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Monday, November 5, 2012
Vick suffers from poor offensive line play

By Michael Bonzagni and Trevor Ebaugh


AP Photo/Michael PerezMichael Vick has been hit, sacked or under duress more than any quarterback this season.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles have had a disappointing year, entering Monday night’s game in New Orleans with a 3-4 record. Speculation continues to swirl about Vick being benched for rookie Nick Foles, but Vick is not the main reason for the Eagles' poor start.

Vick is one of the most electrifying, athletic quarterbacks to ever play the game, but the mediocre play of the offensive line has made it difficult for Vick or any other skill player on the team to succeed.

Stats & Information’s video analysis team tracks every snap from every NFL game and defines duress as when a quarterback has to move or alter his throw as the result of a pass-rusher. A hit is defined as the quarterback being hit while in the motion of throwing.

Using those parameters, Vick has been sacked, hit or under duress on 32.8 percent of his drop backs this year, a higher pressure percentage than any other qualified quarterback in the league entering Week 9, and more than 11 percentage points higher than the league average.

Vick also has a 15.0 QBR in such situations. To put that into perspective, Vick has accounted for 11.3 fewer points than an average quarterback would when under duress, equating to the second-lowest points above average in the league this season.

Vick excelled against four or fewer pass-rushers in previous years, ranking among the top four in QBR among qualified quarterbacks in 2010 and 2011.

But this year, Vick is among the worst. His 6.1 yards per attempt when facing such pressure is tied for fifth lowest in the league, and his eight interceptions are tied for second most.

He has a 47.4 QBR when facing such pressure, 10th worst in the league and well below the league average of 63.6. He’s been put under duress or hit 46 times against such pressure, the most in the league and already 16 more times than in all of 2010.

The season-long struggles of the Eagles’ offensive line are not only affecting Vick. LeSean McCoy, one of the most elusive runners in the league, has been contacted in the backfield an NFL-leading 31 times entering Week 9.

McCoy is also averaging only 2.6 yards before contact per rush, ranking 16th in the league among qualified running backs after finishing last season tied for third in that category.

Facing the New Orleans Saints may be just what Vick needs to get his season back on track. The Saints have allowed the highest QBR (77.4) and have only 13 sacks, tied for 25th in the NFL. Just 18.8 percent of their opposing quarterback drop backs have resulted in a hit, sack or under duress, which is tied for the seventh-lowest rate in the league.

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