For Michael Vick, the sting of the Eagles' 1-3 start, combined with the high expectations coming into the season, is still plenty fresh.
"It's the worst," Vick told Dave Spadaro in an exclusive interview on PhiladelphiaEagles.com. "At this level, in a game of this magnitude, especially for our organization and how hard we've worked, it makes it very difficult. Now the only thing to do is to go out there and get it worked out."
Vick did everything he could to help the Eagles' cause during last Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The starting quarterback, determined to finish a game for the first time since Week 1, threw for a career-high 416 yards, setting an NFL record for most passing yards in a game by a player who rushed for at least 75 yards in the same game. But Vick is a perfectionist, so personal milestones are no tonic for what ails him and the team at the moment.
"It would have been so much sweeter had we won," Vick said. "It's kind of hard to acknowledge the individual stats when you don't win, but it's something you can build on and be proud of.
"I saw three plays (on film) that could have been game-changing plays for us. There were some small things that I could have done. I'm very critical of myself - 'What if I had done this? What if I had done that?' It's a total team game, and we all have to make the plays that we need to make at the appropriate time."
Vick, though, won't allow himself or his teammates to feel sorry for themselves. The first quarter of the season is gone, but there are still 12 games ahead for the Eagles to prove what kind of team they truly are. Vick expects his team to bounce back from what he believes is rock bottom and play without fear, beginning this Sunday in Buffalo.
"After being around the guys, today, I think everybody's just ready to let it all hang out," he said. "The dream team thing is over. Now we just have to forget about everything that's happened and take it one game at a time. That's what I've sensed in the locker room. I sense change. Nobody's happy about this."
Vick called the Bills a "good football team" that limits mistakes and will provide a "good test on the road." One area in which the offense must improve this week and moving forward is their performance in the red zone, where they have converted 12 opportunities over the last two games into only three touchdowns. Vick believes the answer for improving near the goal line lies in the execution.
"Everyone just has to limit mistakes," he said. "We're just focusing on the big picture, and things get tight and you need to be more focused down in the red zone. I need to fit the ball into tight windows, get the extra yardage on the ground, and the offensive line has to get some push up front. If we can be in sync, then we'll make things happen."
As the Eagles look to turn things around and put the brakes on a three-game losing streak, the team will look to their leader to set the tone. In that sense, Vick is ready forget about the rough start to the season and focus on what he and his teammates do best.
"We know what works for us, our coaches know what works for us," he said. "It's time to just let it all go, put everything behind us, and let it all hang out."
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