DETROIT (AP) ― Michael Vick made the most of his first chance to start at quarterback since 2006.
Vick’s second touchdown pass put the Philadelphia Eagles ahead just before halftime and they had to hold on to beat the Detroit Lions 35-32.
LeSean McCoy gave the Eagles (1-1) an 18-point lead with his third score with 6:17 left Sunday. The Lions (0-2) rallied to pull within three points and recovered an onside kick with 1:50 left, but turned the ball over on downs without gaining a yard.
Vick started at quarterback for the first time since the end of the 2006 season when he was playing for Atlanta against Philadelphia. He missed two seasons while serving an 18-month sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation and played sparingly last year.
The electrifying athlete was 21 of 34 for 284 yards with two TDs, ran for 37 yards and avoided losses with spin moves and slick steps.
Shaun Hill was 25 of 45 for 335 yards with two TDs, including one to Calvin Johnson late in the game that gave Detroit comeback hopes. Hill had two interceptions in place of Matthew Stafford, who is out indefinitely with an injured right shoulder.
Philadelphia gave Vick a shot to revive his career last year. After being used as a backup, he was more than ready to take the first snap in place of Kevin Kolb, who missed the game because of a concussion.
Eagles coach Andy Reid insisted before the game he didn’t need to reassure Kolb he was still the team’s starting QB, but Vick seemed to do enough to make it tough to put him back on the bench.
He passed his first test, rolling left and throwing back across the field against pressure to convert a third down on his opening drive to set up a 45-yard pass to DeSean Jackson.
After rookie Jahvid Best turned a short pass into a 75-yard reception to put Detroit ahead 17-7 midway through the second quarter, Vick ran and threw for first downs to set up McCoy’s 14-yard run for his first TD.
Vick effortlessly lofted a 53-yard pass that perfectly hit Jackson in stride before connecting with Jeremy Maclin on a 9-yard pass that put Philadelphia ahead 21-17 with 13 seconds left in the first half.
The Lions didn’t have much to be proud about.
Best was an exception.
He created a buzz at Ford Field, tying the game on a 14-yard run in the first quarter.
By the time he scored for a third time against the Eagles — and fifth time in two games — most of the fans had left after growing tired of seeing the Lions lose again.
Detroit didn’t give up, but it also couldn’t come close enough to attempt a field goal that could’ve sent the game into overtime.
The Lions did get a break from the rule book after it cost them a win over Chicago.
Vick lofted a third-down pass that Jackson caught in the first quarter Sunday. Jackson didn’t hold onto the football as he landed on the ground with cornerback Jonathan Wade.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz lividly protested the call and fired the challenge flag onto the field. Referee Clete Blakeman announced the call was being overturned because Jackson lost control of the football.
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