On this day in Falcons history: Michael Vick becomes an icon

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For some Falcons fans, Michael Vick is the reason for their allegiance; he revolutionized how football is played on the professional level. In many instances, regardless of the respective loyalties, Mike Vick was many people’s favorite player. Before him, the mobile quarterback was defined as a pocket passer who had the athleticism to escape the pocket occasionally and make plays with his feet — Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, and Fran Tarkenton are a few names that come to mind. Vick changed it all.

Not one of the aforementioned dual-threat quarterbacks had the arm strength and pure athleticism that Vick did. With just a flick, he could hurl a football 70 yards down the field, but what was always most exciting was his ability to make defenders miss with his legs. He was the fastest player on the field at any given moment. On this day (December 1st), 19 years ago, Vick became an icon.

After being drafted first overall in 2001, Vick sat behind veteran Chris Chandler but took the reins over the following year. Atlanta started slowly that year with a 1-3 record through four weeks; however, Vick led the Falcons to seven straight wins bringing them into a Week 13 matchup with the Vikings sitting at 8-3. In that game, Vick became every little kid’s favorite player after that incredible run in overtime to end the contest.

Vick finished with 173 yards on the ground, which was an NFL record at that point. With the score tied at 24 in OT, Vick rolled out to his left, and the next image everyone watching saw was two Minnesota defenders tackling each other instead of the runner. Vick would waltz into the endzone in a bottom of the 9th, walk-off fashion. Vick is now forever known as one of the most electric players ever to strap it up.

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