Michael Vick and Andy Reid: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Posted: September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

ImageThe day was August 29th, 2011. The story was Michael Vick’s new $100 million contract. The city was abuzz with the news that Vick would be the Philadelphia Eagles’ new franchise Quarterback for years to come. But, less 13 months later, the city’s love affair with their enigmatic signal-caller has waned. 

The former Virginia Tech standout is just 9-7 since the deal with a Jon Kitna’esque 19:20 touchdown to interception ratio. With the promise of rookie QB Nick Foles lurking in the shadows, will this be the final year of the Vick experiment in the City of Brotherly Love? Should the Eagles decide to cut ties with Vick, they can avoid paying millions of dollars in bonus money owed in the latter parts of the now infamous deal. 

There’s no doubt that Vick can be an exciting and dangerous player when his head is on straight. But, the fact of the matter is that he has never improved his decision making or proficiency against the blitz. This past Sunday was no exception. In the Eagles’ 27-6 loss in Arizona, Vick dropped back to pass 46 times and was blitzed on 24 of those downs. Thanks to profootballfocus.com, we can dive even further into these statistics. Against the Cardinals’ blitz, Vick completed just 5 of 21 passes for 109 yards and his QB rating was a disastrous 48.7. This, of course, also raises the question as to why the Eagles don’t utilize LeSean McCoy more in the early parts of games. Andy Reid has always preached that his philosophy is to pass to get the lead and run to preserve said lead. But, when you’re saddled with a signal-caller who cannot read defenses and protect the football, it might be time to change your philosophy. That, or find a new job elsewhere. 

Anyone who thinks that the Eagles will not be facing a dramatic package of blitzes this Sunday night against the Giants is kidding themselves. Opponents have blitzed Vick to the tune of 38 percent of passing plays. This is a staggering number that is only trumped by the amount of blitzes that the Giants have thrown at Vick. In the three games in which New York and Vick have toiled with each other, Tom Coughlin has called on the blitz an average of 46 percent of the time. 

The good news, however, is that Vick has had success in the past against the Giants. He’s 5-2 with a completion percentage of 60. The bad news is that Vick has customarily gotten more inconsistent as the season has gone on over his career:

September: 329-580 (56.7%), 4108 yards, 25 TD – 13 INT, 83.9 rating (15-9 record) 

October: 307-508 (60.4%), 3938 yards, 20 TD – 18 INT, 83.1 rating (15-9 record)

November: 372-666 (55.9%), 4427 yards, 28 TD – 13 INT, 82.2 rating (15-13-1 record)

December: 426-809 (52.7%), 5683 yards, 37 TD – 31 INT, 74.5 rating (19-14 record)

As one can see, Vick has had to pass the ball much more as the season has gone on. This is also something that Andy Reid has become addicted to. When the weather gets worse, most teams choose to run the football to protect the rock. But, Andy Reid, the contrarian that he is, chooses to buck the trend. 

Heading into the season, most fans were concerned that Vick might not finish the season due to the amount of hits he receives and the possibility of another nagging injury hampering his success. Less than a month in, and the story has been re-written. Fans are now calling for his replacement not due to injury, but because of his sheer incapability to lead this team to where they need to be. Is Nick Foles the answer? Probably not. But, at the rate this season is going, we will find out sooner rather than later if Reid and Vick have the goods to deliver a Lombardi Trophy before their time runs out.

 

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