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Vick was quick to make an impact

ATLANTA -- He sensed imminent danger. He saw a potential victim. Then he scrambled and scampered as only superstar athletes can do. And still, we learned nothing new about Michael Vick.

We still don't know whether he can throw a football that well, whether he'll ever be more comparable to Peyton Manning than Randall Cunningham. No one can tell whether the NFL's version of Michael Jordan is adroit or seasoned enough to stand in the pocket and win games with his arms instead of his legs.

Some sort of discovery was supposed to occur Saturday night, with St. Louis bringing that Greatest-Show-On-Turf mentality to the Georgia Dome for Atlanta's newfound rabid fans to witness.

Then Vick started running like Forrest Gump. He kept yelling for others to run themselves. And before you blinked or squinted with disbelief, it was clear we'd have to wait another week to find out anything about Atlanta's personal replica of Superman.

From the moment Vick slipped out of the pocket, saw daylight, then exploded through the line of scrimmage and raced 47 yards on just the third play of the game, what appeared forthcoming was too alarming, too disturbing to fathom.

The Rams' defenders couldn't fend off or fight through blockers. They seemed oblivious to defensive schemes -- most notably, clogging holes. They couldn't tackle, either. They appeared a step slower than the Falcons all evening. And before the second quarter had arrived, why St. Louis, which lost, 47-17, had even bothered to show up was the question of the moment.

The Falcons rushed five times for 129 yards in the first 7 minutes 8 seconds. Before the first quarter expired, Warrick Dunn already had two touchdowns and 106 yards on six carries.

By the time Atlanta held a 28-17 halftime lead, Dunn's numbers had ballooned to 126 on eight carries. Both Dunn and Vick were averaging 15.8 yards per rush.

The quarterback who's taken the league by storm, who ran for 902 yards on the season and 119 yards Saturday night, didn't show much of what he could do with his arm because he didn't have to. Perhaps Vick will get the test we all covet next weekend in Philadelphia. Perhaps the lanes will be clogged at Lincoln Financial Field, with skies clouded by an array of frenzied fanatics draped in green and white.

"We're a team," Falcons coach Jim Mora said last week. "We're fully aware that when asked what the greatest part of our team is, most people would say Michael Vick. But if you asked the guys in our locker room what the greatest thing about us is, I bet you they'll say it's that we're a team." Saturday night, the Falcons looked stellar.

Let's see what they'll be looking like once next Sunday rolls around.

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