It was basically a fact heading into Week 15 that the top two candidates for the National League Most Valuable Player are New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady and Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick.
Almost everybody had Brady first and Vick second. (A few threw in guys like Philip Rivers or Matt Ryan.)
And almost everybody agreed that Brady had the MVP race all but wrapped up.
But hold on one minute.
You know how one game can drastically change the MVP race? That’s exactly what happened today.
After an incredible series of events in the fourth quarter of today’s Eagles-Giants game, we have had a drastic change in the MVP race.
As of right now, Michael Vick is the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League.
In today’s Eagles game, he rallied his troops down from a 21-point deficit in the final eighth of the game.
He hit tight end Brent Celek for a 65-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining, cutting the deficit to 31-17.
The Eagles succeeded with a surprise onside kick. Vick hit Jackson for 13 yards, scrambled for 35, and ran for a 4-yard touchdown on 3rd and goal. 31-24 Giants.
On the final drive, Vick ran twice for 55 yards, and completed 3 passes for 33 yards, including a game-tying touchdown to Jeremy Maclin with 1:16 remaining. 31-31.
For the game, Vick completed 21 of 35 passes for 242 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. He also rushed 10 times for 130 yards and a touchdown.
In the final eight minutes of the game, Vick completed 6 of 11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed 4 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. He marched the Eagles down the field in the final three minutes without the benefit of a single timeout.
And he did it with enough time on the clock for a brilliant defensive stand and a miracle finish by DeSean Jackson.
In all, Vick accounted for 217 yards of offense and three touchdowns in the final eight minutes, with the Eagles’ season on the line.
He just refused to let the Eagles die. Absolutely would not back down.
Never in my life have I seen more of a one-man show. Never.
Tom Brady can’t do that. He could lead a comeback, maybe even a 21-point comeback if needed.
But Tom Brady cannot run for 33 yards on 3rd and 10 with a failing offensive line. He won’t keep the ball and dart four yards for a touchdown up the middle.
Tom Brady is all about precision and passing. His legs are quietly ignored.
If a quarterback receives credit for running, he should receive the blame for not being able to run. Like Tom Brady.
Michael Vick has rushed 92 times for 613 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
He’s completed 208 of 329 passes for 2755 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
For the season, Vick has produced 3368 yards of total offense on 421 plays (8.00 yards per play). He’s accounted for 28 touchdowns and just six turnovers.
This season, Brady has completed 284 of 425 passes for 3398 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.
Brady has rushed 28 times for 17 yards and a touchdown, and he has lost a fumble.
He’s accounted for 3415 yards of offense on 453 plays (7.53 yards per play). He’s accounted for 30 touchdowns and five turnovers.
These numbers are virtually identical to Vick’s, with a slight edge to Vick in yards per play and a slight edge to Brady in touchdown-to-turnover ratio.
Vick hasn’t had a bad game this season. His WORST passer rating is 83.0. He has led the Eagles to 26 or more points in every single game this season.
The Eagles’ offense has scored 323 points in the 9.75 games with Vick as quarterback (33.1 per game).
Vick is 8-1 in complete game starts, plus he almost won the Packers game in relief.
Vick has also led four fourth-quarter comebacks this season.
He led the Eagles to a winner-takes-first victory against the Giants on Sunday Night Football last month. He brought the Eagles back against the Houston Texans in a must-win game on Thursday Night Football. And he helped keep the Eagles in first against the Dallas Cowboys with a comeback on Sunday Night Football.
And then there was today, when the Eagles became the first team in NFL history to win in regulation after trailing by at least 21 points in the final half of the final quarter.
Tom Brady has led the Patriots to an 11-2 record, the best in the AFC.
But he hasn’t led a fourth quarter comeback this season. He can’t extend countless plays with his feet. He has a very stable offensive line.
He doesn’t have to turn into a one-man show. He’s never finished a game beaten and battered from hit after hit after hit.
Tom Brady is a fantastic quarterback. He is a better quarterback than Michael Vick.
But he’s not more valuable than the NFL’s most exciting, electrifying, and dangerous NFL player.
Nobody in the National Football League is more valuable than Michael Vick.