Michael Vick's 10 greatest Eagles moments


Michael Vick signed with the New York Jets on Friday, finally severing his ties to the Philadelphia Eagles organization after five seasons of service. While he ultimately came up short as the franchise quarterback, enduring his share ups and downs, benchings and injuries, there is absolutely no denying he authored a great number of memorable moments on and off the field as well.

With his time in midnight green officially over, it's time to reflect on the good times rather than the bad. Vick was a tough SOB who gave his all every time he stepped on the gridiron, and the results at times were nothing short of remarkable.

10. Signs with the Eagles (2009)

Fresh off a two-year prison stint for his role interstate gambling and dog-fight operations, Vick was looking for an opportunity to play football again. A job with a despondent franchise like the Oakland Raiders seemed likely, so it was a genuine shock when he agreed to come to the Eagles, where Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb were firmly entrenched at the top of the depth chart.

There were plenty of protests and demonstrations when Vick arrived in Philadelphia, but then there was a huge part of the franchise that was energized by the news as well. While the move was polarizing to say the least, this is a list of Vick’s greatest moments, so getting back to the NFL and setting in motion the events would come later was obviously a huge deal.

9. Debut in Chip Kelly’s offense (2013)

Nobody knew quite what to expect from Chip Kelly’s offense when the season got underway, or how Vick would fare in a system many believed was tailor-made to his abilities. While that didn’t quite turn out to be the case, he certainly started hot.

Vick came out on fire against a bewildered Washington defense, completing 15 of 25 pass attempts for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and running nine times for 54 yards as the Eagles rolled up the Skins 33-27 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final. One week later, Vick would set a career high with 426 passing yards in a loss to the San Diego Chargers before his efficiency began to dip.

8. Comeback win over the Ravens (2012)

Vick played something like 10 snaps during the 2012 preseason, then came out and threw four interceptions in a nail-biter win over the lowly Cleveland Browns in Week 1. With the Baltimore Ravens up next on the slate, there wasn’t a lot of time to shake off the rust.

It wasn’t always pretty at times, but Vick got the job done when it counted most. His one-yard run with under two minutes remaining put the Eagles on top 24-23 over the eventual Super Bowl champions. Vick completed 23 of 32 passes for 371 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, adding 34 yards and a score on the ground. Unfortunately, it was one of the few highlights in a 4-12 season that was about to take a turn for the worst.

7. Triumphant return to Atlanta (2009)

Despite the many demonstrations against Vick around the NFL, particularly after he initially returned, many fans in Atlanta never stopped loving their disgraced franchise quarterback. Once McNabb’s Eagles built up a big enough lead at the Georgia Dome, head coach Andy Reid sent Vick into the game to play quarterback for the first time since his signing.

Vick only attempted two throws, but one of them connected with Brent Celek for his first touchdown pass in more than two years. Vick also had a rushing touchdown earlier in the game. The Eagles rolled to a 34-7 win as Vick received a healthy amount adulation from Falcons fans.

6. Nearly flawless dismantling of Cowboys (2011)

A list of any Eagle’s greatest moments would not be complete without at least one entry involving Dallas. Vick posted a 3-1 record against the Cowboys while a member of the Birds, including this Week 7 beatdown during an otherwise disappointing 2011 campaign.

Vick played his strongest game of the season on a Sunday night at the Linc, completing 21 of 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns, adding 50 more on seven attempts on the ground. The Eagles scored on each of their first six possessions en route to a 34-7 win, one of the few bright spots in an 8-8 year.

5. Vick beats Peyton Manning (2010)

Perhaps the strongest win from his time in Philly, Vick was just returning from a rib injury that knocked him out for three games when the Eagles encountered Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Not surprisingly, Vick was up the task.

The numbers may not seem like much. Vick was 17 of 29 for 218 yards and a touchdown through the air, 10 rushes for 74 yards and a score on the ground. Most importantly, he played turnover-free football and didn’t give Manning any extra chances. A late interception by Asante Samuel sealed a hard-fought 26-24 victory for the Birds.

4. Replaces Kevin Kolb in season opener (2010)

Up to this point, we had really only seen Vick operate in Wildcat packages since joining the Birds. But with McNabb traded during the offseason, and Kolb knocked out of the home opener against the Green Bay Packers with a concussion, Vick was tasked with mounting a second-half comeback against the Super Bowl champions.

Yes, the Eagles ultimately came up short on this day, but Vick kept the team in the game, completing 16 of 24 attempts for 175 yards and a touchdown and gaining 103 yards on the ground. To this day, No. 7 barreling down the field in his Kelly green uniform remains one of the most iconic images of Vick from his Philly tenure.

3. The Miracle at the New Meadowlands (2010)

Vick was flat-out awful for the first 52 minutes of a December contest against the New York Giants, and in truth, if something special hadn’t happened, his time in Philly may have ended far earlier than it did. All of a sudden though, No. 7 was able to trap lightning in a bottle, leading the 21-point comeback to set up DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return for touchdown to defeat their NFC East rivals in regulation.

Vick’s passing stats wound up being favorable considering how poorly he played for three quarters, hitting on 21 of 35 attempts for 242 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. Once again, he was able to take over a game with his legs, running 10 times for 130 yards and a score.

One week later, Vick laid an egg against a horrible Minnesota team at the Linc and the Birds were eliminated in the first-round of playoffs shortly thereafter. However, despite what came after, this will forever remain one of the greatest wins in franchise history.

2. Vick’s all-timer against Washington (2010)

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young famously described Vick’s performance against Washington on Monday Night Football in November of 2010 “one of the most defining games at quarterback I’ve ever seen” and “the full fruition of the position.

Vick completed 20 of 28 attempts for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He ran eight times for 80 yards and two more scores. The Eagles absolutely crushed Washington by a final score of 59-28. To this day, it is the single greatest all-around game of a career that spans 11 seasons.

1. Rehabilitating his career and image (2009-14)

The thing that’s most impressive to me, more than anything Vick ever accomplished on the football field, is the way he seems to have legitimately turned around his life. Not only has he managed to stay away from any and all criminal behavior, but he completely paid off all debts, became active in the community and transformed into the type of leader who sets a good example inside the locker room.

There are always going to be people who despise Vick for crimes he committed, and while that’s completely at odds with ethics lessons preaching forgiveness and our justice system that gives citizens an opportunity to pay their debt to society, that’s any individual’s prerogative. But the truth is, by all appearances Vick has done everything in his power to put his past behind him once and for all.

I never thought Vick was a great quarterback, but I do believe he's an extraordinary example of a man who learned from his mistakes and works every day at being a better human being. If nothing else, you have to respect that.

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