Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick had a terrific game on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, against the Washington Redskins. Heck, it was the game of the day.
Six total touchdowns. Four through the air; two on the ground. More than 300 yards passing; more than 50 yards rushing. He’s the first to ever accomplish that combination of statistics. It was so good, the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton (Ohio) wants his game jersey.
The talk of his potential to win the league’s Most Valuable Player award began, in earnest, two days after the game. I took people and the media that long to digest what had happened. Had Vick really done all that? Had he led the Eagles to the franchise’s single-game points record?
The answers are yes and yes. And in all the excitement of declaring Vick’s performance the best of the 2010 season, an ill-conceived tidal wave of suggestion is claiming he’s the top candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Well I’m is here to say, ‘One game does not make a season.’
The Eagles played the Redskins, one of the most pathetic teams in the NFL. Their best defensive player, DE Albert Haynesworth, is a malcontent who has dietary issues. Their head coach, Mike Shanahan, is a control freak who lacks control. Their QB, Donovan McNabb, is an aging QB. His new five-year contract belies and $3 million buyout. He could be gone at any moment.
Vick worked his magic on Monday Night Football, in front of a focused nation-wide audience. Because there were no other games to divert attention from the Eagles-Redskins, Vick’s first-half was not only the best football, it was the only football. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady et al had their go on Sunday, so Vick was noticed by everyone. And even dog lovers thought he played great.
He was due for a big game. He had played well in spots while sharing time with the Eagles other QB, Kevin Kolb, despite not playing from Week 5 to 8. And even though Monday’s game has probably settled Vick as the permanent starter, the two QBs still have the exact same number of pass attempts this season (153).
Are his other stats thus far (96 of 163 passing, 1,350 yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs) impressive? Sure. But his projections have him falling short of 3,000 yards and 25 TDs. Manning and Brady are sure to make those numbers look diminutive by comparison.
Doesn’t his ability to run the ball make him a different type of candidate? Not really. Though there isn’t a QB alive that can do what he does with his feet, the award is given to the player with the most complete, consistently great season. Not just the league’s best player in a one-off game.
Until Vick proves he can perform to this standard week after week into the playoffs, he’ll never be considered for the award; his performance will be just another tremendous moment in NFL history.
And he’ll be just another tremendous talent with with a felony conviction.