The Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins played a record-setting game Monday in a National Football League (NFL) match-up. Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick had the best game of his career, in his second season after serving 19 months in federal prison on felony dog-fighting charges.
There was not much demand by NFL teams for Michael Vick's services after he was released from prison last year, with many teams fearing a backlash from fans over his cruelty to dogs. But Philadelphia decided to give him a contract and he served as a back-up quarterback to Eagles' veteran starter Donovan McNabb.
McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins before this NFL season, but Kevin Kolb was elevated to start for Philadelphia. After Kolb suffered a concussion in the first game of this season, Michael Vick got his chance to be the number-one signal-caller for the Eagles.
So it was ironic he had his best game, and one of the best ever by an NFL quarterback, against McNabb and the Redskins in a lopsided game Monday at Washington's home stadium.
On the Eagles first play, Vick threw an 88 yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. Philadelphia never trailed on the way to setting a team record for the most yards in a game, 592, and most points over two quarters, 45, in a 59-28 rout.
Vick compiled impressive statistics, including throwing for 413 yards, with four touchdown passes, and running eight times for 80 yards, including two dashes into the end zone. That put him in second place on the NFL's all-time list for rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,295, behind only former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham (4,928).
Vick said he felt very humbled when he was released from prison and wanted to live his life differently. He said he never would have envisioned achieving this kind of success at the beginning of last season when Philadelphia gave him a chance. "I feel like I am playing the best football only because of the coaches I have, because of the guys that I am playing with, the offensive line is playing great. I have got a great group of guys around me, so you know, it compliments me as well. Just as I am doing a great job out there, you know, those guys are doing their job, too," he said.
Vick's performance Monday made him the first player in NFL history to have at least 300 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid said he is proud of the way Vick played. "He led our football team on the offensive side the way that you are supposed to lead it. I think the guys rallied around him and really played well. He was in charge out there, so he did a nice job," he said.
Vick has not lost a fumble or thrown an interception all season.
The 59 points scored against Washington were the most ever allowed by a team coached by Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls when he was with the Denver Broncos.
The Eagles and the New York Giants, who clash Sunday, are tied for the NFL East Division lead.