The good news? Michael Vick didn’t throw any interceptions this week against the Steelers. The bad news? He seemingly developed an allergic reaction to holding on to footballs.
Vick put more balls on the ground than an all-male flashmob performing “The Worm.”
The Offensive Line was shaky, at best, and allowed the Steelers to pressure Vick all day. And while he took his regular dose of brutal hits, Vick looked skittish for the first 30 minutes of play. Every time he was hit, he dropped the ball. Three times in the first quarter… Two of which ended potential scoring drives.
Vick may have collected himself and put together another late game, go-ahead drive – his fourth of the season – but the Eagles lost this game because of Michael Vick. The team had opportunity after opportunity to take control of this game early, but couldn’t capitalize. Forget capitalizing… They couldn’t hold on to the freaking football! It was like the Offense was dipping their hands in olive oil on the sideline.
The Steelers looked almost Eagle-like in the first half: committing a ridiculous amount of holding and illegal formation and pass interference penalties; poorly executing a terrible gameplan… They were ready to hand the game over to the Eagles! Yet Vickhead was determined to hand it right back.
But something else happened in this game that makes us not as angry/depressed/murderous as we would usually be after an Eagles lose. Andy Reid adjusted his offensive gameplan! WHAT?!!?! In fact, this may be two weeks in a row that we’ve seen The Walrus shift his
size-58 utility belt gameplan from “do nothing to move the ball forward” in the first half, to “give the ball to Shady and let him do Shady things, while only allowing Vick to throw short, quick dinks and dunks” in the second half. And for the second straight week… It worked!
Between McCoy doing his best Barry Sanders impression(*) and Vick firing the ball out as fast as possible – considering there was a Steeler coming at him unencumbered and full-speed on EVERY SINGLE PLAY, kind-of-sort-of made this a necessity – the Birds were able to put together their most impressive drive of the season. 17 plays, 79 yards, over 8:18, culminating in a two-yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek. The Eagles haven’t been capable of of that in Buddy knows how long!
(*)And as much as we hate them, it’s an honor to hear the likes of Joe
FBuck and Troy Aikman confirm what we’ve been saying for more than two years now… LeSean McCoy is the only Running Back to ever come close to resembling the head/shoulder-fakes and cuts that Barry Sanders made famous.
But while Andy’s playcalling drastically improved over the course of the game, the Defense, which has been very good so far this season, finally cracked… Or at least was worn out by the Steelers bruising, smashmouth style. This time, it’s Juan and Washburn that need to do some adjusting and figure out why the Steelers were able to get such a great push at the line and run all over the D in the final quarter.
So, while Andy Reid wasn’t exactly the reason his team lost today – though it certainly would have helped to have had some timeouts at the end of the game – owners of Vickhead and Castillo had a great day in their 2012 Eagles Fantasy Blame leagues! And that’s really what this season seems to be coming down to: Who gets thrown under the bus at the end? Will it be Vick and his army of
pitbulls turnovers… Or Juan Canmaybecoachstillo when the Defense doesn’t come through? It remains to be seen.
All we know is, 3-2 doesn’t feel as good as 4-1 would have felt.