Michael Vick has been a household name for years. People followed him closely through his college career at Virginia Tech, when he was drafted with the #1 overall pick by the Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft, his streaky attempts at being the dominant player in fantasy football we knew he could be, through his untimely demise off the field. People know who he is without caring about football, and that can be a good or bad thing. The reason he is known is for the most heinous acts, and unfortunately, will be talked about alongside his football career throughout the rest of his life. But after his hiatus from football, Michael Vick returned, and came back into our lives, and on a Monday Night, November 15th, 2010, he showed us what he was always capable of.
When Vick came back from being in prison, he was given a chance with the Eagles, but not as a starter. He was not given the opportunity to start until Week 2 of 2010 when starter Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion. He performed well in his first two games as a starter, but suffered an injury in week 4 which sidelined him until week 8, where he had a decent-but not spectacular-game. The real fireworks would have to wait until the next week, on the biggest stage, Monday Night Football against Washington.
The Eagles received the opening kickoff and were positioned on their own 12 yard line. The first play from scrimmage went something like this:
Michael Vick pass complete deep middle to DeSean Jackson for 88 yards, touchdown.
The play was simple enough; fake handoff to the running back, Vick rolls left, throws a bomb to Desean Jackson. Vick threw the ball at his own 4 and Jackson caught it at the Washington 35 which is an insane 61 yard pass THROUGH THE AIR!! People danced in the streets; babies laughed. And all the fantasy football fans that had held onto Vick through the injury and started him that night were erupting with delight for the quickest 7 points you can get in standard leagues. Little did they know at the time but Vick was going to give them far more to be happy about.
Washington got the ball, went 3-and-out and punted it back to the Eagles. 4 plays later this happened:
Michael Vick right end for 7 yards, touchdown
The fantasy players starting him that week came to a realization at this point: Vick was going to have a historic game and they were going to win their matchup.
The fantasy players who were facing him or that benched him that week had a different thought, “Now, where did I put that gun?”
Vick always had the skill set to go off on any given week with his strong arm and rushing ability but it never truly clicked to the extent we all wanted. However, this didn’t stop him from being a top 5 pick for years.
By halftime Vick added 2 more passing TDs (one to McCoy and another on an absolute perfect pass and incredible catch by Maclin) and a rushing TD. The second half was quieter-he only threw one TD to Jason Avant.
When the clock read 00:00, the final score was Eagles 59 – Washington 28, and this was Vick’s scoring line:
That comes to a delicious total of 49.32 fantasy points, making the devoted Vick starters forget all about the off-the-field issues, and Vick benchers wish he was still in prison.
Vick went on to a pretty good 2010 career but, like his entire career, the injury bug bit him again and again, aggravating any person who owns stock in him. There is a reason people drafted him even with all the injury questions. That reason was that he could go for fifty at any moments notice.
Vick never fully lived up to his expectations but on that November night-now known as the Monday Night Massacre-Vick showed not only the Eagles that they made the right choice by trading McNabb (the QB for the Redskins this game who threw 3 picks against his former team), but every owner that pledged their allegiance that he, if healthy, is the most dangerous QB in the league.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more Great Moments in Fantasy Football History.