Boy that went fast. A month of football is already in the books. The Eagles finished the month of September with a record of 1-3 but are still very much alive in the NFC East division race. Today we take a closer look at the guy running the offense, quarterback Michael Vick, and his performance through the first four games this season.
Before the Week One match-up in Washington, there were a lot of questions surrounding the Eagles offense. What would the tempo be like? How much would Vick run? Just how much didn’t they show during the preseason?
The excitement level sky-rocketed for the offense right out of the gate against the Redskins. It was quite possibly the most enjoyable quarter of Eagles football I’ve ever seen. Sure there was a questionable turnover that resulted in a Washington touchdown, but the Eagles offense showed that they were fast and that they were extremely explosive.
Vick led the the charge as he orchestrated the offense beautifully. The play selection was superb. The run game was getting it done, Vick was throwing the ball accurately, and he was also able to contribute by making plays with his feet. Not to mention that they were running at a tempo that made you tired just watching.
Things slowed down for the Eagles in the second half, but they were able to hang on and get a road victory against a division opponent. The potential for the Eagles offense looked limitless.
Vick followed up a solid Week One with an even better performance against the Chargers. He completed nearly 64% of his passes for 428 yards, threw for two touchdowns, rushed for 34 more, and added his own rushing touchdown. All of this led to a 30 point performance from the offense. However, this was not enough as the defense failed to step up and allowed the Chargers to kick a go ahead field goal in the final minutes.
Despite the loss, there was still a lot of praise to be had for the offense, especially Vick. Everyone knew the defense would struggle, but there was still hope that the offense could just be dominant enough to put a ton of points on the board and carry the defense.
On short rest after the Chargers game, the Eagles hosted Andy Reid and the Chiefs on an extra special Thursday night showdown. Unfortunately, it was Vick’s worst performance of the season.
The Chiefs defense did a terrific job of getting to Vick and it resulted in some of the poor decision making we’ve seen from him in the past. With the added pressure, he wasn’t progressing through his reads efficiently and made some poor decisions that resulted in turnovers.
He was able to pick up 99 yards rushing with 61 of it coming on a single play, but he completed less than 50% of his passes and had multiple turnovers. It just seemed like they couldn’t get the offense into the gear they had been in the previous two weeks.
The Eagles had extra time to prepare for their final match-up of September with the Denver Broncos. It didn’t prove to be enough time for the Eagles defense as they allowed the Broncos to hang 52 points on them.
On the offensive side of the ball, Vick had a better performance than the prior week but still struggled to find the spark they had found in the first two games. Vick completed 60% of his passes and would have had a better percentage if he could have gotten some help from his receivers. There were a number of drops on the offensive side of the ball, some of which led to the Eagles scoring less than they could have.
As I watched the game, I felt that Vick didn’t seem as comfortable in the pocket at times. There were times when he stood in there and had a great pocket, but it also seemed like he was extra quick to react when things seemed threatening. I hope he’s not flashing back to some of the beatings he took in the previous seasons with the makeshift line he had in front of him.
As we look forward to October, the Eagles have a very easy schedule on paper. There next four opponents have a combined record of 2-14. Sitting just a game back behind the Cowboys and with an October meeting in the air, the Eagles could make a move in the NFC East. However, a lot of that will depend on how successful Vick and the offense can be. They won’t be able to rely on the defense for help.
Overall, I think Vick has shown to be a pretty good fit in this offense. He just needs to relight the flame that existed in the first two games and keep it going.