Philadelphia Eagles Playoffs: Most Important Game of Michael Vick's Career?

Troy BallardCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles stands by the huddle against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles were able to lock into the playoffs and are now scheduled to play the Green Bay Packers in the first round. The Eagles had the chance to win out and get a first-round bye, but following a loss to the Vikings in Week 16, it forced a No. 3 seed placement. Luckily, the game is going to be played in The Linc and not at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Is anyone having déjà vu?

Let's take a brief trip down memory lane: The Eagles and Donovan McNabb were playing the Cowboys in Week 17 in Dallas last season. Philadelphia headed into Dallas confident as a team on a winning streak, and was blown out and completely embarrassed. Luckily, the Eagles were still able to make the playoffs and their first game was against the Cowboys. 

This was a perfect chance for Philadelphia to strike back at the Cowboys and eliminate them from the playoffs and advance another round. The Eagles once again headed into Dallas and were embarrassed for the second time in two straight weeks. Not only losing to the 'Boys three times in one season, but also going one and done in the postseason. 

Maybe it's not exactly the same, but it's still a similar situation to what happened in Dallas. The Eagles have the possibility of going one and done in the playoffs for two straight seasons, but this time losing at home. 

Now, it's a new season and a new quarterback in Michael Vick. It's not the Cowboys but it is the Packers, and the Eagles are playing in Philadelphia. There have been some significant changes, but the difficulty of the game stays on the same level. The Packers and Cowboys are two similar teams, and it is one of the Eagles' toughest games of the season. 

Vick has had some postseason experience, but just never with the Eagles. Vick led the Falcons to the playoffs twice in his career when he was still playing in Atlanta, losing both times before reaching the Super Bowl. In the 2005 season Vick was able to defeat the Packers in Green Bay, in the Wild Card Round. In the next game, against the Eagles, Vick lost to McNabb in Philadelphia only scoring six points in the game. 

There is obviously no connection to Vick's postseason history with the Packers and the Eagles, but it's reassuring to see that Vick was able to down the Packers on the road when he was playing at a much lower level than what he is now. Not to mention that on Opening Day, Vick was almost able to lead the Eagles back to a win over the Packers. 

This is Vick's chance to show that he can be the franchise QB that the Eagles need to succeed in the future. This is also Vick's personal chance to show that he is a legitimate threat as one of the best QBs in the NFL. 

The last thing that Philadelphia needs is to fall into another, "Donovan McNabb situation" in the playoffs. I don't know if Eagles fans can handle the thought of another instant elimination from the playoffs when a QB like Vick is playing. 

Vick is aware that if he has a bad game against the Packers, the Eagles organization could make the choice to send Vick on his way and take their chances with Kevin Kolb again. This is unlikely, but Andy Reid and the rest of the Eagles have made some shocking choices in the past. (Shipping off D-Mac to the Redskins). 

Although Vick is a member of the Eagles and the NFL requires a team effort, Vick is going to be playing for himself. Vick is playing for a contract. Vick is playing to get to the Super Bowl. Vick is playing to quiet the doubters. Vick is playing to redeem himself. 

This is the biggest game of Vick's career and he needs to secure his position as the Eagles QB of the future. There is too much talent on the Eagles right now for Vick not to succeed and have a great finish as a member of the Eagles. 

Watch out Tom, we'll see what happens in Round 2.