For Michael Vick, Week 17 was a job interview for potential employers. He unexpectedly got his chance when Nick Foles broke his hand. The problem was, Vick looked exactly like he has for the rest of the 2012 season.
Vick didn’t make good decisions. He threw an interception in the first quarter that set the tone for the Eagles’ day, badly overthrowing his target but hitting Giants safety Stevie Brown in stride. Vick made nothing happen before he was benched for Trent Edwards (yeah, you read that right) late in the game. He finished an uninspiring 19-of-35 for 197 yards. The Philly careers of coach Andy Reid and Vick (likely) ended with an absolute dud, in a 42-7 loss to the New York Giants.
Sunday was a final warning to any team in need of a quarterback – and there will be many – that Vick is no longer elite-level.
The skill that made Vick special was his incredible speed, and he just doesn’t have that anymore. He can still move around fairly well and sometimes make a defender miss, but he didn’t have a run of more than 20 yards this season. He’s getting buried by the pass rush behind a terrible offensive line, when he was once able to magically make those defenders miss. There’s no explosion anymore. Vick will be 33 next year and took a ton of punishment this season. That top-level speed is probably not coming back.
Without that speed, is he worth bringing in? Vick had 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. He came into Sunday’s game with a quarterback rating of less than 80. The Giants game just reinforced everything we learned about the 32-year-old Vick over the first couple months of the season.
Vick will be sought after if he hits the free agent market as expected. He is unquestionably a better option than John Skelton, Brady Quinn, Mark Sanchez or a few other horrible quarterbacks around the league. But whatever team signs him better not expect the same Vick we saw years ago.
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