CLEVELAND -- Quarterback Michael Vick echoed the sentiment of a lot of his teammates when he repeatedly said that he just wanted to get out of Cleveland. At least, Vick and the Eagles are exiting victorious after a thrilling comeback 17-16 win over the Browns.
"You have to have these types of games in order to become a championship football team," Vick said. "We have a tough schedule and we have a lot of challenges ahead. You've got to take it how it comes. You've got to live in the moment. You've got to make it happen when you have to."
It wasn't Vick's finest moment on a football field. He was 29-of-56 for 317 yards with two touchdowns against four interceptions. The last of those four interceptions was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson to put Cleveland ahead 16-10 with 13:59 remaining in the game.
"You feel a sense of dissatisfaction," Vick said. "I just wanted another chance at it to get the ball back and try to make things right."
On the following drive, the Eagles drove 53 yards, but it resulted in a missed field goal by Alex Henery. The Eagles' last chance came with 6:25 to go in the game. This drive also highlights the oh,so thin difference between winning and losing in the National Football League. Wide receiver Jason Avant made a clutch grab in traffic to convert a third-and-2. Facing a third-and-10, Vick scrambled and was chased down by defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, who knocked the ball loose. A swarm of Browns defenders appeared to come away with the ball, but it was Vick who won out.
"Whatever it took, I was going to get that ball back," Vick said.
The Eagles still needed 1 more yard and it was fourth down. Running back LeSean McCoy extended the drive to keep the Eagles' hopes alive. On the play before the game-winning touchdown, Vick threw the ball in the back right corner of the end zone and Browns linebacker L.J. Fort, who already had a pick in the game, got his hands on the ball, but couldn't bring it in. On third-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Vick exacted revenge by beating Jackson over the middle with a pass to tight end Clay Harbor for the win.
"Our team has a great deal of resolve," Vick said. "On that last possession, I just knew it was do-or-die. ... It was us in the huddle just stepping up and saying let's get it done. We've been through so much in the game with the penalties and the turnovers. The great thing was nobody pointed a finger. We just stuck together and encouraged one another.
"We just kept fighting and encouraging one another."
Vick acknowledged that it was the defense that "saved" the Eagles on this day. He also admitted that not having a lot of work in the preseason affected his ability to get in a rhythm early. Vick exited each of the first two preseason games due to injury. He didn't play in the final two preseason games.
Now that he has a full game under his belt, Vick has to figure a way to reduce the turnovers.
"I know I can keep the turnovers down," Vick said. "I have to play within the system."
And more importantly, get out of Cleveland.
"We get out of here 1-0 and that's what is important for us," Vick said.
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