For a while it looked like he had never missed a game despite this being his first action in a month. He threw accurately on the run, and turned broken plays into big gains with his uncanny running availability.
He looked like the Michael Vick of old, and that is precisely why I suggested the Colts sign him when he was available last year. In the process, I angered many of the animal lovers in this community who read the Recorder regularly.
Folks, at the risk of saying I told you so, he is back, and while the Colts faithful would prefer to point to injuries for the loss, Michael Vick is THE reason the Colts came up short in Philadelphia and fell to the Eagles 26-24.
Philadelphia set the tone right off the bat when the Eagles LeSean McCoy rambled 62 yards before the Colts knew what hit them.
Vick then tossed a seven yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson and in less time than it takes to boil a three-minute egg, the Colts defense had laid one and Indianapolis was down 7-0 way too quickly.
On their initial offensive possession, Peyton Manning would deposit an interception in the hands of Asante Samuel (his old nemesis from New England) and when he returned the pick to the Colts 9 yard line, the Eagles were back in business and cashed in with a field goal to make it 10-0. The Colts offense again failed to move the ball effectively and was forced to punt, and when he got his hands back on the football, Vick proceeded to find DeSean Jackson for a 58 yard gain and yet another Eagles field goal to boost the lead to 13-0.
But the Colts would finally awaken and when Manning found Jacob Tamme for a 3 yard touchdown pass, the Colts had caught Philadelphia’s attention and trailed just 13-7. The Eagles would counter with yet another field goal, but would allow the Colts to march 80 yards in nine plays, culminating in a 6 yard touchdown scamper by Javarris James to trim the Eagles margin to just two points at 16-14. The Colts defense would hold the Eagles on their next possession and force them to punt, which allowed Manning and company just enough time to put Adam Vinatieri in position to nail a field goal just before halftime and the Colts strolled into the locker room at the half with an improbable one point lead.
The third quarter would find both offenses sputtering and David Akers fourth field goal of the day would give the Eagles the lead back at 19-17.
The final stanza would provide quite a bit more drama as Philadelphia had a touchdown pass to Brent Celek nullified due to offensive holding.
Vick would then take things into his own hands once again and after he found Jeremy Maclin for 22 yards, he would scamper 32 yards himself, setting up his own one yard touchdown plunge in the process, and increasing the Eagles lead to 26-17. The Colts showed no signs of wavering and while it took them 16 plays to cover the distance, they set up the possibility of a last minute victory with Javarris James’ second touchdown run of the game and trailed by just two points with just 1:52 left in the game. The Colts defense would then hold and return the ball to Manning with just 40 seconds left and no time outs remaining. But Manning once again would find one Asante Samuel waiting to pick him off for the second time and that allowed the Eagles to kneel and watch the clock expire, giving them their fifth victory of the year and dropping the Colts to 5-3 in the process.
NOTES: Michael Vick’s numbers were impressive as he completed 17 of 29 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, he also rushed 10 times for 74 yards and another touchdown. LeSean McCoy rushed 95 yards in 16 carries. DeSean Jackson added 109 pass receiving yards to go along with a touchdown of his own.
Peyton Manning would go 31 of 52 on the day for 294 yards but he threw two costly interceptions and was sacked three times.
Jacob Tamme enjoyed a productive day for the Colts by hauling in 11 receptions, which were good for 108 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles were whistled for 14 penalties, which resulted in 125 yards.
The Colts Austin Collie suffered a concussion in the first half and did not return to the game. While there has been a lot of discussion regarding head to head intentional hits in the NFL this year, the blow that sidelined Collie in my opinion was not a deliberate one and should not warrant action.
Pierre Garcon was blanketed by Amante Samuel all day and was not a factor.
The Colts need Garcon to get deep and make things happen if they are to have a shot in the second half of the season and reach the playoffs.
The Colts return to the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 14 to face the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. and can be seen on WISH-TV or on the radio at 97.1 FM or 1070 AM.
Danny Bridges, who thinks Michael Vick is still the real deal and will only get better as the season progresses, can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at Bridgeshd@aol.com.