Michael Vick Talks About Leadership and Taking Big Hits

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Kubiak: Michael Vick "Playing As Good As Anybody I’ve Seen In NFL"

Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak was asked after his team's 34-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles about what his plan had been to handle Michael Vick. Kubiak seemed at a loss…

"Well, it’s easy to have a plan against him, it’s hard to execute. The bottom line, I mean, we’d like to keep him in the pocket, make him throw the football. But even when you’ve got him there, he still finds a way to get out and make plays. This young man is playing as good as anybody I’ve seen play in the National Football League, and I’ve been doing it for a while. He’s special. We just tried to contain him, but obviously he still had a big night and he’s been doing it against a lot of people. We had a couple chances for turnovers, you know, he gave us a lot opportunities that we just didn’t take advantage of."

Vick finished the night with 302 yards passing, 48 yards rushing, and three total TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing). It was Vick’s third 300-yard passing game of the season and fifth game with a QB rating over 100.

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McCoy: Andy Reid's Postgame Tirade In Chicago Inspired Team

According to Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, Andy Reid reamed the team out after their lackluster performance against the Chicago Bears. McCoy said that jist was that team seemed to be believing its own press a bit too much. He said the tirade helped inspire their victory against the Texans.

“Yeah, as long as I have been there, I have never seen Coach like that. We are a team and nothing is bigger than this team. I think we got to pick it up. I think we had a swagger and instead of going out and proving it every Sunday, we kind of let the people tell us this and tell us that. That is what he let us know. I think we proved it after being down and battling back. I think tonight was good for us.”

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Eagles Vs Texans: Michael Vick's Postgame Press Conference

Michael Vick had yet another outstanding game last night, this time against the hapless Houston Texans defense. While he did do some damage against Houston’s secondary, their font seven did put some hits on Vick.

“There are a lot of games like this. You get knocked around a couple times, you get put in the position that you almost have to come back and score. You find out a lot about yourself playing this game. Times that you think you can’t do it, there’s something always in the back of your mind saying ‘Yes, you can.’ That’s what drives me, that’s what motivates me. The opportunity at achieving greatness is what I strive for.”

Vick was asked whether he’s ever taken as many big hits as he has his season.

“Like I said before, I’m used to taking hits. It’s not that bad. They may look harder than what they seem but it’s not that bad. If I take one and I lay down, then I took a good one. I’m a pretty tough guy I feel like for the most part so I try to bounce back whenever I can.”

Finally, Vick talked about getting more vocal when they lost the lead in the third quarter.

“When you get down and you know you should be winning the game by more points than what you have, then instinctively you just step up as a leader. That’s my job. My job is to rally, motivate, to push these guys as hard as I can just as much as I’ve pushed myself. So with that said, you just got to not put yourself in that position and not make this game harder than what this is.”

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Michael Vick Leads Eagles Over Texans 34-24

Michael Vick led a fourth quarter comeback to lead the Philadelphia Eagles over the Houston Texas 34-24 on Thursday Night Football. If the Giants or Bears had set out a blueprint for how to slow the Eagles offense a bit, the Texans either didn’t get it or couldn’t execute it as Vick lit them up for 302 yards passing, 48 yards rushing, and three total TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing). It was Vick’s third 300 yard passing game of the season and fifth game with a QB rating over 100.

LeSean McCoy was the other offensive star with 130 yards from scrimmage and two TDs. DeSean Jackson, who had underwhelmed the past couple games, caught three passes for 84 yards.

As good as the Eagles offense was, the defense was almost that bad. The Eagles had built a 10 point lead at the half, but the defense just melted down in the third quarter giving up 14 straight points and surrendering the lead. The two Texans drives in that quarter went for a combined 24 plays and over 12 minutes. It was excruciating to watch the Texans move methodically down the field toward the red zone, where they’d inevitably score against the league’s worst red zone defense. Vick and the offense bailed them out in this game, but we can’t gloss over the fact that there’s real problems on that side of the ball. Any win in December is good, but if we want to win some games in January the defense simply needs to be better.

Next up for the Eagles is a 10 day rest then a trip to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on Sunday Night football. After playing their 4th game in 17 days tonight, it’ll be a much needed rest for this Eagles team. Notes on the game after the jump.

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Eagles Vs Texans: Eagles Up 20-10 At The Half

Trevor Laws got his first career interception on the Texans second to last drive to set the Eagles up with great field position with two minutes left in the half. However, both Jason Avant and Brent Celek flat out dropped would be TD passes from Michael Vick. They settled for a David Akers FG to extend their lead to 20-10

So far tonight Michael Vick is playing well going 15-22 with 180 yards and a TD. He’s also rushed for 34 yards. LeSean McCoy has two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground. David Akers has drilled two field goals.

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Thursday Night Football: LeSean McCoy's Second TD Makes It 14-3 Eagles

The Eagles offense marched down the field with ease for their second TD in as many drives to take a 14-3 first quarter lead. LeSean McCoy capped off the 11 play 72 yard drive with a 4 yard TD run.

Both of the Eagles drives tonight have been 11 plays and gone for over 70 yards. Michael Vick is 9-11 for 113 yards and a TD already. This could get very ugly very quick if the Texans don’t start scoring points. Their much maligned defense doesn’t appear to have made the trip..

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Thursday Night Football: Asante Samuel Inactive For Eagles Tonight

The Eagles have made it official. Asante Samuel is inactive for tonight’s game against the Houston Texans. Joselio Hanson will get his second straight start in his place.

Also inactive for the Eagles: Cooper, Hughes, Howard, Parker, Well, Mills & Kafka (3rd QB)

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Thursday Night Football: Five Questions With Houston Texans Insider

The 7-4 Philadelphia Eagles face the 5-6 Houston Texans in a prime time Thursday night matchup on the NFL Network. To learn a little more about the Texans, we spoke with Tim from the great Texans community Battle Red Blog. You can find my responses to his questions over there.

I always take a quick look at the offensive and defensive rankings to see if anything jumps out about the next week's opponent. Obviously for the Texans it's the pass defense. Is it as bad as it looks?

BRB: No, it's not as bad as it looks. It's worse. The numbers don't do the futility justice on their own, so one of our writers has been keeping track of the 2010 Houston defense from a historical perspective. The secondary is truly as bad as anything you'll ever see; every DB has taken his turn in the barrel, and any one of them is capable of getting torched by the Eagles. I'd better move on to the next question before I start pounding Clorox and chasing it with Windex.

The Texans had a solid start to the season, but since the bye the wheels have seemed to come off. What do you attribute that to?

BRB: Until last week's surprising shutout, the Texans defense had not held any opponent to under 24 points this season, so I don't think it's entirely fair to say the wheels were screwed on tight before the bye week. In terms of the offense, there have been instances where it's seemed like Gary Kubiak and/or Rick Dennison have failed to utilize Arian Foster as much as they could have. Additionally, there's the schedule itself. Since the bye, Houston played at Indianapolis, hosted the Chargers, traveled to Jacksonville, and tangled with the Jets in New Jersey before hosting the Titans last week. In all likelihood, that's a run of playing three AFC playoff teams, two of which were on the road; that's nothing to sneeze at. Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the Texans have suffered through some amazingly bad bounces. A ball bouncing off Andre Johnson's knee into the arms of Paul Oliver in the red zone on what would have been a potentially game-winning drive. The ridiculous misplaced bat-down by Glover Quin on the Hail Mary in Jacksonville. The Jets marching 72 yards in 49 seconds, with no timeouts left, to score a game-winning touchdown after the Texans scored 20 unanswered points to take the lead. Those things happened over the course of three consecutive weeks. What are the odds?

That is actually some amazingly bad luck and a hell of a tough schedule.

The line on this game started with the Eagles favored by seven. It's now jumped up to as high as 9.5. Do you think that's a fair assessment of the gap between these two teams or will this game be much closer?

BRB: Given that we're talking about the Texans playing the Eagles, in Philadelphia, in December, at night...I have absolutely no problem with the line. While it's possible the Texans' offense scores enough to stay in the game, and it's not outside the realm of possibility they shock us all, let me put it this way: I wouldn't take the Texans at +7 or even +9.5.

How much of an effect do you think the absurdly short week plus a cross country flight will have on the Texans. I imagine you guys have to be a bit miffed at the schedule makers?

BRB: It could be worse, I guess; at least Houston was home last weekend, and Philly is closer than, say, Buffalo. It surely gives the Eagles an advantage, but it's not like you guys are coming off a bye; you played last Sunday, too. Besides, looking ahead, playing Thursday night does give the Texans extra time to rest before the Ravens come to town for Monday Night Football on December 13th.

What Texan who we might not have heard of before Thursday night is going to surprise us?

BRB: Fantasy football owners know all about what kind of season Arian Foster is having, so he hardly qualifies as a surprise. Still, even if you've been keeping up with his stats, he's a treat to watch play live; his vision and balance are incredible. In terms of a guy you may not have heard of, keep an eye out for Joel Dreessen. He's done a fine job filling in for Owen Daniels, and Matt Schaub seems comfortable going to him. The tight end can play a big role in Houston's offense, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Dreessen get his share of targets tomorrow night.

I have no doubt Joel Dreesen will have a career night.

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Eagles Vs Texans: Matt Schaub Knows Eagles Fans, Because He Grew Up One

Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub was born in Pittsburgh, but he went to high school in West Chester, PA and grew up rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and attending games at the Vet. He talked this week about heading to Philadelphia to play in front of the crowd he was once a part of.

“It’s a tremendous atmosphere up there,” he said. “Growing up an Eagles fan and going to the Vet to watch the games, [they have] the best fans hands-down in the country. Definitely down here in Houston, we have some great ones. But up there in Philly, it’s going to be a raucous stadium and a fun atmosphere and we’re looking forward to it.”

That line about the Eagles having the hands down best fans in the country has to burn Texan fans a bit huh? But if anyone is qualified to judge, it’s Schaub.

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Eagles Vs Texans: Juqua Parker Ruled Out, Asante Samuel Questionable

Asante Samuel practiced for the third straight day today, but was once again limited with the MCL sprain in his knee. He is officially listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s game against the Houston Texans. Also questionable is WR Riley Cooper who has not practiced all week with a knee injury.

DE Juqua Parker has been ruled out for the second straight game. Rookie Brandon Graham will start in his place.

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Eagles Vs Texans: Brandon Graham Talks About Difficulties Of A Short Week

The Eagles face the Texans this Thursday night with only three days of rest. For rookies like DE Brandon Graham, a turnaround that quick is something they’ve never experienced before.

“No. Not at all. This is the first time. It’s not that bad. You’ve got to make sure you take care of your body. This is the time when you really start taking care of your body—making sure that you’re icing up, and just making sure you can stand strong because it’s going to be tough these next couple of weeks.”

Graham said he’s happy that they didn’t have to travel for this game.

“It feels good because we don’t have to get ready tomorrow and get on a plane. We can sit back and just get ready for the hotel and just get our minds right, because we’ve got, really, two days. And on that day of the game, we’ve still got a whole day to rest, so I’m just trying to get all the rest I can and just be ready.”

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Andre Johnson Fined $25,000 For On-Field Fist Fight, No Suspension

The NFL has fined Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan both fined $25,000 for their on field fist fight Sunday as the Houston Texans took on the Tennessee Titans. There was speculation that Johnson could be suspended for the ugly incident, especially considering he was a repeat offender who had been fined before, but the NFL decided against taking the star player out of Thursday night game on NFL Network.

One has to wonder whether the fact that NFL airs the next Texans game played any factor in their decision to not suspend Johnson. The NFL had previously fined Richard Seymour the same amount for smacking Ben Roethlisberger in the helmet last week, but that would seem to be a far cry from two players ripping off one another’s helmets and having a fist fight… Plus, these two players have already been previously fined for on the field tussles with one another. Clearly those fines did nothing to deter them from not only repeating it, but upping the violence to a much greater level. So the NFL thinks that more fines are going to stop this from happening again?

This isn’t about Johnson playing against the Eagles. Let him appeal and be suspended for the following game, I don’t really care. I honestly don’t understand how the NFL doesn’t treat two players without helmets punching one another in the head more severely. Surely, that’s worse for the game than a defender who inadvertently making contact with an offensive players’ helmet or a pregame tweet… If a guy wears the wrong socks he’s hit with a $5,000 fine, but if he rips off a guy’s helmet and punches him in the face it’s only $25,000? Seems a little off to me.

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