The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping that the end of the Michael Vick era is far off. Of course, Eagles fans like myself may be more impatient to bench or release Vick if his sloppy play continues for much longer. But if the next nail in the coffin comes against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14, it would make sense, since the Vick era began against the Lions as well.
Two years ago, the Kevin Koln era came to an end on Opening Day, and allowed Vick to make his first start with the Eagles against the Lions on Sept. 19, 2010. It was also his first start since his dog fighting ring was exposed, so no one really knew what to expect from him for 60 full minutes. However, he made a good first impression in Ford Field that afternoon.
Not only were the Eagles turnover free, Vick threw for two touchdowns, went 21-for-34 and completed to nine different receivers. The final score of 35-32 was misleading, since Philadelphia gave up 15 points in the final six minutes. Yet the Eagles wouldn't get into a habit of blowing fourth quarter leads until the next season.
But for this game, and for much of 2010, Vick was efficient and didn't give us heart attacks every time he threw or got hit. It was the first victory in a three-month stretch that made him the darling of Philadelphia - which we now see as the good old days.
Of course, the wear and tear that Vick would suffer through over the next two years hadn't affected him yet. And back in September 2010, the Lions were coming off a winless season and wouldn't become a playoff-caliber team yet. In many ways, Vick was eased into action at the beginning of his tenure.
Now the Lions can get revenge by bringing Vick closer to the end of his tenure in Philadelphia. Another game with two to three fumbles - especially in front of Eagles fans - would set him and Andy Reid up for a bye week of pure misery. Sadly, it would be a fitting way for things to come full circle.
When the Eagles last faced the Lions, Vick was nothing if not well rested and healthy, while Detroit was a historically pathetic franchise. But now the Lions are in considerably better shape than the quarterback - even with a 1-3 start to this season. If they can prove it by battering him and the Eagles around this time, then the end for Vick will look much closer than the beginning did in their last meeting.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
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