Michael Vick's Monday night "Slingin' in the Rain" explosion against the Redskins was the kind of picture perfect magic that makes it tough to imagine any other team in the NFC making it to the Super Bowl -- as long as Vick is healthy.
Vick's pinpoint accuracy, all-around durability and poise simply can't be matched by any other quarterback in the league right now. From the deep pass to the long run to the fantastic QB scramble, this guy does it all at a higher level than any other QB, even if it happens to be during a game when torrential rain is falling.
Aside from his shameful, well-known legal issues, a long hiatus from the game and those fans who are still angry enough to refuse him any chance of redemption, it is simply amazing to watch this athlete emerge in the NFL as a superstar again. By smoking the Redskins 59-28 and embarrassing former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb at the same time, Vick and the rest of his team solidified themselves as fearsome contenders ready to rise through the ranks and run right through the playoffs.
Going from prime time on Monday to another prime time game next Sunday against the Giants, one more win will give the Eagles sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Having already beat the 7-2 Falcons (Vick's old team and the only 2-loss team left in the conference) with Kevin Kolb at the helm, there's no NFC team that presents much of a threat to the Eagles.
The Eagles need the win over the Giants this coming Sunday and a second win over Eli Manning's always-dangerous offense on December 19 to prove they can dominate their division. The whole team is healthy right now with Vick looking better than ever after his injury in the last game against the 'Skins. The Giants are the only major obstacle they will face in going undefeated for the rest of the season, though the Bears and the Texans could pose some problems.
Vick's six touchdowns Monday night (4 through the air and two on the ground) was not the only breakout performance of the game. Dimitri Patterson helped the defense get some spotlight time and highlight reel footage. The defensive back snatched two interceptions in the game and ran one back for a score.
The breakout night helps create a cornerback controversy with two ex-Patriots normally starting in that position (Ellis Hobbs and Assante Samuel). Hobbs sat Monday night and is likely to sit a lot more if Patterson keeps it up. The rebuilding of the defense in the last few off-seasons has been instrumental to the Eagles' improvement across the board. Samuel's five interceptions so far this season proves that pickup was a perfect choice, and Patterson will complement him well.
Vick gets a lot of the credit and in many cases earns it, even though his completion percentage is nearly identical to Kevin Kolb's so far -- both have exactly 153 attempts.
Still, Kolb has four interceptions to Vick's zero and is partially responsible for two of the team's three losses. So Vick is clearly the best choice and the most potent option at quarterback, but Kolb is obviously not a weak backup by any means. He can step in at any point and play like a great starter should, but it probably won't happen anytime soon -- unless Vick sees another injury stall his breakout performance this season.
This team is a top-to-bottom juggernaut. "Starship 7" has a full tank of gas and is firing on all cylinders, the running game is solid, and the defense is the best crew the Eagles have had in a long time. Look for them to make a serious run at a shutout for the rest of the season's games, as long as they get past the Giants and Eli Manning this Sunday. Momentum is a terrible thing to waste.
Thanks to our friends at Bet Atlas Sportsbook for this article.