On Saturday, quarterback Michael Vick and his teammates will board a bus headed for North Jersey. On Sunday, the Eagles will finish the season at MetLife Stadium out of playoff contention, but still with plenty to play for. As for Vick, he will be looking to end the year on a positive note after an up-and-down season.
Sunday will mark Vick's first start since Week 10 and his first at MetLife Stadium since the famous Miracle at the New Meadowlands game in 2010. Injuries and personnel changes make this a different Eagles team from the one that stunned the Giants that day, but Vick is still confident he and his teammates can leave New York with a win.
"Obviously this week is a totally different ball game," Vick said after practice Friday. "You have to go out there and do it again and make it happen, and I'm pretty sure we have the tools in this locker room to do it. They're going to be excited on their side. They have a lot to play for; we do as well, so you know it's going to make for a great game."
Nick Foles was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week with a broken hand, which meant Vick took full control of practice this week. He hasn't had a full week of practice as a starter in eight weeks, and he was glad to get back under center with his teammates.
"It was a good first week of practice," he said. "I felt good throwing the ball around; I felt good being out there with the guys, most importantly. I just want to finish strong and I'm thankful I got another chance to go out there and play, not just for myself but to play once again for my teammates."
Needless to say, the season did not go the way Vick, or anyone in the organization, had imagined. Turnovers and inconsistency hurt the team from the start, and the Eagles will finish the season with only a handful of wins. It's a tough pill to swallow, but Vick is looking at the positives.
"This (season) is different, because we didn't expect such an abrupt ending," he said. "It's a part of the game. It happens to teams all around the league, year in and year out. The thing you have to do is just learn from the situation and figure out what you have to do moving forward to get better and for the organization and for us as players, just figure out how we can maximize our time in the NFL."
Even in a year that hasn't gone the way the Eagles or Giants expected, Sunday means plenty for both teams. It will still be a tough NFC East game fought in the bitter December cold. There is still plenty of bad blood between these teams. And for Vick the Eagles, it will be a chance to end the Giants' season and show their mettle one final time in 2012.
"The last time we played in New York it was a different situation for us. We had a lot to play for," Vick said. "We still have a lot to play for, but it was a great game. I haven't played down there in awhile. It'll be exciting. It's the Big Apple. You can't ask for too much more."
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