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Vick 'keeping it real' about Falcons' offense
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    FLOWERY BRANCH — Michael Vick didn’t take back his criticisms of the Atlanta Falcons’ inconsistent offense Wednesday, one day after coach Jim Mora said Vick’s remarks were only the result of postgame frustrations following Sunday’s loss to Carolina.
    Despite becoming the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, Vick was upset after the Falcons were held without a touchdown and outrushed 183-83 by the Panthers in Atlanta’s 10-3 loss to Carolina on Sunday. The loss left the Falcons (7-8) on the brink of elimination from playoff consideration as they prepare to play at Philadelphia this week.
    On Sunday, Vick questioned the direction of the offense.
    ‘‘You can’t just come out there and try to wing it,’’ he said.
    ‘‘We either have to come out and throw the football or come out and try to establish the run.’’
    On Tuesday, Mora said Vick’s comments came from ‘‘typical frustration’’ that follows a loss.
    Vick appeared to be responding directly to Mora when he said Wednesday: ‘‘I wasn’t frustrated or upset and didn’t have a frown on my face when I said it.’’
    Added Vick: ‘‘We have too much talent to be sitting in this position. I was just keeping it real.’’
    Vick has set a career high with 19 touchdown passes, but still the quarterback and the Falcons have suffered through a disappointing season filled with off-field distractions and uneven performances on the field.
    Vick blamed himself after his combined six turnovers in losses to Detroit and Cleveland.
    Mora also endured an awkward situation created by his father, former NFL coach Jim Mora, who on a radio show called Vick a ‘‘coach-killer.’’ The next week, Vick heard loud boos and flashed obscene gestures toward fans in Atlanta after a loss to rival New Orleans.
    Earlier this month, Mora angered owner Arthur Blank by telling a Seattle radio station of his interest in coaching at Washington University, even if the Falcons were in the playoffs — and without the Washington job being open.
    The Falcons have lost six of their last eight games.
    ‘‘It’s a positive attitude around here,’’ Vick said. ‘‘It’s better to end up 8-8 than to finish 7-9. Right now, it would be big for this team to get a win. Finishing up with a losing record is not good for this franchise.’’
    Mora seemed optimistic on Wednesday, saying the Falcons had the best practice of the year.
    ‘‘You’re not sure how teams are going to react after tough losses,’’ he said. ‘‘But they bounced back strong in practice. They still know it’s an outside shot of making the playoffs. Our focus is to take care of our business and let everything else fall in its place.’’
    To earn a playoff berth, the Falcons must beat the Eagles, and have Carolina, Green Bay and the New York Giants lose or tie this weekend. The playoffs are a major concern, but job security is another major concern for players and coaches.
    ‘‘It’s almost like we’re interviewing for another job,’’ Falcons fullback Justin Griffith said. ‘‘We have nothing to lose going into the last game. We’re praying and playing for positive results.’’
    When asked if he might be playing for his coaches’ jobs, Vick said ‘‘I don’t really get into that.’’
    ‘‘I never gave it a thought,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t read the newspapers or get into what’s going on outside football. Our job is to play football. I’m playing for my job, so I can be on the field next year.’’