Yesterday was Michael Vick’s second start for the Eagles, but it was a different scenario than last week. When he started against the Lions, he was the replacement for the injured Kevin Kolb. This week, he was known as the starter from here on out. With his first start as “the guy” for the Eagles, he did not disappoint. Accounting for all four of the Eagles touchdowns in one way or another, Vick led the Eagles to a 28-3 victory.
Running the ball
We did not see Vick run the ball as much as we have in the last two weeks. He only registered four rushes on the day for a total of 30 yards, but had a very nice touchdown run in the third quarter to seemingly ensure a victory.
It sure is fun watching Vick run the ball, but I was glad to see his carries be limited. As the 2010 starter now, you don’t want to see him running the ball all day and putting himself in danger of taking a big hit. He’s not the type of quarterback who’s going to slide at the end of the run, and we have seen him take some pretty big hits so far this year.
Although you want to see him be cautious when he runs, his feet are too big of a threat to not be taken advantage of. He did the right thing against a terrible Jaguars secondary, but I don’t want to see him be overly cautious throughout the season.
Throwing the ball
Personally, this is what I wanted to see out of Vick the most against the Jaguars and think everyone else did too.
Talks throughout the offseason were about our offense not being the same big play offense we were when Donovan McNabb was around. Nobody thought the Eagles offense wouldn’t be successful, but believed it would happen more through Kolb hitting his receivers with a lot of short passes.
With Vick in the lineup, the big play ability seems to come right back. We saw this yesterday with him hitting DeSean Jackson on a 61 yard touchdown, and hitting Jeremy Maclin on a 45 yard strike. Both plays came on beautifully thrown balls where his receivers weren’t wide open but he put the ball where he needed to.
The thing that does worry me is his ability in the short throws. On the day, he completed 17 of 31 passes for a percentage of just under 55%. This is definitely a number you would like to see improve. Overall, I’d like to see him be more efficient with his short throws. You can place some of the blame on the offensive line, but there were a number of short throws that he simply didn’t make.
Demeanor and decision making
Although he connected on some big plays and played well overall, he seemed to be very focused throughout the course of the game. You could see him being critical of himself on some of the short throws that he made. I like this attitude, and think that he’s a much different quarterback mentally then he was in Atlanta. He’s realizing that he’s getting an opportunity that many didn’t think he’d ever have, and I truly believe he wants to make the most of it.
One thing I’ve heard people talk a lot about is the fact that he hasn’t turned the ball over. Turnovers can absolutely kill a team and Vick has been doing a good job of protecting the ball. He was sacked three times on the day and did see a lot of pressure. This is something he’s probably going to have to stay used to all season, because there’s still a lot of issues along the line. However, he’s done a good job of protecting the football and not making mistakes when the line collapses on him.
For his efforts against the Jaguars, I’m going to give Vick a B+. I’m sure that people may think he deserves a better grade, but he played a very poor Jacksonville team. He has some things to work on and will have to improve these aspects of his game to pick up wins against the better teams the Eagles will see this season.