Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Coming Out Party


Well...sort of. Michael Vick has been around for several years. Most folks know his story. Yet, last night was the arrival of "the new Michael Vick" it would seem, as he led the Eagles to a 59-28 thrashing of the Redskins. After his release from prison a couple of years ago, Michael Vick signed on with the Philadelphia Eagles to be Donovan McNabb's backup. He played sparingly last year and showed signs of a QB that had been out of action for a couple of years...but, there were also flashes of brilliance -- a long bomb against the Cowboys alerted Eagles coaches that there might be still be some flash. They believed in him enough to bring him back this year, albeit as new starter, Kevin Kolb's, backup. Yet, when Kolb sustained a concussion early in the season, Vick was pressed into action...and boy, did he act! He played very well...so well, in fact, that when Kolb came back, the starting QB position was no longer his, but Vick's. Vick was always a good runner -- a la Randall Cunningham and Steve Young -- before he was incarcerated...and he could make some good passes, although not consistently. Yet, as of Monday, November 15th, 2010, he has arrived. Vick has now become the most dangerous player in the NFL. Why? He has learned a pocket presence. He no longer runs first and passes as an afterthought. Now, he stands in the pocket and looks for his talented young receivers, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. As he proved against the Redskins, when there is no pass to be made, he can find the hole and scramble for the yards he needs. In short, he has become a complete player. Barring a set back or injury, Vick might not only carry his Eagles into the playoffs, but all the way to the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to watch it all unfold.

In another coming out party of sorts, it appears that the Cowboys may not be dead just yet.
Is it too late to make the playoffs? Probably. But, Jason Garrett's arrival as Dallas' coach, appears to be something like what the doctor ordered for a team that was lackluster. After a week of challenging practices in pads and an upgraded dress code, it appears that Mr. Garrett is already putting his stamp on the team. Some might say that the Cowboys were just playing for pride against the Giants Sunday...but, if this was the case, what about their "pride" the week before or the week before that... I don't necessarily think that the Cowboys are going to win out, but I do believe that they are going to respectable, which is something that they were not for the first half of the season.

There were a number of upsets in week 9. The Giants, Steelers, Chiefs, Titans, Ravens all were supposed to win, but ended up losing. Ahh...you just have to love the unpredictable NFL. The Eagles were not the only team to ring up 35 unanswered points in the first half of a game this past weekend, the Broncos also did so against an apparently "unsuspecting" Chiefs team. Denver went on to win 49-29, and judging from Chief's coach Todd Haley's post game snub of the obligatory handshake with Josh McDaniels, it would appear that Mr. Haley was none too happy with the game's proceedings. Oh well, they will meet again...and what goes around usually comes around. The Patriots looked like the world beaters of a few years ago by soundly beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 39-26. I have to say that I took a lot of delight in seeing the Steelers be handled so easily, but they will be back another week. Yet, if Tom Brady plays with the fire that he did on Sunday night, New England is going to be an awfully tough team to beat in the AFC. Not sure what happened to the Titans game plan for the Dolphins, but they apparently tossed it out the window. Randy Moss was not much more than a very expensive decoy in his first game with his new team, as he had one catch on four targets. Three other Titans receivers had at least nine targets. Also, coach Jeff Fisher started grizzled veteran, Kerry Collins, over explosive (exploding?) Vince Young, which makes one have to wonder what is going on in that locker room. Collins was injured during the first half and Young ended up playing the second half. For all of the trouble that people were thinking Randy Moss might be for the Tennessee locker room, he may have come into a locker room that was already in turmoil and he may not have had a thing to do with it...imagine that. ;-) Meanwhile, the Dolphins put together a 29-17 victory with three QBs, as fragile Chad Pennington played all of a couple of downs before reinjuring his bad shoulder and was lost for the year. Later, former starter, Chad Henne, suffered an injured leg and appears to be lost for some weeks if not for the year. This left third-string QB, Tyler Thigpen, who played well in relief. Hopefully, he continues to do so, as he is going to be the main guy for the Dolphins behind center for the forseeable future. That's it and that's all for now...on to week 10.


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