It’s impossible to expect Michael Vick to perform at a very high level and put the keys to the offense in his hands and not get blown away by the mistakes he tends to make, costing the Philadelphia Eagles a second consecutive loss as the euphoria from the opening weekend has quickly been replaced with a harsh sense of realism.
In reality, Michael Vick can be devastating to his own team as he can be exciting. He broke off for a 61-yard run during the first quarter, the longest of his career, as he keeps enjoying the advantages of the Chip Kelly scheme helping the running game look extremely effective. LeSean McCoy finished with 158 yards on 20 carries; Vick ran for 95 yards on five more. These look like College Football numbers.
The problem is Vick can be irresoponsible and foolish in his decisions like a college Freshman. He was intercepted twice, his first interceptions of the season. While Chip Kelly tried to talk about how Vick needs better protection, both throws were on the quarterback.
The first was a simple throw to right toward Brian Celek, but he broadcast that throw from miles away, and Derrick Johnson tipped the pass so Eric Berry ended up scoring the touchdown on the 38-yard pick-six. The second was Vick trying to force a pass to Riley Cooper. Sean Smith simply stepped ahead of Copper and made the interception, as the Chiefs ended up scoring a field goal on the following possession.
Vick turned the ball over three times during the game (fumbling it once), making it five turnovers for him during the season. It’s easy to see why Kelly decided to go with him as his quarterback to start the season, but like many other head coaches before, he was blinded by the running talent and strong arm, forgetting about how teams adjust to Vick’s running style and how blitzes make him unpredictable and prone to mistakes.
The Eagles didn’t give up too many passing yards, which is a good thing, but the Chiefs aren’t the type of team to try and make the most of a bad secondary. They had excellent field position all through the game in their 26-16 win, and Alex Smith refuses to do anything more than what the defense gives to him. With all the running talent and complicated offensive schemes that Kelly brought with him, the answer to a five-turnover game and a patient and smart opponent on the other end still hasn’t been found.
The Eagles have a good team with a running game that’s impossible to completely stop, which comes down to the things teams can take advantage of – Michael Vick being who he is, which is a very talented quarterback, but one that refuses to acknowledge his own weaknesses, and usually dragging along his coaches with him. Unless you have a mountain range for an offensive line, he’ll be sent scrambling at one point or the other, and his unpredictability makes it even more difficult to protect him.
So far, Eagles fans are waiting to see a first win at home. In the NFC East, the playoff race is far from over with three two-loss teams (at this point) and no one undefeated. But without being able to reduce these foreseeable mistakes by his quarterback, Chip Kelly might not be regarded as the offensive genius by the end of the season like it seemed he would be after the first couple of games.