With just under five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Eagles found themselves in a familiar position. Trailing the Ravens 23-17, quarterback Michael Vick and company had to drive 80 yards downfield and score a touchdown to take the lead. And just as they did the week before, Vick engineered a long game-winning drive to pull off a narrow 24-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Vick knew what was at stake when he stepped on the field in the fourth quarter. And he was ready.
"Going into the fourth quarter, I felt confident," Vick said after the game. "Obviously I'm saying to myself, here we go again. You never know how it's going to pan out or what the outcome is going to be. You just look at your teammates. You look at your coaches, the people who depend on you – obviously we're home and with the crowd. You just want to get it done. It's another opportunity to be 2-0, and that's what it all boils down to."
Sunday's game mirrored last week's against Cleveland in more ways than just the ending. Both saw the Eagles commit too many turnovers - four total in this game, including two interceptions by Vick - while the defense played tremendously, getting the ball back and giving the offense chances to score.
"Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach as far as how many times we've turned the ball over in two games," said Vick of the team's nine total turnovers on the young season. "We just have to do a better job at holding onto the football; I have to do a better job in my decision-making. And everything will work itself out. I believe in my guys outside. I believe in the guys in front of me. I've said it before and I'll say it again. That's what I truly believe."
But the Eagles showed heart, rallying from a less than perfect start to beat a team many consider to be the best in the NFL. It's a win that brings the Eagles to 2-0 and to Vick, says a lot about this team.
"It just goes to show how good we can be," he said. "It definitely shows how good our defense is because they're stopping the offense and putting the ball back into our hands so that we can score points. I think at some point we'll cut down on the turnovers; we'll cut back, but it's still early and we just have to get in tune and stay in sync with what we do in our offense. I think it all starts with me, though."
When the Eagles needed Vick to deliver, he did just that. It didn't matter how they got in the end zone. Vick knew it would be a battle of wills. He simply had to pick up the yards and build momentum.
"In the moment, you just have to be at your best," Vick said. "And it has to be a 'by any means necessary' mentality and you just have to want more. And the closer you get to the end zone, the hungrier you get.
"It's amazing how much of a 10-yard difference it can make when you're (getting) first down after first down after first down, and next thing you know the end zone is 4 yards away, and it looks like it's so close. It's just encouraging. And I think all the guys feel that."
The offense certainly looked energized on the final drive, moving the ball downfield using its signature big play capability. And Vick was in the middle of it all, going 4-of-4 for 70 yards and rushing for nine yards and a score.
When asked what he remembered about the drive, Vick drew a blank. He was kindly reminded that he scored a game-winning touchdown.
"Yeah, that's all we need to remember," he said.
And that sums it up perfectly – regardless of what happened throughout the course of the game, Vick fought through and came up big when it truly mattered.
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