NEW ORLEANS — Michael Vick and Drew Brees came into the NFL the same year.
Now, they're in the same predicament: trying to bail out two increasingly desperate teams, both teetering on the edge of collapse.
Brees has essentially become a one-man show for the New Orleans Saints (2-5), who are plagued by a historically leaky defense and anemic running game, not to mention the lingering effects of a bounty scandal.
For Vick, the stakes are even higher in Monday night's game at the Superdome. He's the face of the struggling Eagles (3-4), who have lost three straight games, and facing weekly questions about his job security.
If Vick fails to shine against the Saints — who are giving up 50 yards more per game than the next-worst team — embattled Philadelphia coach Andy Reid might have little choice except to change QBs, despite giving No. 7 a strong vote of confidence.
Things could be a lot better, Vick said. Not only myself but everybody on this team feels like there is more that they can do to help put us in position to be satisfied with our record. In this game, you just have to keep pushing and try to keep getting better every week.
Brees is having another stellar year statistically, ranking second in the league in yards passing, but there's no room for error. When he struggled last week against the Denver Broncos, the Saints were blown out 34-14.
I feel like we've gotten better every week with the exception of last week, Brees said. We just did not play up to our standard, certainly with the hype going into that game, and we were all hurt by it. But it also lights a fire within all of us that we don't want that to be the lasting memory people have of our team. We're better than that, and we need to show them on Monday night.
Vick was the top overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, the same year Brees was taken with the first pick of the second round by the San Diego Chargers. Of the 11 quarterbacks drafted that year, they are the only two still on an NFL roster.
I feel like I've known him a long time, Brees said. He's obviously had a lot of success in this league, both in Atlanta and in Philly.
Not so much this season.
Vick has turned it over 13 times — eight interceptions and five fumbles — and he's coming off a pedestrian performance in Philadelphia's ugly 30-17 loss to the Falcons. Right after the game, a frustrated Reid sounded like he might switch to rookie Nick Foles. Then, after thinking it over, the coach stressed that Vick remains the starter, for this week and beyond.
at New Orleans Saints
8:30 p.m. today, ESPN