As the resurrection of Michael Vick continues, a fourth quarter for the ages is just another feather in the ever-growing cap worn by the Eagles quarterback.
Trailing by 21 points with half of the fourth quarter remaining, Vick simply went off. He threw for 86 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth, and ran for another 94 yards and a score. After starting the game with an interception on his second pass attempt, and struggling throughout the afternoon against a tough, physical Giants defense, Vick stepped up when his team needed him the most -- just like he's done all season long.
"Down however much we were down, I lost track, I knew we needed three touchdowns to get back into the game," Vick said jokingly. "Down 21, you want to go out and make the most out of every opportunity. Every possession counts, every down counts. You just have to go out and be efficient and block everything else out. Forget about the score, keep it in the back of your mind but make plays at the same time."
Head coach Andy Reid knows the quarterback position. He coached Brett Favre in Green Bay, and developed a young Donovan McNabb into one of the league's most prolific passers. Now Reid has taken Vick, a unique athlete who's always struggled as a thrower, and helped him become arguably the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the history of the NFL.
After an ominous start, Reid was proud of the fight in his quarterback.
"It didn't start off well with the interception, but he hung in there," Reid said of Vick. "That was the thing, he kept battling. They were giving us some different looks…he got hit a few times but he came back with those long runs."
After rushing for 108 yards in his last three games, Vick exploded on the ground Sunday against New York. He gained 130 yards rushing on 10 attempts, keeping drives alive and picking up big chunks of yards at a time. Vick said that the Giants relentless blitzing sometimes works to their disadvantage.
"They give you opportunities to run the football," Vick said of the Giants defense. "They play a lot of cover zero which is an all-out blitz. It can work sometimes but it can also hurt you…we just adjusted to it."
Vick started the season second on the depth chart at quarterback, which makes his rise to the team's unquestioned leader all the more remarkable. That newfound leadership, something Vick admittedly struggled with in Atlanta, was on display once again when his team trailed late at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
"I believe in myself. I believe in my teammates. I believe in the guys around me. The offensive line did a great job of stepping up despite the adversity. Our receivers hung in there, our defense was resilient throughout the game. We were able to make plays when we needed to and those are great characteristics of a good football team. I'm just proud to be a part of it."
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 8:30 p.m., December 19