Wednesday, October 2, 2013
QB Watch: Eagles' Michael Vick
By Phil Sheridan
A weekly analysis of the Eagles' quarterback play:
Rewind: It isn't easy for a quarterback to look good when Peyton Manning is conducting his master class in the position on the same field. And Michael Vick didn't look all that good Sunday against the Denver Broncos. He was not the reason for the Eagles' 52-20 loss -- not by a long shot. But he wasn't able to put the necessary points on the board to compete with Manning. Vick's numbers: 14-of-27 for 248 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Four of Vick's passes were dropped.
With the game out of hand, Nick Foles played in the fourth quarter. He looked good, completing three of four passes for 49 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown to Jeff Maehl.
Fast-forward: Vick and the Eagles return to the familiar territory of the NFC East for Sunday's game against the winless New York Giants. The Giants have the 19th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, and they have not been able to get steady pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That should give Vick a perfect opportunity to lead his team back toward the winning path. Coach Chip Kelly has blamed the Eagles' offensive trouble mostly on the lack of pass protection. The Giants' inability to generate pressure should allow Vick time to operate.
All or nothing: Vick had a career game against San Diego, as speedy DeSean Jackson was allowed to run freely through the secondary. Since then, Kansas City and Denver locked up Jackson with physical play and safety help. Vick has not been able to work the short passing game that was a hallmark of Kelly's Oregon offenses. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Vick was just 5-for-11 on throws traveling 5 or fewer yards. He was 9-for-10 on such throws in the opener at Washington.
Prediction: Vick has said he will take the lead in making sure his teammates don't let the embarrassment of Sunday's loss linger. He will have to follow up with a good performance on the field. The guess here is that he will take advantage of the Giants' puzzling lack of a pass rush to deliver his best performance since the San Diego game.