Falcons' top plays: Vick closes vs. Vikings
July, 7, 2014
By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in Atlanta Falcons history. In the next two days, we'll feature Alfred Jackson's tipped-ball catch of a pass from Steve Bartkowski for a touchdown and Morten Anderson's 38-yard field goal to beat the Minnesota Vikings and send the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.
Score: Falcons 30, Vikings 24
Date: Dec. 1, 2002 Site: Metrodome
Michael Vick's time with Atlanta ended in controversy and a messy divorce, Vick still left behind plenty of lasting memories through six seasons.
One of those most memorable incorporated his most dangerous weapon: his legs. He made a statement with his running through four quarters of this Week 13 matchup in 2002, but Vick had one last point to prove as the Falcons faced second-and-8 from the Vikings' 46-yard line in overtime.
The crafty left-handed quarterback made a play-action fake, then sprinted left with the ball while loosely holding it in his left hand. As he turned the corner and blew by two linebackers, Vick cut back inside, tucked the ball and squeezed through another pair of defenders as they collided. He outraced two defensive backs down the middle for the game-winning score.
As his teammates surrounded him in celebration, Vick fired the ball in the air to punctuate the game-winning moment. He kept running, straight to the locker room. Then-Vikings head coach Mike Tice, now the Falcons offensive line coach, walked to midfield obviously distraught over what just hit him. It was a play Falcons fans won't soon forget, which is why it's on the list of top plays in team history.
Vick finished with 173 rushing yards on just 10 carries. His yardage, at the time, was the most by a quarterback since the 1970 merger. The previous mark was 127 yards by Bobby Douglas of the Chicago Bears. In the overtime win, Vick accounted for 346 of the Falcons' 379 total yards.