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People seem to think Michael Vick was an awful quarterback in 2011. He wasn’t awful by any means. In fact, he had one of his better seasons.
Let me explain: From 2002 through 2005, Vick made three Pro Bowls by posting passer ratings of 81.6, 78.1 and 73.1. His passer rating this year was 84.9—the second-best total of his career.
He threw for a career-high 3,303 yards even though he missed three games due to injury. His 59.8 completion percentage was the second-best total of his career. His 14 interceptions represented the highest single-season total of his nine years, but he also threw more passes than ever before. Vick was also sacked just 5.2 percent of the time—the best rate of his career.
When it came to running the ball, Vick was as good as ever, even at 31 years old. His touchdowns were down (just one), but he averaged 7.8 yards per rush. His career average is 7.2. He ran the ball fewer than any other full season in the NFL, meaning he looked to pass more than he wanted to just take off and run. Even his 10 fumbles—although it’s a lot of times to lose the football—was on par with his seasonal averages.
Football is a team game, but as anyone who follows the sport knows, the quarterback typically receives more than his share of the credit for a win and more than his share of the blame for a loss.
After getting too much credit for the success of virtually every team he has ever been on, Vick was blamed too much for the Eagles’ downfall in 2011. Vince Young was awful, there were two rookies on the offensive line, the linebackers and safeties were as bad as any unit in the NFL, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo appeared lost out there on the sidelines, rookie kicker Alex Henery missed several key kicks and no one was helped by the lockout.
That's why 2012 will be a bounce-back season, not only for Vick but the entire Eagles' team.