The 2010-11 National Football League season has been filled with unpredicted results. Many underdog teams have drawn favorable results against top teams, winning in very convincing ways.
That being said, many top teams have also taken care of on-field business. They have beaten teams they’re supposed to beat without much of a competition.
One of the surprises of the season has been Michael Vick.
You might remember him as the immature quarterback turned ex-convict for running an illegal dog-fighting ring in his home state of Virginia.
Football experts and fans wrote Vick off the minute he was caught doing what he did.
I will be one to say that Vick deserves the NFL Most Valuable Player award.
Now wait: Before readers start bashing me for supporting an ex-con who was convicted for horrible crimes, give me a chance to support my argument.
There is a new Vick in town. A person nobody has seen before, and judging by those skeptics who still exist, one they don’t even want to see.
Vick was always an incredible athlete. He’s had good arm strength and has completed more than half of his career passes. This is a great statistic considering that he is a rushing quarterback, as opposed to a passing quarterback like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.
So what’s different today? Well, here is what’s different.
1. Level of play — Vick has significantly increased his level of production on the field. He is running the most dangerous offense in the game, one that is averaging 399.4 yards a game with 28.4 points per game. At this rate, they are on pace to score 457 points and gain 6,404 yards; both numbers would shatter team records. The 2004 team that went to the Super Bowl scored 386 points, and that was Donovan McNabb’s best statistical year. That team went 13-3 and still had a very explosive running back in Brian Westbrook and Terrell Owens, who caught for 1,200 yards with 77 receptions. Vick is not the selfish player who wanted to do everything, in Atlanta because he now has several young talented players who know the playbook. He frequently passes for 40 yards or more while still making 20-yard runs. His comeback was cemented in the beast of a game he had at Washington. Vick became the first player to record 300 yards passing (333), four TDs passes and two rushing scores, and 50 yards rushing (80) in the same game. Please tell me when Manning and Brady had that kind of game.
2. He did his time — Vick spent almost two years in the can. With his freedom taken away, he could no longer be the high-profile athlete who gets away with anything. He lost endorsements, salary and respect — he lost it all. The invincibility factor was taken away, and guess what? Nobody is above the law.
3. He’s mature — This one ties into the previous item because it’s the primary reason why he’s a changed man. Vick told Bob Costas before Sunday’s game against the Giants that the lack of freedom is what made him re-evaluate his life. He even went on to say he feels like he cheated the Falcons by not always giving his all in games. Ever since getting out of jail, Vick has done charity work, community service and, most importantly, has stayed out of trouble. He no longer sounds like the immature 22-year-old of years back. He’s even been praised by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who said he’s proud of all the right things Vick has done since being released from jail. Goodell even went as far to say that he’s in frequent contact with Vick, offering guidance and encouragement. Vick hasn’t crossed any lines and has kept a clean conduct since being reinstated.
According to Yahoo Sports football experts, Vick is a favorite to win the MVP ahead of players like Manning and Brady, and that was through six games before he beat the Giants. Fact is, he has outplayed them, and in a very convincing manner.
His quarterback rating of 108.7 trumps the rest of the bunch by whole points and his multiple-dimension style gives him so many weapons. He has outplayed all serious competition, has been a model athlete and finally has the respect of his team and its fans.
The probability of a comeback was shot down and many gave him no chance. Bottom line is, he is the best player out there right now, whether you like Vick or not.