Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick Helps Eagles Win Out, Go Home

Ron PasceriCorrespondent IIJanuary 2, 2012

In their last 19 games together, Vick and Reid are 10-9.
In their last 19 games together, Vick and Reid are 10-9.Rob Carr/Getty Images

When Michael Vick returned from his rib injury in early December, he had a goal of winning the final four games and winning the NFC East.  He achieved one of those goals, but it turned out to be the less meaningful one.

Sure, a four-game winning streak to close a season is great, but the only way to finish a season with a win streak is to win the Super Bowl or finish short of the playoffs.  If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?  The Eagles will make no noise until the offseason starts.

In fairness to Vick, from that point he only had four games in front of him.  To make the playoffs they needed to win all four and he took care of business.  It wasn't his fault the Jets couldn't beat the Giants last week.  It wasn't his fault Vince Young was a disaster in his absence.

What was his fault was the hole he put this team in through late-September and October.  Some will point to the Eagles' 7-4 record in games that Vick both started and finished, but availability is a huge part of the game.  No matter how great Peyton Manning is, his team proved it can't win when he is unavailable.

The Eagles stumbled to a 1-4 start on Vick's watch.  They blew three fourth-quarter leads.  They also lost a seven-point game in Buffalo that saw them turn the ball over five times and give away a possession at the end of the first half.

On the season Vick turned the ball over 17 times in 13 games.  He only threw 18 touchdown passes and added just a single rushing touchdown.  That isn't good enough to win in the NFL.

In the last four games, Vick completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 277.5 yards per game.  He threw seven touchdown passes against three interceptions and ran for a touchdown.  Light years better than his performance before that point, but he still showed a lot of the same flaws.

Vick is not an accurate passer and he doesn't make good decisions.  He is a lot of flash and significantly less substance.

This four-game winning streak brought the team to 8-8.  The teams they beat have a combined record of 27-37.  None of them were better than 8-8.  So a mediocre team beat two mediocre teams and two bad teams.  Against teams with winning records this season, they were 1-4.

Michael Vick finished his second season as a starter in Philadelphia.  He still hasn't proved he can stay healthy.  He still hasn't proved he can make good decisions.  He still hasn't proved he can take care of the football, and he still hasn't proved he can win at the highest level.

In truth, all he's proved to this point is that he is definitively better than Vince Young.  Is that good enough to pin your hopes on next year?