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Breaking Down The Possible Vick Benching

After Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, rumors have been swirling that Andy Reid is ready to pull the plug on the Michael Vick era and turn things over to rookie Nick Foles next Monday against the Saints. No official announcement has been made as of this writing, but such a decision would have monumental implications for the rest of this season. It’s going to be a highly debated decision, one that is going to divide the fan base. There’s a case to be made for both sides, and I’ll break each one down below.

Why Vick Should Be Benched

If Reid does in fact decide to sit Michael Vick down, it isn’t just a reaction to the team’s latest loss, it’s because of a long evaluation of Vick as a whole that goes back to the beginning of last season.

When you look at Vick’s body of work since the start of the 2011 season, it isn’t a pretty picture.

The man has been an absolute turnover machine. He tossed 14 interceptions in 13 starts last year, and has already thrown eight in just seven games this year. In that same stretch, he’s also fumbled 13 times, and lost five of them. Altogether, that’s 27 turnovers in 20 games. A turnover rate that high isn’t a product of a bad offensive line or poor play calling, a turnover rate that high is a product of the player failing to make a concentrated effort to make good decisions and protect the football.

The offensive line has been a mess, but their poor blocking doesn’t justify Vick going into panic mode and throwing the ball up for grabs. If a play isn’t there, take the sack. Instead, Vick has made a bad situation worse by trying to force the issue.

As bad as the turnovers have been, Vick’s issues go beyond interceptions and fumbles. Whether the quarterback is given enough time to throw or not, if you watch the film of him you’ll see that too often he locks on to one target without looking at his other options.

Vick is now 32, and has also lost some of his quickness and speed. The ability to run and escape defenders has always been what has made the former Falcon a special player. There was a time that he could mask the issues of an offensive line, escape from pressure, and turn a 10-yard loss into 15-yard gain. Those days are gone. While Vick is hardly a statue, he’s at a point in his career where defensive ends can catch up to him and prevent him from running down the field.

The biggest issue of all though is that Eagles just haven’t been winning with Vick under center. The team has gone 10-10 in the quarterback’s last 20 starts, but if you throw out the four hollow victories that the Eagles picked up at the end of the 2011 season, his record is 6-10 in his last 16 starts of meaningful football.

Also, Vick just hasn’t shown a great deal of positives. Other than his ability to take a number of vicious hits and keep playing, there hasn’t been any elements of Vick’s game that have been consistently positive this year. When you add that in with his alarming turnover rate and the fact that team just isn’t winning right now, if you aren’t at least open to the idea of a quarterback change after what you’ve seen for the last 20 games, then you aren’t looking at this situation clearly.

Why Vick Should Remain The Starter

Vick should remain the starter if Andy Reid truly believes that this team’s situation is fixable.

The Eagles made a massive financial commitment to Vick before last season, and to pull the plug on him just seven games into the 2012 season would be a larger black eye for this organization than the Juan Castillo situation.

Vick also isn’t the sole reason that this team has gone 3-4. He’s had a large hand in the team’s failures, but there are other factors at work, such as a defense that is currently in shambles.

In all fairness to Vick, while his numbers as a whole don’t look very good, you can argue that he has made some improvements from the beginning of the year. After throwing six interceptions in the first two games, Vick has thrown only two in the last five. The loss against the Falcons had nothing to do with Vick’s performance. The quarterback never had a chance with his defense allowing Atlanta to score on their first six possessions.

At 3-4, the Eagles season isn’t over. The team’s remaining schedule only features one team (the New York Giants) with a winning record, and there is still the possibility that Vick could continue to slowly stabilize himself and begin to run the offense at a high level of efficiency again.

Sending Vick to the bench right now also puts Nick Foles into a bad situation. Putting the kid into a situation where he’s asked to save the season and the head coach’s job on Monday Night Football on the road in New Orleans against Drew Brees and the Saints. If Reid were to go Foles now only to see the third-round pick put on a terrible performance in such a big spot would only take the head coach one step closer to the chopping block.

What I Think Should Happen

Looking at Vick’s body of work over the last 20 games, I’m not at all opposed to a quarterback change. However, I don’t think that this is the right time for it.

As mentioned above, the Eagles season isn’t over at 3-4. I think the Eagles owe Michael Vick every chance in the world to prove that he was worth the commitment they made to him, and if he’s going to have a big game to prove that he still gives the team the best chance to win and save his job, this will be the week.

This should be Vick’s last chance. The Saints may have the worst defense in the NFL. They’ve gotten smoked by every offense they’ve played, including the lowly Kansas City Chiefs. If this Michael Vick-led offense is still capable of breaking out and dropping more than 28 points on an opponent, this will be the week that they breakout.

There will be no excuse in the world good enough to justify another performance in which this offense scores less than 20 points. If Vick and the offense can’t get it done this week, then I’ll have seen enough.

If the Eagles drop to 3-5 with another performance similar to what we’ve seen for the first seven games, that will be the time for something as dramatic as a quarterback change. But as I write this, Michael Vick still gives the Eagles the best chance to win, and should be the quarterback on Monday night.

Denny Basens is the editor of Email him at, or follow him on Twitter. on Facebook

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Posted by on Oct 30 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Coaching Staff, Eagles, Quarterbacks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

18 Comments for “Breaking Down The Possible Vick Benching”

  1. Vick is fool’s gold. I’ll admit, I fell for it during the 2010 season. I now look at his career in totality, 56.3% completion percentage, 13.4 passes completed per game, sacked on 8.6% of the snaps he takes, high career turnover rate, etc, etc. The guy is not a good quarterback, outside of 2010, he never really has been. Matt Schaub has started 25 less games than Vick and his numbers are significantly better. Schaub will pass Vick on the passing yardage list in the next few games, with a 12 point higher QB rating. There is a good chance that Vick will follow McNabb into retirement after this season due to lack of interest from teams. At best, he’ll start for a bad team like Jacksonville, or be a backup.

  2. E, Vick will stay in the game as a backup till he is 40! He has no money! And he can’t make a living as an analyst because he doesn’t have the verbal skills. He has no choice but to kick around like mark Brunnell did.
    I think benching him is all Andy can do… If the kid comes in and plays well he can MAYBE convince Lurrie that he is the man to rebuild with Foles at the helm…. Long shot yes but…

  3. That problem with all this nonsense is this whether Foles or Vick plays against a bad Saints defense 30 points might not be enough with the way our defense is playing.

  4. Vick is the QB and should stay the QB for the entire season. period.

    • Thanks for the well formulated, non-biased opinion. So you’re basically saying “Vick should stay the QB the entire season because I’m a Vick fan”.
      Personally, I’m ok with Vick keeping his job the rest of the season, since both he and Reid will be gone next year. I really don’t want Reid and Morningweg to have their hands on Foles at this point. I also don’t want the development of Foles to be an excuse for Reid keeping his job. Reid went to bat for Vick. Ultimately, this decision along with the Castillo decision are going to cost him his job.

      • You’re acting like Foles is a fuckin superstar already! Cmon man..the 3rd ROUND PICK hasn’t even played a snap. Sure, he showed some poise in the preseason, but that shit DOES NOT COUNT. That’s what wrong with Philly fans…always in love with the backup QB just because his role fits the city’s persona…blue collar whatever you peple call yourselves. Bunch of bullshit

        • I haven’t said anything about Foles skills, to me he is a great unknown.

          You’re acting like Vick is something special. If you review his career statistics, you’ll see that he’s never been a good quarterback. He’s always had a low completion rate, he’s always turned the ball over frequently, his QB rating has always been mediocre. People got suckered by his athleticism, Andy Reid is one of them and so are you. I’ll admit that I got suckered after seeing his 2010 performance. I think this will be Vick’s last year as a starting QB in the NFL. I think there is a very good chance that he will be out of the league next season.

  5. yes i think 7 should finish what he started…. the destruction of a once powerful franchise, the demise of a very good football coach who thru his own fault went against his principles (over 30 year old FA’s, solid O. line play, character over flash).
    yes vick should start and at the end of the season start his tour of the league as a washed up never has been. making league minimum, running 5 wildcat plays a game etc.

  6. Coach AR knows he’s Finished and probably wants to take a year off to rechearged and get out of Philly anyways.. He will ride it out with his Veterans like Vick,MAcling,Asmo,Jenkins who are all underperforming and not play or showcase the young players for the next Cooaching Regime.. He will go down with who he trusts and who he brought to the Dance..

    Th big question to me is whether Owner Jeff Lurie is going to go out and hire a reall Football GM and get rid of Roseman is about as Clueless about Football as about half the “fans’ are.. Owner Lurie needs to concentrate on Hiring a GM who in turn will hire the Next Coachin Staff

    It’s a foregone conclusion that Coach Ar and his Staff are all gone after this year though DC Bowles has 9 weeks to impress and stay around
    It’s also known that Vick Demetress Bell, C Jenkins,J Babin, N Asmo will all be goners too.. The Eagles are approx $17 Million Projected over the Salary Cap for 2013 Season as this Roster now Sits and by releasing/waiving/trading about the aboce 5 Players, who none of which are playing at even as an average Starter Level would knock off $52 Million from the Salary Roster

    Salary Cap-HIt in 2013

    Vick ($ 17.9 Million)
    D Bell ($ 9.6 Million)
    Asmo ($ 15.3 Million)
    Babin ($ 4.4 Million)
    C Jenkins ($5.5 Million)

    These 5 Players account for $52 Million of the Projected $134 Million in PLayer Salaries for 2013 (Almost 39 % of the 53 Man Roster) and all 5 Players have underperformed and can be replaced with little to no drop off using other players.. The Wheels are spinning and I am afraid the longer the GM Roseman is around, the more he is Screw it up so he needs to be fired/relieved of his current duties and Lurie needs to hire a seasoned, real GM who knows what the hell he’s doing like Bill Polian for example

  7. Good article and good points. If I am coach I am trotting out this loser Vick another week for sure, domes are always difficult for the QB and I would throw Vick out there no doubt because of his experience. With that said if this game is a loss and the Eagles dont score at least 3 offensive TD’s Foles is my guy the following week.

  8. @mhenski do you honestly think if Foles was ready it would still be on the bench? So if he is an NFL QB then starting his career in a dome shouldn’t matter, didn’t Griffin go down there and shred the Saints? Like I said earlier really doesn’t matter who starts if they perform like they did last Sunday, Brees and his skill guys will never be off the field.

  9. Yes I honestly think if he was ready he would still be on the bench because Reid mortgaged his career on Vick and the Eagles gave this loser 100 million and he is stickin to it until he gets to the point of no return. This year they are completely stuck with Vick and everyone knows it and I think coach is too much of a pussy and to much of a players coach to bench some of these bums on this team. With the play of Jenkins, Asmo, Cole, and Babbin you have to at least start a Graham/Curry/Boykins for a quarter to send a message at minimum. Nope just keep doing the Andy Reid thing – aka not having a clue how to adjust on the fly.

  10. CB Nnamdi Asmogoah has been and still remains a Cancer on this Team
    He needs to be traded, released or elimated..

    Anyone remember 2 Year what an average, overhyped player CB Asmo was and the Eagles needed to get tougher and more physical along their Secondary and suggested CB Carlos Rogers who most of you scoffed at and who now probably is making his 2nd Pro-Bowl in a Row playing with the SF 49ers who happen the lead the NFL the last 2 Season in Red-Zone Passing Efficeincy by a Defense which has exactly been the Eagles biggest issue with the Eagles Defense for the last 5 Years.. Call me a Hater and that’s fine, but I still know what Talented Players are better fits for the Eagle Teams based on their Schemes and who and where they PLay than these damn knuckleheads in the Eagles Scouting and Personnel Depts and remember it was me on Day 1 when they Signed Asmo that I was perplexed and didn’t like even the response by GM Rosem,an when asked, How are you going to use him since you have A Samuel and DRC nad Roseman dipshit reposnce was.. “I don’t know, we haven’t figured that out yet.” and this is an hour after agreeing to pay Asmo crazy $$$$ , are you F’n Kidding me.. No plan or strategy to this Organization anymore, everything is a shot from the hip and hope it works..
    I hope the Eagles lose all remaining 9 Games for this Bunch deserves it

  11. hmmm I actually agree with you mhenski, why Curry is deactivated every week is a joke. You should play to win but a bad loss Monday night and they need to blow this thing up wins be damned.

  12. nfl isnt like other sports with trades and rarely do trades go down at the nfl deadline but i would not be shocked to see a defensive lineman traded to make room for him on the active roster

  13. Eagles should have traded Darryl Tapp in Preseason to a few Teams that were interested and need DL at the Time.. Curry needs to play
    They could have gotten a 5th Rounder for Tapp from the Panthers,Falcons,Pats,
    Dolphins,Vikings, if they played their Cards right and worked the Phones..

  14. Anyone know the Eagles home Record since 2010..
    Look it up, it sucks

  15. psychologically i am certain that fairy “fight song” has impact on the attitude of our players. that song should go out with who it came in with (Reid) along with these pansy uniforms. That song is an absolute disgrace to the culture of our city and I think it was introduced over the PA system because of Mrs. Lurie and to try to change the “700 level” culture at games.

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