Last week, Andy Reid said that Vick had been playing out of his mind. After yesterday’s four-touchdown performance, the coach might have to check his quarterback into an insane asylum.
“He played his heart out [yesterday],” Reid said. “I’m happy for him and this football team.”
Vick finished 17-of-31 for 291 passing yards and accounted for four touchdowns in a 28-3 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Vick is now 2-0 as the Eagles’ starter, leading the team to 80 points in his last 10 quarters. He also ran four times for 30 yards.
“I always thought I could be a starting quarterback in this league,” Vick said. “I just needed an opportunity and now I’m making the most of it.”
Vick once again took a beating behind the Eagles’ makeshift offensive line. He was only sacked three times, but absorbed 10 hits, including a blind side blast from former Eagles safety Sean Considine late in the third quarter. Vick got right back up and hit Brent Celek on a 15-yard screen pass. Two plays later, he scrambled for a 17-yard touchdown.
“He’s not a statue back there and we don’t want him to be a statue back there,” Reid said. “We want him to let his personality show a little bit.”
Vick connected with Jeremy Maclin for two scores, including a 45-yard bomb in the third and a 16-yard strike that capped a frenzied 2-minute drill to close the first half. Reid called the 53-yard drive a real “momentum builder.”
“[Vick is] putting the ball where it needs to be, and giving me an opportunity to make plays,” Maclin said. “That’s a credit to him.”
After the play, Vick celebrated by jumping on center Mike McGlynn and throwing up a No. 1 sign with his index finger.
“I’m having a lot of fun, it was a rough game,” Vick said.
In the first quarter, Vick hit DeSean Jackson in stride on a 61-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 7-0. Kevin Kolb, wearing a green Eagles visor, could only look on helplessly from the sideline.
“It was tough, but you have to go back and look at the situation,” Kolb said. “I’m happy with the way we played and very happy we came out of here with a ‘W.’”
With Vick pouring on points, the defense was free to attack the Jaguars at will. The much-maligned unit sacked David Garrard six times, led by two from Trent Cole, and limited Jacksonville to just three points and 184 yards of total offense.
“It can always be better,” defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. “This was a business trip for us. We came down here and played four solid quarters of football.”
Trevor Laws, Darryl Tapp, Juqua Parker and rookie Nate Allen also recorded sacks. Asante Samuel notched his first interception of the season. It marked the first time since the 2008 season opener that the Eagles held a regular-season opponent without an offensive touchdown.
“This is a tough pill to swallow,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. “It was really embarrassing out there.”
WELCOME BACK, DONOVAN
The circus is coming to town. After yesterday’s win, Eagles players wanted to downplay Donovan McNabb’s return to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday. But they know that no matter how hard they try, the atmosphere is going to be surreal.
“I’m not getting into that,” Michael Vick said, when asked about McNabb.
Safety Quintin Mikell said it would rival the return of Terrell Owens with Dallas in 2007 and even Brian Dawkins’ emotional visit with Denver last season.
“He [McNabb] was basically the face of the franchise for all those years and now he’s coming back within the division,” said Mikell, who was McNabb’s teammate for seven seasons in Philadelphia. “It’s going to be pretty crazy.”
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott wouldn’t give away any game plans, but admitted that he’d probably be texting St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
“We’ll see,” McDermott smirked.
Spagnuolo led the Rams to a 30-16 win over McNabb’s Washington Redskins on Sunday.