EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Now, when Michael Vick enters the game, the defense truly isn't sure whether he will run the ball or throw it. He did a little of both on Sunday night as the Eagles unveiled a wild variety of offensive plays against the Giants.
On the team's first offensive possession, Vick came in on a second-and-4 snap and, with everyone in the house expecting a run, Vick rolled right and threw down the field to DeSean Jackson for a key 32-yard gain to the New York 7-yard line. The Eagles scored a touchdown two plays later to take a 7-0 lead.
"I felt good in the pocket," said Vick. "I was able to see where the defense was going and the coverage and I was just able to make a good play downfield. I just hoped to get the ball out of my hand quickly."
On a third-and-3 play in the second quarter, Vick took the snap in the shotgun formation and ran left for a gain of 5 yards to keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, on a second-and-2 snap, Vick lined up at wide receiver on the left side of the formation as quarterback Donovan McNabb took the snap in the shotgun. Vick went in motion and took the handoff from McNabb. Vick then reversed field and came back left, and threw a pass to wide receiver Reggie Brown in the back of the end zone. Safety Aaron Rouse knocked the ball away, though, ruining a very well-conceived play.
Late in the first half, Vick was on the field for a first-and-goal snap with 16 seconds to go. He took the snap in the shotgun formation and rolled right and dived into the end zone as the Eagles went into halftime with a 30-17 advantage.
Vick had just one touch in the second half, but it was a big one. Toward the end of the clinching, 91-yard drive that consumed 12 plays and 7 minutes, 24 seconds off the clock, Vick ran up the gut on a first-and-goal play from the New York 6-yard line and gained 5 yards. One play later, McNabb handed off to fullback Leonard Weaver for a 1-yard touchdown run and, after the two-point conversion, a 45-31 lead.
Five plays and different looks for Vick. A season of experimentation with Vick has given the Eagles the opportunity to use him in many ways, and defenses clearly don't know what to expect when he is on the field.
"It's great to have plays in the offense where you can actually have some success," said Vick. "Timing is everything."
Vick is now 6 of 13 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown passing the football this season, but he has made a much more powerful impact on the ground. He has 22 carries for 93 yards and a pair of scores, each coming in the last two games.
"This was a big game for us. Big-time players step up in big-time games," said Vick. "I just told myself that if I have the opportunity to help this team win tonight and build from my performance from last week and just try to keep going. I felt relaxed. I felt good. I felt myself again."
-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, December 14, 1:58 a.m.