|by Ryan Messick
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After playing four games in 18 days, including three in prime time, the Eagles were a bit worn down and banged up. Their reward: a mini-bye, three extra days off after a Thursday game against Houston. The time off has Michael Vick back to full strength after taking a bevy of hits and feeling a little bruised up last week.
“The extra time really helped,” Vick said. “I feel fresh, I feel good, I’m 100 percent and just ready to go play some football. That’s what it’s about – playing in December, a tough stretch, and you find out a lot about yourself.”
Vick’s learned plenty about himself in the last few years, and now he’s finding out what he’s got as a cold weather quarterback in a playoff race. The Eagles are 8-4, holding a tiebreaker over the Giants with the two meeting up next week. If the Birds lose that game though, they could be in trouble. The Wild Card spots are currently held by the 9-3 Saints and 8-4 Packers, who both hold tiebreakers over the Eagles. Thus, an Eagles loss could leave them effectively two games back of the last playoff spot.
“When you’re young, this is what you dream about as a kid, having an opportunity to fight for a playoff position, play in December down the stretch when it’s cold, good football weather,” Vick said. “Just like when you was young and you played in the backyard when it was cold and you always dreamed of having these opportunities, and now you’re living it.
“So it’s a dream come true, it’s a blessing. I’m just going to cherish it because you don’t know how much longer you’re going to play this game.”
Granted, Vick has never had a reputation as a great cold weather quarterback. His numbers this season have dropped off a little bit as it’s gotten colder, but they’re still eye-popping.
In his last three games, Vick has completed 65 percent of his passes for 893 yards, an average of 298 per contest. He’s thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions, while running 30 times for 126 yards and two scores. His ball security has dropped, though.
Vick had zero interceptions and just two fumbles, none lost, through week 10. In the last three games, Vick has tossed two picks and fumbled seven times, losing one.
Still, his quarterback rating in that stretch is 93.1. Not quite the 115.1 he had compiled through the Monday Night game in Washington, but not too shabby either.
Now it’s time to see if his dream season finishes the same way it used to in the back yard as a kid.
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