Michael Vick had just scored after another dazzling run against the Redskins when Eagles fans at a local sports bar began chanting: "M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!" It was a far cry from what Vick was being called a few years ago.
His career and life were in ruins. He was broke, reviled and relegated to being a situational No. 3 quarterback after serving 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring. Now he's on top again, playing maybe better than ever, and just in time to become perhaps the biggest free agent on the market next year.
Vick might have had the best all-around game by a quarterback in NFL history Monday night against Washington. He threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 80 yards and two scores in Philadelphia's 59-28 victory.
"I thought what he did was disgusting, but the guy paid his dues and deserves a second chance," said Shaun Young, an 18-year season ticket holder who was inducted into the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association's Hall of Fame last year in Canton, Ohio.
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"He's playing incredible. I respect people's opinions that don't like him, but isn't this world based on second chances?"
Since signing with the Eagles in August 2009, Vick has been a model citizen off the field, working with the Humane Society of the United States and speaking to school and community groups about the cruelty of dogfighting.
On the field, Vick has been downright spectacular, even more so than when he was a superstar with the Falcons.
"I feel like I'm playing the best football only because of the coaches that I have, the guys I'm playing with," he said.
Vick has made the Eagles (6-3) an instant contender when they were supposed to be rebuilding. They're 4-0 in games that he's started and finished and are tied with the Giants for first place in the NFC East.
Despite missing three games with a rib injury, he has passed for 1,350 yards and 11 TDs and rushed for 341 yards and four TDs. He hasn't thrown an interception or lost a fumble, and his passer rating of 115.1 leads the NFL.
Cards sign ex-Cat Smith
Former Kentucky running back Alfonso Smith was signed to the Cardinals practice squad Tuesday after the team placed offensive tackle Brandon Keith on injured reserve. Smith, an undrafted rookie, was cut by Arizona after training camp. At UK, Smith ran for 262 yards and two touchdowns in his senior season.
Steelers cut Reed
The Steelers cut Jeff Reed, who began the season as one of the 10 most accurate kickers in NFL history but has been erratic all season. Reed, the Steelers' kicker since the middle of the 2002 season, will be replaced by former Redskins and Cowboys kicker Shaun Suisham. He was worked out by the Steelers on Tuesday at Heinz Field, where Reed missed a 26-yarder against the Patriots on Sunday. Reed missed seven of 22 attempts this season, including all four of his attempts between the 40- and 49-yard lines.
Around the league
Browns: Brett Ratliff became Cleveland's odd quarterback out for the second time Tuesday. The Browns waived the veteran in one of several moves on a busy day off for the club. The team also waived punter Dave Zastudil, who had been on injured reserve with a knee injury, placed starting offensive guard Billy Yates on injured reserve with a biceps injury and signed defensive back Eric King and kick returner Clifton Smith.
Dolphins: Quarterback Tyler Thigpen took practice snaps running the offense for the first time this season Tuesday, while Chad Henne sat out the team's only workout in preparation for Thursday night's game against the Bears. Thigpen is likely to make his first NFL start since 2008, when he was with Kansas City.
Vikings: Defensive tackle Pat Williams said Tuesday he plans to play "a couple more years." Williams, 38, is the oldest defensive player in the NFL. He has spoken about contemplating retirement the past few off-seasons. But while visiting a local children's hospital on Tuesday, Williams said he wants to play next season, and possibly more.
"I'll play," Williams said. "I'm still feeling good; I'm still playing good."
Williams is in the last year of his contract with the Vikings and said he would like to return to Minnesota.
Panthers: Unsure of Jimmy Clausen's status because of a concussion, Carolina promoted quarterback Brian St. Pierre from the practice squad Tuesday.
Giants: New York signed Derek Hagan to replace receiver Ramses Barden, who was put on injured reserve Tuesday.