Bringing Some Much Needed Perspective to the Vick Discussion

Bringing Some Much Needed Perspective to the Vick Discussion

The chatter for Michael Vick is so loud, so resounding, you might start to believe the Eagles actually came back to defeat the Packers this past Sunday. In fact, Rod Woodson thinks they did. What happens if Vick wins again, the Hall of Famer asked hypothetically last night on NFL Total Access. He probably just misspoke, but it's hard to tell when virtually every analyst in the world is anointing Vick the Eagles' savior.

The hype machine is out of control, and with Vick the likely starter this Sunday, it's only going to get worse. It's as if logic has been thrown entirely out the window. Forget about Kevin Kolb's first half, if you can. What makes Vick the right quarterback for the Eagles, regardless of who we're choosing between? We already know what we're getting with number seven, and I promise you it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

Has everybody completely forgotten? Michael Vick wasn't even a very good quarterback when he was a superstar in Atlanta. Sure, he was an extremely exciting and popular player bordering on celebrity status. The problem is some of the same experts calling for him to start in Philadelphia were probably ripping him back in 2006.

Vick never developed as a passer. In six years with the Falcons, his completion percentage was 53.8. He only threw for over 2,500 yards once, all the way back in 2002. Over his final four seasons, his touchdown to interception ratio was 53 to 41. Career quarterback rating: 76.2. Most important, Atlanta only won more than nine games once. If any other player in the league had those numbers, they would have been glued to the bench before long.

Vick's saving grace has always been he is dangerous on the run. Nobody can deny he's won his share of games carrying the offense on his back. That only gets a team so far though. When better defenses took that option away, Vick's limitations as a passer were exposed, ultimately leading to losses more often than not. Look no further than the 2004 NFC Championship game. Vick was helpless against the Eagles' defense, rushing only four times for 26 yards while going 11 for 24 passing with 136 yards, four sacks, and an interception.

The question has been framed, "Which quarterback gives the Eagles the best chance to win," and the responses are overwhelmingly Vick. Simply put, the next running quarterback to take his team to a Super Bowl will be the first. If that's the eventual goal, history suggests the correct answer is not Vick.

He's also one step away... from prison, that is. I'm not one of those people that believes Vick should still be punished for mistakes of the past. His crimes were particularly heinous, but he served his time and deserves the opportunity to reclaim his life. And again, I also don't believe Vick did anything inherently wrong when he held a public birthday party during the off-season. (Stupid, yes.) However, the incident that occurred illustrates the next point perfectly.

Michael Vick only has to mess up once, even in a very minor way, and everything comes crashing down. If it doesn't get him thrown back in the slammer, it might be enough for St. Roger Goodell to deliver a lengthy suspension anyway. Vick is doing and saying all the right things now, but as his profile increases from becoming a full time starter again, so does the likelihood that trouble will find him. The Eagles aren't about to hand the keys to their organization over to somebody whose situation is so fragile.

But what if he beats the Lions? Let me pose this question another way: does anybody actually expect the Eagles to lose to the Lions?

If Vick can't squeeze out a victory in Detroit, he doesn't deserve to start anywhere, much less here. No disrespect to the Lions, but they are clearly outmatched on paper. Even with a week's worth of preparation for a mobile quarterback, they shouldn't be able to stop Vick or the Eagles' offense strictly speaking from a personnel standpoint.

So what does it mean if Vick beats the Lions? Is that really the measuring stick for a starting quarterback in the NFL? I have a hard time accepting the notion that Kevin Kolb deserves to lose his job because the backup picked up a W against one of the worst franchises in football.

Frankly, Vick is not a long term solution for the Eagles. Is he good enough to start in the NFL? Absolutely. Would it be wise to pin Super Bowl aspirations on him? Not at all. Kolb could wind up being a bust, but there's only one way to find out. Vick, on the other hand, will always be Vick. That's never been good enough before, and there's no reason to believe it suddenly is now.

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  -- Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for his fifth of the game and the Washington Redskins avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start with a 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants on Sunday.

Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 44 yards to DeSean Jackson and 55 to Jamison Crowder as the banged-up Redskins (1-2) handed new coach Ben McAdoo his first loss with the Giants (2-1).

Su'a Cravens ended the Giants' final drive with an interception in New York territory. It was Eli Manning's second pick of the quarter, with the other coming in the end zone by Quinton Dunbar after New York got to the Redskins 15 on a big play by Odell Beckham Jr.

This was a wild NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit (see full recap).

Prescott, Cowboys rout Bears on SNF
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox (see full recap).

Vikings stop Newton, snap Panthers' home win streak
CHARLOTTE, N.C.  -- The Minnesota Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries --and keep finding ways to win football games.

Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score and the Vikings snapped the Carolina Panthers' 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.

The Vikings put the clamps on Cam Newton, intercepting the league's reigning MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one of those resulting in a safety by Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second-most ever against Newton.

"We have a great team -- the best team I have been a part of," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who had three sacks. "We come from every area on the field and we get sacks."

Said Newton: "They were dictating to us after they got the momentum."

The Vikings improved 3-0 despite losing running back Adrian Peterson and offensive tackle Matt Kalil to injuries last week. They lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason (see full recap).

Bills bounce back with win over Cardinals
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.  -- LeSean McCoy scored twice and safety Aaron Williams returned a botched field-goal snap 53 yards for a touchdown in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 33-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 20-yard run at a time the Rex Ryan-coached Bills spent the past week taking the brunt of criticism after opening the season 0-2.

The win also came on the heels of Ryan firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman and replacing him with running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

McCoy scored on 24- and 5-yard runs, and finished with 110 yards rushing after combining for just 117 in his first two games. Taylor had 76 yards rushing, including a 49-yarder, the longest by a quarterback in team history (see full recap).

Visit TicketIQ to discover the lowest prices on Eagles tickets anywhere, zone-level ticket data and seat views from fans just like you!”

Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

On his way to the locker room following his team's stunning 34-3 victory over the Steelers, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacted, well, like you probably did.

Pederson had to be surprised by what had just transpired. After all, this wasn't the Browns or the Bears. This was the Steelers, who entered the game with the second-best odds behind New England, per Bovada, of winning the Super Bowl (the Patriots were first). 

And the Eagles didn't just beat them. They clobbered them.

But minutes later, when Pederson met the media for his postgame press conference, he tried his best to act like it was no big thing.

“I told the team way back in OTAs that it just takes a little bit of belief," Pederson said. "Belief in themselves. Trust the process. Believe in the coaches and the coaches believe in one another. That’s what they did tonight. 

"Am I surprised? A little. But at the same time, I know that locker room, I know those guys and I know what they are building. By no means have we accomplished anything yet. The season is still extremely young. But what they did tonight just proves that they are coming together as a football team.”

Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Doug. It's OK to be surprised. Scratch that. Make that stunned. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. But now? Forget that. 

At least for the next two weeks. The Eagles are on their bye week and don't play again until Oct. 9 at Detroit. 

“It is still a young season, only three games. This was a good benchmark," Pederson said. "That’s a good football team, the Steelers are a great football team. They are going to be there at the end, they always are. Coach (Mike) Tomlin always has those guys ready to play. 

"But for our guys, it is just a little glimpse of that belief that I have been saying since the spring and summer. If they just do their jobs, I just feel that good things can happen. We just protect each other in that dressing room in there and keep coming to work everyday.”

Pederson is the only head coach in team history to win each of his first three games. It's only the ninth time the Eagles have started 3-0.

And of course, a big reason they've done so is their prodigy quarterback Carson Wentz, who became only the second rookie in team history to record a 300-yard passing game (Nick Foles is the other).

More impressively, Wentz now has attempted 102 straight passes without an interception, the longest streak ever begin an NFL career (per ESPN). Dallas'  Dak Prescott is at 99 after the Cowboys beat up the Bears.

But don't ask Pederson to admit he's amazed by Wentz or the fact he had the presence of mind to make plays like the riveting 73-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles (much more on that here).

“You know, you just put on his college film. Just watch him," Pederson said. "We exhausted his college tape and those were the plays that he made at North Dakota State. That play tonight was just a tremendous play by both he and Darren Sproles. Those are the types of things that we know he can do. He just keeps gaining confidence every single week.”

As does the defense, which kept one of the league's most potent offenses out of the end zone

"They just weren’t going to be denied," Pederson said. "They just weren’t going to bow their necks. They weren’t going to let them in the endzone. It just came down to our will versus theirs and I was just so happy with the way the guys played. Just a great team effort.”