Michael Vick’s Redemption

At this point last season, Donovan McNabb was the unquestioned starter in Philadelphia, and Michael Vick was viewed as more of a gimmick than anything else.

Fast forward to last night’s Monday night NFC East showdown between the Eagles and the Redskins. This was the second meeting between the storied franchises this season. The first one in Week 4 had McNabb and the Redskins come out on top 17-12, while Michael Vick went down with broken ribs.

What a difference six weeks can make!

Donovan McNabb, hours before kickoff, signed a 5-year, 78 million dollar extension, but it was Vick who played like someone who will get much more than that when the season is complete and he becomes a free agent.

The Eagles simply demolished the Redskins 59-28 on Monday Night Football. The score wasn’t even really that close, if you can believe that, as by the beginning of the second quarter, the Eagles were up 35-0.

Michael Vick’s stat line for the game. 20 for 28, 333 yards with 4 TDs passing, 8 rushes for 80 yards and another 2 TDs on the ground. To put that in perspective, he became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards, rush for at least 50 yards, pass for four touchdowns and rush for another two. Never been done before. The guy has yet to lose a fumble or throw an interception this season.

And guess who is becoming a free agent at the end of the season?

McNabb had a decent enough game, but right now, there is no question who is the better quarterback and who has the better team.

The Eagles look very tough with Vick, and next week a first place showdown with the NY Giants looms. Whatever may happen in that game, I think it is fair to say that Michael Vick’s redemption is complete.

This guy took such a hit from the media and fans for his role in a dogfighting ring, that it was reasonable to think that after serving 18 months in jail, he would probably never play in the NFL again.

The Philadelphia Eagles were ridiculed for signing him to a two year deal when no other team would even consider him for their practice squad. Fans booed and protested at the time.

And even with McNabb getting traded to the Redskins in the offseason, the QB job was supposed to go to Kevin Kolb, not Michael Vick. As Bob Ford wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer Tuesday morning, “Vick isn’t just the best quarterback option for the Eagles. At the moment, he’s the best quarterback option in the league.”

A look back at my 2010 NFL preview shows that I was wrong on many things this season (who wasn’t in this crazy, topsy-turvy season), but I was right on my prediction that Vick would be a starter by this point, whether with Philadelhpia or some other team.

Where Vick will go after this season is anyone’s guess, but it is reasonable to think that Vick will consider the team’s loyalty when the time comes to make that decision.

“When nobody else wanted me, they did,” Vick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I definitely have to take that into consideration when it’s time to make a decision on something.”

How the rest of the season will play out remains to be seen. Just how far Vick can than take these Eagles is difficult to determine, but after last night, it appears the sky is the limit. NFC East champs? Deep into the playoffs? Or maybe Vick completes a true American comeback and rides into the Dallas sunset with a Super Bowl trophy. But even if none of those things happen, one thing is for sure, Michael Vick has come full circle, and his redemption is now complete.