Vick and McCoy's Usage Should be Monitored During Early Portion of Schedule

Vick and McCoy's Usage Should be Monitored During Early Portion of Schedule

The Washington Redskins defense weren’t the only ones who looked completely exhausted by the end of the Eagles’ 33-27 win on Monday night. Michael Vick was hit seven times on dropbacks and ran nine times with the football, and was noticeably hobbled in the final minutes. By his career-high 31st carry, LeSean McCoy practically needed to be scraped off of the turf.

Usage is going to be a concern all season as long as Chip Kelly’s offense keeps moving at 100 miles per hour, inevitably leading the NFL in plays from scrimmage. Vick has only made it through a 16-game season once in his life to begin with, while Shady is currently on pace for 496 carries which would absolutely destroy Larry Johnson’s record 416.

Obviously McCoy isn’t going to touch the ball 500 times in a season, and only Vick can truly protect himself, but the question remains. How are these guys going to survive the season at this torrid pace?

Forget the season. The first true test with regard to these heavy workloads will arrive in eight days. The Eagles host the San Diego Chargers this Sunday, then must turn right around and play a game against the Kansas City Chiefs four days later next Thursday.

If you think Vick is limping around now, and Shady seemed gassed on Monday, what condition do you imagine they’ll be in after they’ve played their third full NFL game in a span of 11 days?

It’s a little simpler to conserve Shady, at least in theory. Bryce Brown did have nine carries at Washington, and figures to be featured in that spell role going forward. Chris Polk was conspicuously absent from the offense this week, but he’ll likely get some touches in the future.

Of course, McCoy was the only person Chip could rely on the salt the lead away in the fourth quarter, a big reason for his inflated number of carries. Brown hasn’t yet shaken the reputation that he’s prone to fumbles, and they haven’t even trusted Polk enough to give him the ball at all.

How they plan to keep Vick upright is another dilemma entirely. This is the same guy who took it upon himself to become Shady’s lead blocker on Monday – twice! As much as you have to like it when your quarterback is doing whatever it takes to win, Vick’s lack of an “off” switch and unwillingness to concede a play is over are going to get him killed – as usual.

Not much Chip or anybody else can do for Vick at this point. McCoy’s load is the real issue here.

It will be interesting to see how the snaps are divided at running back in the coming weeks, but the recipe calls for more Brown with a dash of Polk. The Eagles should lean on those two more earlier in games especially, so the biggest weapon in that backfield is still at the team’s full disposal when the fourth quarter rolls around.

Chip was asked about the proximity of the games at his day-after press conference, and didn't sound concerned in the least:

We've known the schedule since we got here.  We know every game is the ultimate importance for us.  There's no way you can say, Hey, we got another game next Thursday, let's focus and concentrate on that.  I think everybody's attention is on getting ready to play San Diego.  That's what this thing is all about.

It’s great to have a head coach who is committed to the running game, but the new challenge is finding the right balance of playing time for one of the best backs in the league. Chip Kelly seems to have a plan for everything though, so it’s possible there isn’t really a problem here at all.

Carson Wentz By the Numbers: Not much precedent for this success

Carson Wentz By the Numbers: Not much precedent for this success

The way Carson Wentz is playing, we may have to make this a regular feature.

Generally, when an Eagles quarterback plays lights out, we pull out the [Insert Name Here] By the Numbers.

We did it for Nick Foles after his seven-touchdown game against the Raiders, we did it for Sam Bradford a couple times late last year, we did it for Michael Vick a couple times during his hot 2010 season.

With Wentz? This might have to happen every week.

He's been that good.

So here is this week's Carson Wentz By the Numbers. Don't be surprised if you see it again very soon.

• Wentz is the first rookie in NFL history to have a game in which he completed 74 percent of his passes with 300 yards, two or more touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s also only the fourth Eagle to have such a game. Randall Cunningham did it against the Giants in 1988, Donovan did it four times (in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007) and Nick Foles did it against the Raiders with his historic seven-TD game in 2013.

• Wentz is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 30 or more passes with no interceptions in each of his first three career games.

• Wentz’s 73-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles was the longest touchdown pass by an Eagles rookie since John Reaves' 77-yarder to Harold Carmichael against the Giants at Yankee Stadium in 1972.

• Wentz is only the second quarterback in NFL history to be 3-0 three games into his rookie year. The other one is former Eagle and current Cowboy Mark Sanchez, who opened his career in 2009 with wins over the Texans, Patriots and Titans. Sanchez then lost six of his next seven starts.

• Wentz is the fourth quarterback to win his first three NFL starts (not necessarily as rookies). That list includes Wentz, Sanchez, 35-year-old Dieter Brock of the Rams in 1985 (who had played a decade in the CFL) and Marc Bulger of the Rams in 2002 (in his third NFL season).

• Among quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 100 passes in their career, Wentz now has the second-highest passer rating in NFL history at 103.8. He trails only Aaron Rodgers’ 104.0 figure. The only other quarterback over 100 is Russell Wilson, at 101.1.

• Wentz’s 125.9 passer rating Sunday against the Steelers is highest ever by an Eagles rookie. The previous high was A.J. Feeley’s 114.0 mark against Tampa in 2001. But Feeley didn’t start that game. So the previous high by a rookie Eagles starter was John Reaves’ 105.7 rating against the Browns in 1972.

• Wentz has already tied Mike Boryla’s franchise record for most wins by a rookie quarterback. Boryla won three games in 1974. Since then, Eagles rookie quarterbacks were a combined 5-21.  

• Wentz’s 102 pass attempts without an interception are the most in NFL history by a rookie in his first three games. Second-most are Dak Prescott’s current streak of 99 attempts. The record before Wentz and Prescott came along was 86 by Chad Hutchinson of the Cowboys in 2002.

• It was widely reported that Wentz had broken the NFL record for most pass attempts without an interception to begin a career at 102. But he actually has the second-longest streak. Tom Brady began his career with 147 attempts without an interception before getting picked off by safety Eric Brown of the Broncos in his seventh career game.  

• Wentz 103.8 passer rating is third-highest in NFL history by a quarterback three games into his rookie year. His trails only Greg Cook of the Bengals (111.9 in 1969) and Marcus Mariota of the Titans (110.3 last year). Robert Griffin III (103.5 with the Redskins in 2012) and Jacky Lee (102.5 with the Oilers in 1960) are the only other quarterbacks over 100 after Week 3 of their rookie season (based on a minimum of 50 attempts).

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Sixers acquire, merge two leading eSport companies

Sixers acquire, merge two leading eSport companies

The Sixers on Monday acquired controlling stake in Team Dignitas and Team Apex, two eSport companies.

The companies will be combining under the Team Dignitas banner. The Sixers become the first North American sports franchise to acquire an eSports team and intend to manage the day-to-day operations of Team Dignitas.

"There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the infrastructure, resources and experience of the Sixers organization to support these exciting teams as they continue to compete at the highest levels across multiple games," Sixers managing general partner Josh Harris said in a statement. "We see our entrance into eSports as a natural extension of our expanding interests in traditional sports and entertainment and are confident that our involvement will accelerate the already rapid pace of growth in eSports as a whole.”

Team Dignitas and Team Apex have created games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite.