Do or Die: Why Michael Vick's Performance on Sunday Is Potentially Worth 20 Million Dollars

By Bryn Swartz

On Sunday, the Eagles host the Green Bay Packers in a game that has already been decided.

Just listen to the radio, watch TV, and read what all the experts say.

In fact, I went through ESPN, CBSSports, and Sports Illustrated. 20 of the 27 experts picked the Packers. 7 picked the Eagles.

They all say the same thing… The Eagles offense won’t be able to get past Green Bay’s dominant defense, and the Packers will advance to the divisional round.

Again, I’m not denying that Green Bay is a tough team (very tough) but I’m surprised that nobody else thinks the Eagles are too.

For the Eagles to win, they will definitely need quality play from their offense. And like most teams, it begins with the quarterback.

Michael Vick’s performance against the Packers on Sunday will make or break the Eagles. Without a doubt.

I don’t see how the Eagles could win if Vick plays poorly. And I don’t think the Eagles will lose if Vick has a great game.

If Vick does not fumble at all, I think the Eagles win. If he doesn’t throw an interception, the Eagles win. And if he doesn’t commit a turnover, the Eagles definitely win.

If he throws a pick and loses a fumble, we lost. I think one turnover is the most the Eagles can stand on Sunday.

Michael Vick is not just playing to win the game on Sunday.

He’s playing for Michael Vick, specifically for a contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Despite the incredible MVP-caliber season he has had, the Eagles will not be a guarantee to lock up Vick if he plays poorly on Sunday.

That’s the cruel reality of football. You can be a great regular season quarterback but if you can’t get the job done in the postseason, you’re just another Tony Romo.

If Vick completes half his passes, throws a pick, loses a fumble, and the Eagles lose 28-17 on Sunday, everything changes. Everything.

All of a sudden he’s just a 31-year old quarterback (by the start of next season) looking for a contract, and more importantly, a team.

I’m not saying I think the Eagles will get rid of Vick if he plays poorly. I would be surprised if he wasn’t the starting quarterback for the Eagles next season.

But the Eagles do have a backup quarterback who has been studying the offense for four years now. A 26-year old quarterback with little toll on his body. A guy who has been named Offensive Player of the Week two times in five career starts.

If Vick is ineffective on Sunday, Kevin Kolb will be a lot more of an option for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.

And Vick’s value will drop significantly.

Instead of a four-year, $80 million contract extension, he might get three years, $45 million. That’s five million less per season, twenty million less over four seasons.

I’m not at all implying that Vick only cares about money. I’m just suggesting that the amount of money he receives will be tremendously affected by how well he plays in the postseason.

The next one, two, three, or four games for Michael Vick are without a doubt the biggest of his career.

It starts with the Green Bay Packers in less than two days.

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