Vick breaks 34-year-old record; 1,000 yards is next
ATLANTA -- Michael Vick broke a 34-year-old record and can set his sights on another milestone -- 1,000 yards.
Vick broke off an 11-yard run with 10 minutes left to go past Douglass, who ran for 968 yards with the Chicago Bears in 1972. Vick wound up with 990 yards, though he hurt his groin in the second half and finished the game on the bench.
"It means a lot," Vick said. "It's something I can tell my kids. When they're sitting around talking football with their classmates, my son and daughter will be able to say, 'This is what my daddy accomplished.' It means more than anything. I'm disappointed we didn't get the win, but it's a milestone."
Vick set the record in the Falcons' 14th game -- the same number of games that were played during Douglass' era. It came on the same night that Atlanta teammate Morten Andersen became the leading scorer in NFL history, passing Gary Anderson.
Vick also tied a career high with four touchdown passes. He passed for 237 yards and rushed for 56 on eight carries.
With two games remaining, Vick will almost certainly become the first quarterback to run for 1,000 yards in a season, which is only appropriate because he's already viewed as the greatest runner to ever play his position.
But he did seem a bit troubled about his groin, which began hurting early in the third quarter.
"I felt a pain that I have never felt before," Vick said. "It was a sharp pain. I'm going to see the doctors right now and see what they have to say. I'll get treatment in the morning and the rest of the week."
Despite the loss, the Falcons (7-7) are still clinging to hope in the NFC wild-card race. But they face a must-win situation against Carolina next weekend.
"If push comes to shove," Vick said, "I'll be out there."
Vick already holds five other NFL quarterback rushing records, including most yards in a game (173 against Minnesota in 2002) and most 100-yard games in a career (eight).
Vick holds three of the five highest rushing seasons for a quarterback. He gained 902 yards in 2004 and 777 yards in '02.
Douglass and Randall Cunningham, who had 942 yards in 1990, are the only other QBs to run for 700 yards in a season.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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