Already Under Pressure, Michael Vick Must Overcome Poor History vs. Giants

Already Under Pressure, Michael Vick Must Overcome Poor History vs. Giants

We know Mike Vick has been pretty bad so far this season, but sometimes it helps to run all the numbers together.

In three games, Vick has completed 55 percent of his passes (on 41.6 attempts per game), for an average of just over 300 yards, a 66.3 quarterback rating, three touchdowns and nine turnovers (six picks, three fumbles). Related to the turnovers, Vick, by himself, has tied the  Kansas City Chiefs for the second-most turnovers by a team through three weeks in 2012. The Eagles, of course, lead the NFL in that category with 12.

I don't mean to pile on. I only bring up these numbers in relation to the fact that even his coach's confidence may be beginning to waiver, Vick's contract is get-away-from-able at the end of the season, and the quarterback has struggled (mightily) against the Giants during his career in Philadelphia.

Sure, there was the "Miracle at the New Meadowlands," but the Eagles were down 24-3 at the half and 31-10 with 8:17 to play for a reason. That insane comeback caused many a media personality to scrap the barrage of articles and on-air segments that would have surely followed about how Mike Vick had already been figured out.

And it was the Giants who had figured him out — a month beforehand. One week after Vick looked like a world beater, scoring six touchdowns against the Redskins on Monday night, the Eagles advanced to 5-2 with a 27-17 win over the Giants. Vick finished the game 24 of 38 for 258 yards and a rushing touchdown. On their own, those numbers aren't bad.

But the Giants defense provided the blueprint for how to beat Vick in 2010. Whereas other defenses didn't have an answer for him, the Giants heavily blitzed Vick from his left, forcing the lefthanded quarterback to his right, so as to considerably limit options. Vick fumbled twice that day, and lost the football once.

Still, the Eagles survived and moved on to Chicago, where the Bears did the exact same thing to Vick the following week, again making him look ordinary, as they beat the Eagles, 31-26. And then — and then — there was The Joe Webb Game one week after the miracle comeback in Vick's second outing versus the Giants. You remember: the Tuesday nighter versus Minnesota where Vick turned the ball over three times and the Vikings' dropped three more potential interceptions.

Moving forward, Vick faced the Giants just once in 2011. (He missed the second meeting due to inury.) In that Week 3 matchup, Vick went 16 of 23 for 176 yards and an interception before exiting the game in the fourth quarter once the Giants fractured his non-throwing hand on what Vick called a late hit. He was hit 13 times in all that day. He also fumbled three times, but didn't lose any of them.

The point of this less-than-pleasant trip down memory lane is that Mike Vick's job is feeling increasingly on the line. That the details of his last meeting against the Giants sound way too familiar and commonplace at this point. And that now, one week after he, his coach and his teammates were embarrassed in Arizona, they're coming home to once again face the Giants under the lights on national television.

The Giants, the team who showed the league in 2010 the way to contain and even stop the runner-up the league's MVP award. The Giants, the team who knocked Vick out of a game in 2011. The Giants, who seem to have Vick's number.

Mike Vick is about to play one of the biggest games of his career against the team whom has most seemed to have his number.

It's time to see what, if anything, Vick has really learned over the last three years, and whether Andy and Marty are going to give him any help.

Related: Filmroom Friday: How Reid Is Setting Vick Up to Fail [T7L]

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Flyers Injury Update: Jordan Weal practices, but won't play vs. Washington

Flyers Injury Update: Jordan Weal practices, but won't play vs. Washington

VOORHEES, N.J. — Jordan Weal participated in the Flyers' full practice Tuesday at Skate Zone, but will remain out of the lineup against Washington on Wednesday with an apparent concussion.

He was nailed in Edmonton by Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba. The hit in the corner came at 13:57 of the opening period.

Video replays show Gryba sandwiched Weal hard on the boards with Weal striking his head and right shoulder, then falling to the ice. Actually, Gryba hit him earlier in the period, as well, but it was the second hit that seemed to go the most damage. 

Weal said both he and trainer Jim McCrossin agreed it was better to not return to the game after the second hit.

“He kind of drove me in pretty good there,” Weal said. “It’s a hockey play, though. Not much you can do.” 

The Flyers are being cautious with the head injury.

Coach Dave Hakstol was vague as to when Weal would re-enter the lineup. Weal had just been called up last week to replace Travis Konecny, who was placed on IR.

“I feel good,” said Weal, who took extra practice on Tuesday. “It definitely has been progressing every day ... I’m day-to-day and as soon as I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go.

“It’s one of those injuries you just have to take your time with. I think when I feel I’m ready to play, I’ll be in.

“It’s frustrating. But it’s part of the game. With these injuries, it’s tougher than if it was, say your finger or your shin or something where you could put ice on it and get it better. You just have to treat it right and get back as quick as I can.”

Gudas’ departure
Defenseman Radko Gudas left early during what was a brief but long-delayed 45-minute practice on Tuesday.

What was noteworthy about Gudas’ departure, however, was that he picked up his gear and headed back to the dressing room while both trainers remained on the bench.

So he wasn’t injured.

Immediate speculation was that he might have been traded. An hour later, general manager Ron Hextall announced Gudas had a dentist appointment to fix a broken tooth, incurred during the recent road trip.

Needless to say, Gudas’ leaving blew up Twitter with trade rumors.

Lower, lower body
Jake Voracek took a shot below the belt line and couldn't stand for a few minutes near the end of practice. He remained in obvious pain in the dressing room and did not talk … as if he could. 

Michael Del Zotto on trade watch as NHL deadline nears

Michael Del Zotto on trade watch as NHL deadline nears

VOORHEES, N.J. — Michael Del Zotto knows the score.

With the NHL trade deadline just a week away, this can be a very uncomfortable time of year for an unrestricted free-agent-to-be.

Players who are expecting a pay day on a club where there are at least two or three younger and far less expensive rookies anticipating a promotion, know what that implies.

They’re on trade watch.

“It happens every year,” Del Zotto said. “It’s not like it’s the first time. I’ve been traded before. It is what it is. It’s a business.

“You realize that pretty early in your career. I understand where I’m at as far as my contract, being a UFA this summer.

“Same thing with taking each game one day at a time. You take each day one day at a time. Go home, make dinner, get ready for tomorrow and whatever happens, happens.”

The 26-year-old Del Zotto was traded in 2013-14 from the New York Rangers to Nashville. That trade occurred in January, well before the deadline, during a season after which he was about to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time.

That same summer, Del Zotto signed a one-year deal with the Flyers for $1.3 million. His current deal pays him $3.875 million. He’d have to take a pay cut to stay here given the long line of prospects ready to step in at a first-year NHL salary and that fact he has struggled defensively this season.

Del Zotto averages 19:23 ice time. He has 10 points in 32 games and is second among Flyers defensemen with 113 hits. He’s missed a total of 22 games this season with two different injuries, one to his left knee, the other to his left leg.

If you had a chart ranking of Flyers likely to be dealt at next Wednesday’s deadline, Del Zotto would be No. 1, with Mark Streit and one of the Flyers’ two goalies right behind him.

If possible, general manager Ron Hextall would like to add draft picks at the deadline.

“It’s a business and these things are out of your control,” Del Zotto said.

When he was traded to Nashville a few years ago, Del Zotto said he saw it coming.

“Anytime it does happen, and for the first time, it hits you hard,” he said. “Being in New York, I had my brother and wife living with me, it made it extra tough. With our schedule being tough, you don’t get to see them very often, but with them living with me, it was pretty special.

“That’s what hurt the most. Leaving my family. I decided, it’s a business and you never know when it can or can’t happen ...”

The line behind him in Philadelphia includes Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, Philippe Myers, etc.  

Del Zotto laughed and admitted he’s aware of those waiting.

“That’s the part of the game that is out of my control,” he said. “That is why you have the GM and coaching staff. To make those decisions. My job is to come into work every day, give everything you have.

“That’s one thing. I can always look myself in the mirror. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I give everything I have every day. At the end of the day, if I can look myself in the mirror, I’m happy. That’s all I can control.”

The Flyers host Washington on Wednesday before going to Pittsburgh for their Stadium Series outdoor game this weekend.

"[Those] are huge four-point games for us," he said. "We can't overlook that. We know where we are in the standings."