All of which is what made Sunday at Cleveland Stadium so interesting. Vick's game was horrendous. After he threw his fourth interception of the day, and it was returned for a touchdown, the Eagles were trailing the bedraggled Browns by a 16-10 score.
It was the moment, he said in retrospect - and after leading the game-winning touchdown drive - that he moped a little, and his teammates saw it, and he worried about losing what he had worked so hard to build up.
"The last possession, I just knew it was do-or-die," Vick said. "My teammates, they all just had a sudden look in their eyes, as if they were wondering what was wrong with my attitude. Why was I hanging my head? They had never seen me like that before. But I just felt like I let them down.
"It will never happen again, regardless of what the game dictates. That last drive, it was just putting it all together. I wasn't going to disappoint my coaches. I wasn't going to disappoint my teammates. Even though we had to go 90 yards for the score, whatever it took, I was going to get it done."
And so begins the story of 2012. The Eagles won the game, 17-16, and managed to scare everybody to death in the process. Vick really looked bad at times - physically beaten up early, and then throwing this incomprehensible string of interceptions, one worse than the next, one of them even into triple coverage.
He is not that bad, and that is the truth - but he was that bad on Sunday, and that also is the truth. After playing only a dozen snaps in the exhibition games because of injuries, and then rejecting the notion that he would be rusty, Vick was perfectly oxidized. He threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but the interceptions overshadowed all. He seemed to laser in on his targets to the point where he could not see anything else.
Vick was not helped by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's pass-heavy play-calling - and Eagles coach Andy Reid went out of his way to say that they should have run more early in the game, even after LeSean McCoy fumbled on his first carry of the season. The result was Vick, throwing picks, seemingly lost.
After the fourth one, which put the Eagles in a fourth-quarter hole, the sideline made for a fascinating tableau. Vick hung his head. Rookie backup Nick Foles, who spent the afternoon carrying a football and wearing a baseball cap, stood motionless on the sideline near midfield. And then there was Reid, who went for a walk along the sideline, away from his team, away from everybody, and seemed to have a good, long think. He said he was not considering going to Foles.
"I just thought [Vick] had to work through it," Reid said. "He's our quarterback, so you've got to do that. The game is fast and it picks up off of the preseason, and he didn't have any preseason. This was an important game for him to get in and play, endure and tough it out, which he did. That's what you saw."
They won it at the end with a more balanced attack and with more of a no-huddle look on the last drive. Now they have a week to try to figure out where Vick is.
"Not playing in the preseason, playing enough, as a veteran I thought I would have that natural feel of the game," Vick said. "But you can't really simulate it in practice because it doesn't count. If you just have a chance to be out on that field, and play this game, it's different and it's special. I realized today how special it is, and how honored and privileged I am to be able to play in this league. And I never take it for granted . . .
"The thing I have to do is continue to get better. I know I can keep the turnovers down. I've just got to play within the system. That's what my coach tells me all the time - not try to do too much. Sometimes, I do that."
Then he said, more than once, that he had to "get out of Cleveland." Everybody laughed. They live in a survive-and-advance world, and the Eagles survived, and that is the ultimate truth. As for Vick, despite how bad this was, his ultimate truth has yet to be written.
Contact Rich Hofmann at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @theidlerich. Read his blog at philly.com/TheIdleRich, or for recent columns go to philly.com/RichHofmann.