There’s plenty at stake for quarterback Michael Vick on Sunday, even as the Jets are pointed toward another year without a postseason appearance.
Vick could make a statement to be a starter next year with his play over the final seven games of the season. Whether that is in New York or not remains to be seen.
The end result was a loss, but Vick’s 105.7 QB rating last week was the highest for a Jets starting quarterback since Week 5 last year.
“I was very encouraged with the direction we can go in and how much we can progress,” Vick said. “I think the thing is for us not to regress. I understand what’s ahead of us, what we can continue to do to get guys involved and how we can kind of play off what happened last week. So, I’m very excited, having another opportunity, another shot, and just want to make the most of it.”
Vick emerged from the game banged up. He was knocked out of the game for one series in the fourth quarter after a shot to the head and suffered a foot injury as well. But he was able to practice in full on Wednesday and cleared the league’s concussion protocol on Sunday.
The Jets’ passing offense is last in the league and has scored the second fewest touchdowns through the air. Head coach Rex Ryan expects that to change under Vick.
“We do, absolutely. That’s where it is. We’ve got to find a way to get it in,” Ryan said. “Now, look, I’ve been around it where all of a sudden it can turn just like that, i.e. look at the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were like 30th in the league up until I think three weeks ago and now they’re scoring when they get down [in the red zone]. So things can turn, and hopefully they will for us as well.”
If Vick can do that and lead the Jets to a few wins, they could look at him as starter next year.
It’s up to Vick now to take the next step with the offense. He has another week of snaps with the first team to get comfortable with targets Eric Decker, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Kerley and Jace Amaro.
“You’re always comfortable when you get the first-team reps. Just getting my timing down with the guys and just trying to prepare hard each and every week,” Vick said. “Feeling good about the things that we got, so I just have got to keep working throughout the week.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.