And with that, we were back to the struggling offense and the fumbles.
It's interesting how feelings about Vick's abuse and killing of dogs, which caused him to serve a year-and-a-half in federal prison, seem to wax and wane with the Eagles' fortunes. At the end of the 2010 season, after Vick had taken the Eagles to the playoffs and gotten back to the Pro Bowl, Vick's horrific animal-abuse history seemed largely forgiven by Eagles fans.
Now, after a turnover-plagued year out of the playoffs and a frustrating, five-fumble, six-interception Vick start to the 2012 season, fans seem disillusioned and angry. That picture Vick tweeted last week of himself at the kitchen table, working on a tablet device while his daughter Jada did her homework, with an open Milk-Bones box in partial view, has become a focal point - more so, seemingly, in the wake of the Birds' 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh.
Certainly, some of the people objecting to the idea of Vick and dog ownership are among the group that never embraced Vick as the face of the Eagles franchise. For others, Vick's struggles on the field seem to have opened him up to criticism on any level. For reference, check out the comments under either of the blog postings on Philly.com dealing with this topic.
Vick's 3-year probation ended last summer, and along with it ended the prohibition on dog ownership. He has spoken several times about daughters Jada and London wanting a dog; 3 months ago, appearing on CNN to promote his new book, Vick was asked about dog ownership and his children. He said: "I can't take that dream away from them. That's selfish on my behalf. You know, so, gotta find a way to make it right and, you know, I put everything in God's hands to make it right."
Interviewer Piers Morgan asked Vick what kind of dog he would adopt. "I would let them [the children] pick it out. Certainly wouldn't be a pit bull," he said.
Eagles tight end Brent Celek is a dog lover, owner of a Bernese Mountain Dog. Celek said Wednesday he doesn't feel Vick's history disqualifies him.
"I've known a lot of people that have changed. I think Mike's one of them," Celek said. "For us to sit there and try to judge, to tell him he can't do a certain thing, I think is absolutely wrong."
Celek said having a dog was a big part of his childhood in Cincinnati, and he doesn't see why it shouldn't be for Vick's three children.
Vick took down the kitchen-table photo from Twitter and later replaced it with a cropped version that omitted the Milk-Bones box.
It might be harder to crop out Sunday's three fumbles (two lost) from the record of the Eagles' 16-14 loss to the Steelers. Vick has lost five fumbles this season and is the active leader among NFL fumblers, with 84 (39 lost) in his 10-year career.
Vick was asked Wednesday if he thinks teams will now approach tackling him differently.
"I expect everybody that gets close to me to be reaching for the football," he said. "It's totally my responsibility to take care of the ball and move on, especially for the sake of this football team. It's something I've got to get corrected. I set a goal for [eliminating] interceptions, and I've got to set another goal."
Vick seemed to be saying he should have gotten the fumbling problem fixed sooner.
"That's the least that I should be worrying about right now, at this point in the season," he said. "It's a situation I've created for myself, and I've definitely got to take care of it."
Running back LeSean McCoy said there is no set way to approach securing the football.
"Everyone's different," McCoy said. "A lot of guys . . . the way they carry it is different. Just don't fumble the ball. Myself, I carry the ball a little loosely - very loosely, I should say - until contact. It's something I've been doing for so long, I'm used to it. I get that feel when defenders are around."
Vick has seemed to lack that feel on several occasions this year.
"I'm more conscious of it late in a game when we're down and we can't have a turnover," McCoy said. "I tuck it a little more than usual."
After fumbling once a season his first 3 years in the NFL, McCoy lost a fumble in each of the first two games this season. Did he change his approach?
"Nothing different," said McCoy, who hasn't fumbled in the last three games. "I don't look at myself as a fumbler. I always feel like, certain guys made a good play on the ball . . . I didn't change anything. I've just been more conscious of it. I just played my regular game."
McCoy said nobody gave him any speeches about not fumbling during his struggles, and he would not presume to lecture Vick.
"You know how serious it is and how important it is. Mike's fine. He's our leader . . . We believe in him," McCoy said.
Coach Andy Reid, asked about Vick's fumbles, said: "He'll fix it. He'll get it taken care of."
Contact Les Bowen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LesBowen. For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' blog at eagletarian.com.