Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick made his return to the starting lineup yesterday a memorable one. In his first drive against the Indianapolis Colts defense Vick threw a 9-yard laser to receiver Desean Jackson for a touchdown.
Vick went up against the reigning two-time MVP Peyton Manning and came out on top. Vick led his Eagles to a 26-24 victory over the Colts as he picked up right where he left off, displaying flashes of the electrifying brilliance from September where he was named NFC offensive player of the month.
Vick hadn’t played since October 3rd when he suffered cracked ribs against the Washington Redskins. Vick looked far from rusty as he completed 19-27 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts.
Meanwhile the four-time MVP Manning looked erratic at times and couldn’t connect with his receivers in key situations. Manning completed 31-52 passes for 294 yards, one to touchdown and two costly interceptions.
Manning said after, “They have good players, good cover guys. Everything was contested. We had a tough time finding a rhythm in the second half.”
After the game, Vick hugged his offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg as he smiled from ear to ear. He was elated to secure the victory and take down the so-called best quarterback in the league in Manning.
Or is he?
The hallmark of success in life is the elimination of costly mistakes and making sound decisions. Playing quarterback in the NFL requires the same formula. Vick isn’t making mistakes on the field and he is making sound decisions. His revival as a player can be directly attributed to his growth as a person.
Based on what I witnessed yesterday, Vick was the best football player on the field. He changed the course of the game with his cannon arm and legs. Mind you he hasn’t played in a month and came off the shelf to beat Manning and the Colts.
We all know Vicks’ story by now. He spent time 18 months in prison for funding a gambling ring and torturing dogs. For his stupid choices he was hammered in mainstream media.
Last year Vick played very little while playing behind Donovan McNabb. He didn’t get the opportunity to shine until this year.
McNabb was shipped off to Washington so Kevin Kolb could be handed the keys to the Eagles franchise, but he couldn’t get it done. Kolb was knocked out of the game week 1. He also spelled Vick for three weeks while his ribs were healing. Despite going 2-1 as the starter, the offense still struggled at times which prompted head coach Andy Reid to stick with Vick.
After being stripped of his freedom, being hammered by mainstream media and losing much of what he acquired monetarily as an Atlanta Falcon, Vick is proving it is possible to get a second chance to make a first impression. Without question, he is making the best of it.
Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win football games. Vick is a free agent after this season. This will make for an interesting off-season if Vick continues to play at his current MVP-type level.
If the Eagles don’t want to keep Vick, I am sure at least 30 other franchises will take a hard look at making a run at him.
Vick is the most dynamic football player in the league right now. If he stays healthy and continues to play at his current level, without question Vick should be strongly considered for the MVP of the league.
Unlike Manning, Vick has the ability to beat you three ways. His arm is one of the strongest and most accurate in the game today. Vick can run the ball as well as most running backs in the open field, which makes him a legitimate threat to win games in two ways.
But more importantly than his arm and running, Vick is making great decisions with his mind. He is not turning the ball over and making mistakes. Vick is the top-rated passer in the NFL and has yet to throw an interception all year.
Manning is a statue in the pocket. If you put pressure on Manning he can make mistakes because his legs are not an option. His inability to move in the pocket cost the Colts in the Super Bowl last year against New Orleans, and yesterday against the Eagles defense.
While most things in sports are subject to debate it is hard to deny Vick being the best quarterback in the game today.
While Manning may be the reigning two-time MVP of the league, in my opinion there is no other quarterback playing the position better than Michael Vick right now.
What do you think?