Michael Vick has game of his life in Philadelphia's rout of Redskins

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Start the highlight tape in 1994, when the kid was a 14-year-old Ferguson High freshman, a revelation in cleats. Cue the drive at West Virginia, the overtime at Minnesota, the playoff victory at Lambeau.

Michael Vick played 33 Peninsula District football games and 22 at Virginia Tech. He's appeared in 96 as a pro, including four in postseason.

Never was he better than Monday night.

In fact, few quarterbacks have ever been better, more complete, more are-you-kiddin'-me spectacular than Vick was in leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 59-28 destruction of the Washington Redskins.

"You watch a player like that dominate a game and you're like, 'Man, this is unbelievable,' " Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson told the team's website.

On the first play from scrimmage, Vick arched a perfect deep ball to Jackson, who turned the catch into an 88-yard touchdown.

The carnage was on as Vick became the first quarterback in NFL history to amass 300-plus passing yards, four touchdown passes, 50-plus rushing yards and two running scores in one game.

Vick threw long and short with deft touch. His intermediate routes were lasers that just eluded befuddled defenders.

Oh, and his legs. Even at age 30 and after more than a year in the hoosegow, Vick is the quickest and fastest quarterback on the planet.

Despite sloppy conditions, his speed foiled a Redskins defense that attempted to corral him in the pocket with a spy. Washington safety LaRon Landry is among the best in the business, but Vick still had his way.

Vick's numbers: 20-for-28 passing for 333 yards and four scores, 80 yards rushing on eight carries and two touchdowns. He passed Hall of Famer Steve Young as the NFL's No. 2 all-time rushing quarterback with 4,315 yards and trails only Randall Cunningham's 4,928.

"I feel like I'm playing the best football (of my career) only because of the coaches that I have, because of the guys that I'm playing with," Vick said during his postgame news conference. "The offensive line is playing great, and I've got a great group of guys around me. … I could never envision this."

Nor could anyone else.

Vick began the season as an expensive — his base salary is $3.75 million, plus a $1.5 million roster bonus and $2.75 million in incentives, according to ESPN — backup to Kevin Kolb. Two-plus months later he's a bargain at twice the price.

Vick leads the NFL in passer rating, has the 6-3 Eagles tied atop the NFC East with the New York Giants, their opponent Sunday night, and is a plausible MVP candidate. He's the only starting quarterback without an interception, and Philadelphia is unbeaten in the four games he's started and finished.

Kolb, who sustained a concussion in the Eagles' opener against the Packers, can only watch and marvel with everyone else who appreciates outrageous play.

"What I'm seeing is a quarterback more inclined to stay in the pocket, to go through that progression and find No. 2 and No. 3 (receivers)," ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski told the team's website. "I think ultimately that's when you become a terrific quarterback."

More diligent and dedicated, Vick has progressed exponentially under coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Plus, receivers Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy give him more weapons than he enjoyed in Atlanta.

Reid was typically and wisely understated after a game in which his team gained a franchise-record 592 yards and humiliated a division rival that inexplicably awarded its rapidly aging quarterback, former Eagle Donovan McNabb, a five-year contract extension.

"I'm proud of him, first of all," Reid said of Vick. "He did a nice job out there. He led our football team on the offensive side the way you're supposed to lead it. … He was in charge out there."

Reid realizes that praise should be tempered until winter's chill, when playoff bids and championships are determined. That's certainly the case for Vick, who becomes a free agent at season's end and whose style always has been high-risk, high-reward.

Remember these rewards? Vick's 433 passing yards in his second game as a high school freshman? The frantic, last-second drive at West Virginia that preserved Virginia Tech's unbeaten regular season? His 46-yard overtime touchdown sprint to beat the Vikings in 2002? The playoff conquest of Brett Favre and the Packers later that season?

Add Monday night.

"I've had some great games in my day," Vick told reporters. "But I don't think I've had one quite like this."

David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at dteel@dailypress.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime, and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP.

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