Posts Tagged ‘Michael Vick’

With Successful 2013 Season Over, Eagles and Fans Wonder What ’14 Will Bring

January 13th, 2014 by Jim Chesko | 1 Comment | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

eaglesticHere’s what the Eagles need to do to beat the Panthers in Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff contest down in Carolina.

Ok, that was the piece I had expected to be writing today. But the New Orleans Saints’ 26-24 victory last Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field put an end to all that, leaving disheartened Birds’ fans to wonder what personnel changes will be made between now and July and whether Chip Kelly and Co. can build on his surprisingly successful first year in Philadelphia.

And, make no bones about it: The Eagles’ 2013 season was much better than almost anyone could have predicted. Most experts – as well as this writer (definitely not an expert!) – figured on a six- or seven-win season for the Birds in Year One of the Kelly Era. And that’s how it was shaping up when the team was 3-5 at the season’s midpoint. Little did we know what lay ahead!

Granted, Billy Davis’s defense had started playing better in October, but there was still loads of uncertainty at the quarterback position: Nick Foles had stunk up the joint in a Week 7 home loss to the Cowboys, and – in Week 8 – Michael Vick returned from a hamstring injury only to re-aggravate it in the Birds’ loss to the hapless New York Giants.

We all know what happened next. Second-year QB Foles returned to the lineup in Week 9 and threw an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes in a blowout win over the Raiders in Oakland, the start of a five-game winning streak and a 7-1 second half that culminated in an NFC East Division title with a Week 17 win over the Tony Romo-less Cowboys in Dallas.  LeSean McCoy set a franchise record with a league-leading 1,607 rushing yards and 2,146 yards from scrimmage.  DeSean Jackson ended with 82 catches for 1,332 yards, the second-highest total in team history. And – oh yeah – Foles quietly put up some amazing numbers in his sophomore season: a 64% completion rate, 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.2 – the third-best in league history.


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Do the Eagles have a Secret Weapon?

December 18th, 2013 by Philly Pressbox | Comments Off on Do the Eagles have a Secret Weapon? | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

Eagles Logo

“View from the Philly Pressbox”

As the Eagles head in to the final two games of the season and, hopefully, in to the playoffs is it time to see if they truly have a secret weapon as part of their team?

We all know that as you enter the playoff run that the defenses get better, well maybe not the Dallas Cowboys, and offenses have to be on top of their game. We know that the Eagles defense can be suspect itself so keeping the offense operating on all cylinders is critical. The Minnesota Viking exposed some weaknesses in the Eagles offense by rushing Nick Foles relentlessly throughout the game. The O-Line struggled some for the first time in several weeks and Foles looked a bit rattled early before settling in while playing from behind. Whether it be the Vikings defense or Chip Kelly’s play calling the running game disappeared with LeSean McCoy getting only 8 carries for 38 yards and Foles 5 carries for 41, a whopping total of 79 yards rushing. It’s safe to say the leading rusher in the NFL needs 18-25 carries and he will get 100 yards.

Nick Foles has done an outstanding job of running the Eagles offense, making good decisions, and maybe most importantly protecting the football.  Foles biggest weakness in the read option offense is his inability to run the ball well. He’s made the best of the situation and done nothing wrong while he’s running the ball but there could be more. That brings us to Michael Vick, the secret weapon! It’s time to have a read option package for Vick, from time to time, against these tough defenses. If nothing else the defense will have to respect him running the football. If keeping one man home gives McCoy more space to run or allows the O-Line to get a better match up then why not. If no one stays home then Vick can run for a lot more yards than Foles and open the field up for the rest of the offense.

Don’t get me wrong, Nick Foles is the starting QB. What I’m talking about is maybe 5-7 situational snaps per game. I don’t want Vick in there throwing the ball and being reckless. Foles has handled everything that’s been thrown his way so I don’t see this as a distraction to him or a break in his consistency but rather utilizing all the talent you have available on the 53 man roster.


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Arizona Cardinals (7-4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)- Game Preview, Breakdown, Injury Report and Predictions

December 1st, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Arizona Cardinals (7-4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)- Game Preview, Breakdown, Injury Report and Predictions | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

Time/Place- 01:00 PM, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
TV Channel/Radio Station- FOX/94.1 WIP

The Eagles come back home, after their bye week last week, this Sunday at 1:00 to play the smoking hot Arizona Cardinals at the Linc. Arizona comes in at 7-4, after a blowout victory vs. Indianapolis last week, 40-11. They’ve won four straight, and yet, if the playoffs started today, they wouldn’t make it. Thus, they are hungry and continuing to fight, to earn one of those two wild-card berths come playoff time.

On the flip side, the Eagles come in at 6-5, off of their bye week, having won three straight prior to the off week. They blew out Oakland 49-20 almost a month ago at Oakland’s Coliseum, a game in which Nick Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes (with no interceptions to boot). The next two weeks, prior to the bye, they defeated Green Bay at Lambeau 27-13 without Aaron Rodgers behind center, and defeated rival Washington at home 24-16, respectively. This season, Nick Foles has thrown zero interceptions, and 16 touchdown passes, for an amazing quarterback rating of 128; which leads the league.

Foles isn’t sure to win MVP honors just yet, because he’s missed a few games, and well, because Peyton Manning is lighting the league on fire, at a dramatic rate, but he’s proved, at least for the time being, that he’s worthy of being in this league as a starter. Chip Kelly even gave him his vote of confidence.

Defensively speaking, Philadelphia has picked up the load there tremendously as well, improving under their new 3-4 scheme, under first year (under the Eagles) defensive coordinator Billy Davis. They’ve only given up 13.5 points-per-game in their past four outings, and the improvements have led to the team being ranked 18th in the league defensively now, in points-per-game against, with 23.6. 


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Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles- Game Preview, Breakdown, Injury Report, and Predictions

November 17th, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles- Game Preview, Breakdown, Injury Report, and Predictions | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

Washington Redskins (3-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
1 PM —- Lincoln Financial Field — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV– FOX — Radio- 94.1 WIP FM

Starting Quarterbacks ——–   GP — QBRat– Comp– Att– Pct — Yards — Yards/Game — Yards/Attempt — TD — INT

                                                Robert Griffin III ——– 9 —- 83.8 —– 205  337 — 60.8 — 2450 — 272.2 — 7.3 —  12 — 9                                                                                                      Nick Foles —— 7 —– 132.5 — 86 — 136 –63.2 — 1256 — 179.4 — 9.2 —- 16 —-    0


The Philadelphia Eagles, in less than 12 hours from now, will attempt to gain sole possession of first place within the NFC East division, with a win over rival Washington, who’s coming off of a seven point loss, 34-27, at Minnesota 10 days ago on a Thursday night game. Last season, Washington was in a very similar, almost exact situation as this season. Last year, they were 3-6 as well, and went on to win seven consecutive games to finish at 10-6 — good enough for first place within the NFC East; Washington’s first division title in 13 years, since they went 10-6 in the 1999 season.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia can’t seem to buy a win at home these past couple of seasons, for whatever reason. They’re winless at home this season, at 0-4, while Washington is 1-4 on the road. Currently, Philadelphia has a 10-game losing streak at home, dating back to last year. Their last home victory came over a year ago, vs. the Giants, on September 30th, when they won 19-17.

The former is tied for dead last, with the New York Giants, within the division, while Philadelphia is tied, with five wins a piece, with Dallas for the lead. Washington has been outscored by 57 points thus far, 287-230, while Philadelphia has outscored their opponents by eight points, 252-244.


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Better Man for the Job: Foles or Vick?

November 7th, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Better Man for the Job: Foles or Vick? | Filed in Eagles, Football, General


After Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles’ dominant, record-tying performance on Sunday at Oakland, there’s a better understanding, to an extent, among Eagles’ fans- and even NFL fans in general- about who’s the starting quarterback, when healthy, going forward this season, and even beyond that point.

From seeing all the comments pour in and the reactions come about after Philadelphia’s 49-20 win vs. the Raiders, it seems a lot of fans are on the Nick Foles’ bandwagon now, as for who the starting QB should be from here on out.

Michael Vick is currently sidelined indefinitely with a nagging hamstring injury that’s plagued him on and off for the past several weeks. It is unknown when he will return to game action, if he will be the starter at that point, and what his diagnosis, and future with the team is, going forward. Regardless of health, Vick is an average quarterback in my eyes, who isn’t accurate, but has shown to be able to throw the long ball both regularly and effectively, while relying mostly on his legs to gain first downs and points.

Comparing the two statistically, in their careers, even though Foles’ career has been a (much) small(er) sample size than Vick’s, Foles holds the edge in completion percentage with 61.4%, compared to Vick’s 56.2%. Michael Vick has been more accurate in his career with Philadelphia, compared to his first six seasons with Atlanta (he’s played in five seasons with Philadelphia), with a completion percentage of 59.5, as opposed to a 53.8 percentage with the Falcons. Foles has a long ways to go before he reaches the number of career games played by Vick thus far: Vick currently has played in (but not necessarily started in) 127 games, while Foles has only been in 13.

Nick put on a clinic, to say the least, Sunday at Oakland,  tying an NFL record with 7 touchdown passes in the process.


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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders- Game Preview, Breakdowns, Injury List and Predictions

November 4th, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders- Game Preview, Breakdowns, Injury List and Predictions | Filed in Eagles, Football, General


Once again folks, it’s Sunday and time for Eagles’ football to commence. This week, they face off against their 1980 Super Bowl opponent, the 3-4 Oakland Raiders, from the AFC West. Oakland the remainder of the year still has to play their combined 15-1 rivals, Kansas City (8-0) and Denver (7-1) a game apiece, on top of a few other diminishing yet hungry NFC East teams, among others.

Oakland’s coming off of a close, yet impressive victory over Pittsburgh, 21-18, last week at home, in which QB Terrelle Pryor ran for a 93-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Despite his incredible performance on the ground, by air he wasn’t as impressive. Pryor went 10/19 for a measly 88 passing yards and two interceptions; one of which eventually lead to a Shaun Suisham field goal for Pittsburgh. Limiting the turnovers is key for any team, but especially for Oakland, who needs the points per drive as much as possible, considering they play Denver, KC and San Diego six times a season. This proves true for Pryor as well, who needs to limit the turnovers as much as possible, as a rookie, in order to play effectively (especially in the passing game, in order to compliment his running game), and to play, period.

Wide receiver Jacoby Ford had a poor game vs. Pittsburgh, with two fumbles, one of which was recovered by Pittsburgh, and lead to a subsequent touchdown on the latter’s next drive, and -3 yards receiving on one catch.

This season thus far, in his second NFL season and first full, Pryor has a quarterback rating of 77.2, and he’s thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes (7 to 5). He’s still developing his game, and despite the curve, he’s learning tremendously, in strides, not only the fundamentals as a quarterback but the little things it takes to win. Despite the turnovers, Pryor has dramatically improved his passing game accuracy wise, which works wonders for the Raiders’ West Coast Offense offensive scheme, which requires a quarterback to be as accurate as can be in order to attain success, and finding the open receiver quickly. This season, he has a 63.1 completion percentage.

Pryor is learning quickly about the ins and outs of the West Coast offense regime, under offensive  coordinator Greg Olson, who ran the same system previously under former 49ers’ head coach Steve Mariucci in 2005 with Detroit. Pryor certainly has the physical talents to be able to survive in this league, like a younger Mike Vick, but time will tell as to whether or not he can keep his foot on the gas and improve rapidly enough to be successful.


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Nick or Vick? The People’s Choice vs. the Safe Choice

October 16th, 2013 by Jim Chesko | Comments Off on Nick or Vick? The People’s Choice vs. the Safe Choice | Filed in Football, General, Sports


It’s the great quarterback controversy of 2013: Nick or Vick? Now that second-year signal caller Nick Foles has an impressive, complete-game victory under his belt this season – Sunday’s 31-20 win over Tampa Bay, the same team he defeated last December for his first win as a starter – it’s the big debate for Eagles fans this week. The question, simply put: If Michael Vick is healthy, who should start at quarterback, Nick or Vick?

Most fans seem to prefer Foles over Vick as their quarterback of choice: A poll had the 24-year-old Foles with a whopping 3-to-1 lead as of Monday evening. But the decision, of course, will ultimately be made by the head coach.

With Vick still working to recover from his hamstring injury suffered against the Giants, Chip Kelly – not surprisingly – was noncommittal at his day-after news conference Monday regarding which quarterback would get first-team reps this week ahead of Sunday’s first-place battle against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. “Until we know what the health is, I’m not saying what anybody isn’t or anybody is … All our decisions on who’s going to play are based on health.”

Does that mean the job is Vick’s once he’s back at 100%? Not necessarily. In that same news conference, Kelly said “all of our decisions are based on who’s going to give us the best opportunity to win.” Hmmm. (Remember, back in August, Kelly awarded the starting job to the 33-year-old Vick, saying he was his “starter for the season,” which we thought might mean for the entire season. Maybe not.)

Why Kelly might stick with Vick: To be fair, the veteran southpaw had played pretty well this year prior to his injury. Despite completing just 54% of NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamphis passes, he threw for five touchdowns in his four-and-a-half games with just two interceptions, and his 8.98 yards-per-attempt is a career high. His passer rating of 90.6 is his best since his big 2010 season (100.2). And, although the head coach won’t say it, Vick – when he’s on his gam – probably is the better fit for the uptempo offense Kelly likes to run.


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