For the second straight week, Michael Vick just might be showing a part of his game that was not always so evident before: He’s a winner.
Despite turning the ball over too often and getting hit way more than anyone in Philadelphia cares to see, the Eagles quarterback in consecutive outings has preserved in the face of tumult.
This time Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Vick led back from a 10-point deficit to a dramatic 24-23 victory to go to 2-0 for the first time since 2004 and take the lead in the tough NFC East.
Vick overcame four interceptions last week in Cleveland to lead Philly to a last-minute 17-16 victory.
Sunday, it was Vick’s on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left, that was the difference. It capped a drive during which was in command of this “In the moment, you have to be at your best,” Vick said. “It’s got to be an any-means-necessary mentality.”
Down 23-17, the Eagles started at their 20 with 4:43 left. Vick threw passes of 24 and 13 yards to Brent Celek. A 19-yard pass to Clay Harbor, coupled with a roughing-the-passer penalty, put the ball at the 3.
Vick then threw incomplete as he was hit by Haloti Ngata, but the play was ruled a fumble and the ball was recovered by the Ravens. A replay overturned the call and Vick scored on the next play.
Needless to say, the Ravens were not happy.
“There’s some serious calls the refs missed,” Baltimore’s Ray Lewis said. “It’s just the way it is, man, all around the league. We have to correct that. These games are critical. Guys are giving everything they’ve got all across the league. But these are calls, with the regular refs, if they were here, we know the way the calls would be made.”
The Eagles committed three turnovers in the red zone in the first half and lost two starting offensive linemen in the second. They have nine turnovers in two games, a major reason why they only have 41 points despite totaling 942 yards of offense.
“We have to get better at it,” coach Andy Reid said. “You have to take care of the football. You have to throw the football to the right person. This isn’t something we planned on having.”
Vick finished 23 of 32 for 371 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Celek had eight catches for 157 yards and DeSean Jackson had seven receptions for 114 yards.
With a makeshift line blocking for him, Vick again was hit hard in the pocked and sacked twice. He scrambled eight times for 36 yards before kneeling twice at the end.
If nothing else, Vick said that he has learned patience.
“You can’t always hit a home run,” Vick said. “Sometimes you have to settle for singles and doubles. That’s what I have to learn. I can’t force the ball.”