Vick must handle Ravens pressure
September, 15, 2012
By Douglas Clawson | ESPN.com
US PresswireMichael Vick was constantly under duress against the Browns in Week 1.
To keep the streak alive, Michael Vick will have to bounce back from a mediocre Week 1 performance in which he threw four interceptions and posted a Total QBR of 25.4.
Vick was under duress or hit while throwing on 19 of his pass attempts in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. That is tied with Jay Cutler for the most pass attempts under duress or hit while throwing for any QB in a single game over the last three seasons.
The pressure rattled Vick, as he completed just 3-of-19 passes for 34 yards and an interception on throws under duress last Sunday.
The Browns were able to pressure Vick while sending blitzes with a defensive back pass rusher. He was under duress or sacked on more than 60 percent of his dropbacks against pressure from the secondary and went 2-for-7 with 37 yards, including one sack on those plays.
This inability to handle secondary pressure is a continuing trend for Vick. Over the last two seasons, he has a 22.4 Total QBR when the defense blitzes a defensive back, ranked 27th out of 34 quarterbacks (min. 30 action plays).
Opposing defenses have taken advantage by sending such pressure on 23 percent of Vick’s dropbacks over that time span, the highest percentage in the league. One issue could be a lack of protection, as he has been under duress or sacked on 41.7 percent of his dropbacks when facing a defensive back blitzer over the last two seasons, seventh-highest percentage in the league.
Vick will need better protection against the Ravens Sunday, as Baltimore has sent a defensive back pass rusher on 20 percent of opposing quarterback dropbacks over the last two seasons, fourth-highest percentage in the league.
If Vick is going to bounce back against the Ravens Sunday, he may have opportunities to beat the blitz downfield. The Browns had single-high safety coverage on all eight of the defensive back blitzes they sent against Vick Week 1, leaving them vulnerable downfield.
Despite the consistent single-high safety look, the Browns mixed their blitz coverages against Vick. Of the eight dropbacks Vick took against a defensive back pass rusher, he saw a zone blitz five times, and man blitz coverage three times.
Vick will see a variety of blitz coverages against the Ravens and could take advantage of those single-high safety looks. The Baltimore defense has given up big plays against the blitz, having allowed the second-most pass plays of 30-plus yards when sending a defensive back pass rusher over the last two seasons.