You can now add Michael Vick's name to the list of Eagles quarterbacks who had an off night.
After spending almost four months dazzling all those who witnessed him play, and leaving defenders wondering what more they could do, Vick had a night where nothing seemed to go right. He fumbled the ball twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown, while the other stalled a promising Eagles drive deep in Minnesota territory. He also threw an interception, and had three other passes dropped by Vikings defenders.
It was a total team effort that head coach Andy Reid described as pathetic. His quarterback took no objections.
"I agree, absolutely," Vick said postgame. "We're a much better football team than we displayed tonight … much, much better. And we've all seen it. But it starts with me as the leader of this football team and the quarterback. I had an interception and two fumbles, two critical fumbles. It just goes back to being disciplined.
"If those things don't happen, I think we dictate the outcome of this game. I take sole responsibility for not doing that. That's my job, that's what I get paid to do. And I didn't do it."
While Vick refused to make excuses for his performance, he was fully healthy for exactly one play Tuesday night. On the very first play from scrimmage, Vick scrambled down the left side and was hit on his quad – a painful injury to say the least.
Vick was noticeably limping throughout the game, and was no better in the locker room once the game was over. But the 30-year-old quarterback has been bruised and battered all season long, and saw this as just another game he had to get through in pain.
"I just tried to tolerate it through the game," Vick said, "and I did. I have a strong will to win and I'll do anything to win a football game. I just tried to go out and get through it."
Now the Eagles are faced with an interesting dilemma. With their playoff seed locked in the No. 3 slot, do they rest their starters against Dallas in what will be a meaningless game (in terms of playoff positioning)? Or do they try and put a disappointing Tuesday night behind them with a convincing win against the Cowboys behind their normal starting lineup?
Reid wouldn't commit one way or the other after the game. Vick's take was simple - he'll be ready when called upon.
"I'm a competitor, I always want to play," Vick said. "But ultimately it's Andy (Reid's) decision and he'll make the best decision possible. I'll go with whatever he asks me to do. That's what I'm here to do … play the quarterback position, lead this football team, and play the best football I can play."
Whenever it may be, expect Michael Vick to take the field with a purpose the next time he sees it. The competitor that he is, if he could play the game again right now, he would – with a hurt quad and all.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 1:00 a.m., December 28