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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When an NFL team wins, the quarterback gets too much credit. When an NFL team loses, the quarterback gets too much blame. So it’s gone in the world of professional football for as long as I can remember.
Michael Vick’s Eagles are 2-0, with both wins coming via touchdown drives in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Accounting for 78 of 91 total yards in the drive against the Browns, and every single yard (aside from penalties) of the drive against the Ravens, Vick’s play has been the stuff heroes are made of.
So I ask, where is his hero treatment? Where is the undue praise that he seems so … due?
I’d understand the apprehension if it was just the Browns game. Vick played poorly for most of the game, throwing four interceptions and looked nothing like a quarterback that was capable of leading a pass-happy team to the Super Bowl.
Against the Ravens however, Vick was mostly brilliant. The line is impressive, 23-32 for 371 yards and a touchdown. I say mostly, because the 1st quarter end zone interception was brutal. The second interception wasn’t a perfect throw, but it hit Celek in the hands. Overall, Vick looked as sharp as ever, hitting DeSean Jackson in stride on a perfectly thrown 49 yard pass. As perfectly thrown as Eli Manning’s toss to Mario Manningham in last year’s Super Bowl.
And then there was the drive. Vick, once again fearless, and refusing to lose. Vick scrambled, threw, and ran his way to the go-ahead touchdown, responsible for every inch of the drive. Once again leading his team back to a one point victory, in a situation where anything less than six points was useless.
He doesn’t care if he has to run or throw, or how hard he gets hit. Vick just wants to win.
Michael Vick has now given every Eagles fan what they’ve pined for for years, two weeks in a row. Right now, Michael Vick should own this town … but he doesn’t.
When asked this morning on the WIP Morning Show, listeners decided that Michael Vick was the fourth biggest story of Sunday’s game. In a poll taken on the Audio Roadshow app, only 9% said Vick was the story. Vick trailed the Eagles defense, Brent Celek, and the replacement refs as the headline for the win over the Ravens. All worthy stories, but none of them are the quarterback.
So what’s the deal? Where’s the parade?
It could be the lasting effects of those who say they’ll never forgive Vick for his sins of years ago. Though my sense tells me that those people are loud, but few.
Maybe Eagles fans are gun shy. Unwilling to put their faith into a quarterback they feel will ultimately break their heart, whether it be due to poor decision making, injury, or both.
Michael Vick has come through in the clutch. Been his best when it matters most. The Eagles are off to their best start in almost a decade, and it wouldn’t have happened without the quarterback’s grit in two game winning drives. He is clearly respected by his teammates, who look up to him and expect him to lead.
Michael Vick has been a hero. It’s time to start treating him like one.