It’s not that it was much of a surprise, but Michael Vick is no longer an Eagle. His tenure in Philadelphia ended after five years with the team after he signed a 1-year deal with the Jets. The Jets decided to release former franchise QB Mark Sanchez following the signing, meaning that Vick will get to compete for the starting job with 2nd year player Geno Smith. There’s no denying that he had a few good moments with the franchise, but most fans will be able to do one giant exhale.
Sure, most people remember all the times Vick screwed up while wearing green and white, but he also had some great moments. Remember his performance in 2010 on Monday Night Football against the Redskins? He went 20/28 for 333 yards and 4 TDs (no INTs also) and ran the ball 8 times for 80 yards and 2 TDs. That’s the kind of game that often gets lost in the shuffle when talking about Vick because of both his criminal history and his disappointing play as of late. He threw for over 3,000 yards that year with 21 TDs and 6 INTs, a very good ratio. He also had a relatively solid season the next year, throwing for over 3,300 yards, 18 TDs, and 14 INTs.
But the mass criticism already began to come his way after that year. He had only 1 rushing TD in both 2011 and 2012 and had pretty bad TD:INT ratios. 12 TDs and 10 INTs in 2012? That’s not acceptable from a starting QB and will not be tolerated by Philadelphia fans. So while Vick had a lot of great moments, they were far outweighed by all the bad moments. No, I’m not just going to be bitter the whole time, but I think understanding his career overall with the team is necessary to determine his real impact with the franchise.
In 5 seasons with the team, he never played more than 13 games, whether it meant starting out as the backup or just straight up losing his starting position. Or getting injured, of course, which he did far too often. He missed 26 games of the 80 that he could’ve played for the Eagles, which is an average of just over 5 games per year. What’s the point of paying a QB a ton of money to start if he can never stay healthy or maintain a starting position? Vick struggled with both of these issues his whole time with the team, frustrating fans and coaches alike.
People always think that Vick was this amazing rushing QB that could never be stopped while in Atlanta, but that’s a bit exaggerated. Only 3 of his 6 seasons with the Falcons did he rush for 600+ yards and have 3+ rushing TDs. That doesn’t sound like a long-time dominance, that sounds like an off and on weapon that can’t be controlled. He also always had a pretty sub-par to just plain out bad TD:INT ratio, and he never passed for over 3,000 yards. Sure, not every starting QB needs to throw for 5,000 yards, but those stats don’t suggest a trustworthy franchise QB.
The Eagles put him in as the starter in 2010 because, frankly, they didn’t have any other option. He did have (what I consider to be) his best season of his career that year, getting the Eagles to the playoffs. But that was it. He immediately showed his fragility and inability to stay on the field, and then made questionable decisions when he was on it. If Vick was getting rushed in 2010, there was no doubt he would somehow escape and elude every defender while he ran around for 30 seconds in the backfield before making a spectacular pass. But he tried to do the same thing in 2011 and 2012, and he increasingly was unable to do it. Yes, I trusted that Andy Reid would put the best QB on the field, but the fact that Vick was the best option was saying something.
And then came 2013, his second worst season with the Eagles. His first year with the team, 2009, he barely played, so statistically that was his worst, but 2013 is technically his worst year where he actually started games. He played just 7 games and looked bad in most of them. His age was finally showing itself to be too much for him to still play the way he plays at a high level. He played well in the first two games of the season, even throwing for 428 yards and 2 TDs (plus a rushing TD) in Week 2 against the Chargers. But that was his last good game for the Eagles.
So no, this wasn’t supposed to be a “bash on Vick because I’m bitter” session, but I think it’s important that people understand the full story regarding his time with the Eagles. Do I miss him? No, not at all. But will he compete for a starting job with the Jets? Yes, probably. All I can say is good luck, but please don’t come back to Philly. We’ve moved on.