Tuesday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles vs Minnesota Vikings
Tuesday Night Football pits Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) against Joe Webb (Minnesota Vikings).
Tonight is a night of firsts. For the first time in 64 years the NFL will have a game on a Tuesday night. It is also the first time, as far as I can remember, that a guy has gone from the big house and a jail cell to having a chance to put the final stamp on a season that may well land him the NFL league MVP. That person, of course, is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Vick faces the Minnesota Vikings tonight. They have a formidable defensive like that could force him to use his legs, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. He is more of a pocket passer now than he was back in her pre-jail days in Atlanta, but when need be he can run. The last thing the Vikings want is Vick running free in the open field. Vick’s assentation is something of near legend. Just two years ago Michael Vick was sitting in a jail cell serving a three year sentence for his role in a dog fighting ring. He ended up serving around 18 months. While in prison he went bankrupt and had to file for Chapter 11. Upon his release former Colt’s coach Tony Dungy became his mentor and he signed a one year deal with the Eagles. The idea, I think, was that they could use a backup QB because McNabb was having troubles staying healthy and it gave them a chance to see what he really had left without much risk. If he acted out or they were unhappy with him, they could just cut him. During the season he showed flashes of the brilliance that was the old Mike Vick, but he was still new to the system and needed time.
With Donovan McNabb leaving for the Washington Redskins the starting job went to Kevin Kolb with Vick as his backup. Kolb was hurt in the first game and Vick took over. He posted some good numbers and won both of the games that he started. Kolb returned from injury and went 2-2 before getting hurt again. Vick stepped in again, but this time he would not be stepping back out. Vick, and the Eagles, went on a tear. They have gone 6-1 in their last seven games and Vick has been all but unstoppable. He has killed teams with his arm and his legs. He is playing smart, throwing accurately and is finally realizing the potential that he showed prior to his legal troubles.
President Obama recently praised Michael Vick and the Eagle’s management as being an example of how the prison system can work and how some people can be rehabilitated. Of course, Vick isn’t your average guy. Your average guy gets out of prison and he has nothing. Right now he is stilling a booth at a fast foot joint trying to convince the manager of the place that he should give him a job and a shot all the while having to explain why he is a convicted felon and how that won’t affect his work. Most people who leave prison don’t step right back into the world of million dollar contracts. Still, Vick seems to be contrite. He seems to have settled down and is no longer living the playboy lifestyle he once did. He seems to be listening to his advisors and focusing himself on football and his family. For him, it worked and it shows that we as a nation will forgive and forget so long as you can throw a ball well or run really fast.
The sociological studies aside, tonight’s game means nothing for the Vikings. They are done no matter what. But a win puts the Eagles right there in the mix for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The weather should be a lot better than it was supposed to be on Sunday night and I would look for the Eagles to run wild all over the Vikings. If the bears and their not-so-great offense can score 40 against them, Vick and his crew of speedsters could light them up. If Vick has another big game it really becomes a two man race for MVP going into the final game. Vice the ex-con who is rebuilding his life or Tom Brady the golden boy. It is hard to say who the NFL wants more. They love a good reclamation project, but with a crime a heinous and still recent in many people’s memories as Vick’s, they are probably worried about making him the face of the NFL. I can’t say as I blame them.
Watch the Vikings vs. Eagles on Tuesday Night Football tonight at 8|7c on NBC.
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