Vick's MNF explosion in 2010 changed two teams
December 27, 2012, 8:00 pm
November 15, 2010 stands as a date that may have swung the fates of two NFC East rivals.
On that Monday night, Michael Vick torched the Redskins at FedEx Field. In the process he became the first player in NFL history to reach at least 300 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game.
To put it simply, the Eagles' quarterback was masterful.
That his breakout game occurred mere hours after the Redskins announced a new $78 million contract for Donovan McNabb only added to the long-term implications of Vick’s eye-popping statement. By stamping his signature on a blowout performance for the entire country to see, Vick provided Eagles management with concrete evidence that he could be the quarterback of the future. A $100 million contract followed, and the NFL’s great reclamation project was back in the nine-figure club.
Much was made of Vick’s ascension to the starting role a little more than a year after he came to Philadelphia, but much has changed since. Injuries and lack of production have marred his time as the No. 1 quarterback, and he’s preparing to start the season finale Sunday only because rookie Nick Foles has a broken hand.
All told, that November light show that Vick engineered in 2010 was not the beginning of something great. Two years later, it appears Vick may be in his final week as an Eagles player.
However, something else significant happened on that night at FedEx Field. The team that Vick destroyed got a look at what it needed to become a true contender.
McNabb was out of his element in Washington. He proved not to be the long-term solution. However, Vick’s pass/run acumen was strikingly effective against the Redskins. Mike Shanahan quickly cooled on McNabb’s future in DC and traded him to Minnesota. After creating even more quarterback dysfunction in 2011 with the Rex Grossman/John Beck experiment, Shanahan pulled off the major draft deal that set him up to select Robert Griffin III. The rookie has been sensational as he prepares to start the de facto NFC East championship game against the Cowboys on Sunday.
Griffin was the only rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl this season. Over his first few months of pro ball, Griffin has been a 22-year-old version of the dynamo Vick was at FedEx Field two years ago. That night, he didn’t just humiliate Shanahan and company. He enlightened them.
Shanahan had success with mobile quarterbacks before, and perhaps what Vick accomplished in 2010 came into play 16 months later when the Redskins pulled off the blockbuster deal with the Rams.
While helping his own career, Vick was providing a vivid account of the value of having a do-it-all quarterback. That moment convinced the Eagles they had something unique, and showed the Redskins exactly what they were lacking.
E-mail Ron Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 reply to this topic
Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:56 AM