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Sunday, October 9, 2011
Halftime thoughts: Vick too sloppy

By Dan Graziano

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- We could start anywhere, but I'm going to start with the quarterback. Michael Vick has played an abysmal game to this point and the Eagles trail the Bills 21-7 at the half.

The three interceptions were obviously terrible, even if two of them were on tipped balls. But it was in the final seconds of the half where Vick may have played his worst. The offensive line looked inspired as the Eagles moved the ball down the field in the two-minute drill, throwing Bill bodies all over the place and giving Vick plenty of time to throw. But he still managed to take too long. On the second-to-last play of the half, he threw a ball that by rights should have been his fourth interception of the game. And on the last, which began with eight seconds left on the clock, he managed to sit in the pocket for all eight before throwing the ball through the back of the end zone.

The Eagles do a lot of things wrong. They're poor tacklers on defense (though that improved as the second half went along). They lack an offensive identity, refusing to commit to the run in spite of having a superstar running back in LeSean McCoy. And the line doesn't pass block especially well -- at least not with any real consistency.

The only hope the Eagles have is to excel where their talent is clearly superior to that of other teams. Vick is the best example of this. When he's on, there is nothing anyone can do to stop him, no quarterback anywhere who can beat you in more ways. But when he's sloppy, and the rest of the team around him is sloppy, the Eagles lose all hope.

They're not out of this one yet, of course, but if they're to win it they'll need Vick to come out of that locker room looking a lot more focused and responsible than he did in the first half. The Eagles' offense looks like an out-of-control go-cart careening down a hill. It could still finish first because it's going so fast, but it's got at least as good a chance to slide right off the course.