following a poor first half against the Packers, the year’s most unique quarterback controversy began.
The first time Vick faced the Redskins, he had become the established starter after 2 ½ solid games. But he was derailed after the Redskins knocked him out, and after Kolb got two more wins of his own afterward.
The Eagles were consumed by the Vick-Kolb controversy, as they had to choose between two leaders who had already come through big for them. Yet after Kolb suffered a bad loss to Tennessee, the job was Vick’s to lose after he healed.
Since the bye week, Vick has taken steps to end the quarterback controversy for good. First, he saved the season by lifting the Eagles over the Colts. Then, last night, he had the biggest night of his career, as he became the first QB to throw for 300+ yards, rush for 50+ yards, throw four touchdowns, and rush for two touchdowns.
With that, Vick seems set to hold the No. 1 spot for good – as long as he doesn’t get hurt again. If the Vick that everyone saw last night keeps showing up, that would seem unlikely. And if that Vick sticks around up to December and January, the wide-open NFC could have a new favorite.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles and for Vick, as they transitioned into a new future. But the Eagles aren’t thinking about rebuilding anymore, as they once again have Super Bowl dreams. As for Vick, he is now a star again, and may get one last big contract after all – even if it isn’t from Philadelphia.
Of course, even when Vick was at his peak in Atlanta, he could only take the Falcons to one NFC title game. Now that his comeback story has reached a new level, he will be judged by higher standards. Philadelphia is starved for a Super Bowl, and now that they have a chance for it again, nothing less than a trip to Dallas may do now.
Those expectations crushed Donovan McNabb many times over, which is why he’s in Washington. But Michael Vick can own Philadelphia forever, and salvage his legacy for good, if he goes a step further.
TIME- “Michael Vick: A Victim, A Lout, A Helluva Player”