NFL analysts and hoards of broadcasters gave bold predictions last week that the Philadelphia Eagles would upset the Atlanta Falcons in what would be Mike Vick’s ‘angry’ game. So what happened? Where was the angry play that was promised from Vick, or the unstoppable run that Atlanta would not overcome, better yet where was the improved defense from Todd Bowles? The Falcons came in with a mission, and they executed said mission. The funny thing is that Philadelphia also executed their intentions against Atlanta.
Andy Reid wanted to use the run against Atlanta to match the poor rush defense of the Falcons. Check; Atlanta saw 24 rush attempts for 92 yards. The Eagles wanted to protect the ball and reduce turnovers. Check; 0 Eagles turnovers in this game. The only area Philadelphia wasn’t able to improve in was defense. Give Todd Bowles a break though, it was his first game as defensive coordinator and it’s not like he was given a good defense to start with. The Eagles defense will improve with time as Todd Bowles makes the changes he needs. So what else needs to change in Philadelphia? A new QB or a new head coach?
In 2005, it was alleged that a man by the name of Ron Mexico would get treatment for a certain infection he wanted to keep secret. Ron Mexico was allegedly the alias used by Michael Vick to hide his identity when procuring medical treatment for a sensitive condition. HIPAA laws and other medical privacy laws aside, I bring this up for one reason, other than the obvious humor. In 2005, Michael Vick (aka Ron Mexico, allegedly) was years into the richest contract in league history; 10 years and $130 million, a number only beat by Calvin Johnson with 8 years and $132 million years later. Vick’s contract numbers weren’t matching his field numbers. Atlanta was 40-39 through the end of 2005, 2-2 in the playoffs. 3 of 5 seasons under Vick, the Falcons were .500 or worse. November 2006, Jim Mora Senior (father of the then Falcons head coach Jim Mora Junior) made a controversial comment regarding Vick. Craig Shermon called Michael Vick a “coach killer,” and Jim Mora Senior agreed citing that Vick was not a good passer. Jim Mora Junior was fired after the 2006 season, partly to a controversial comment of his own.
In Vick’s seasons with the Eagles they are a combined 21-18 during the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs. Vick has only thrown better than a 60% completion rate 1 year in his career, and has only boasted a QBR of 90 or better (in at least 100 attempts) for one season. Both of those notable stats occurred in the same season, 2010. Before the Vick era, Reid boasted a winning percentage of .610; during the Vick era .553. Before Vick, Reid and the Eagles boasted a 10-7 playoff record, but after Vick 0-2. Just like Jim Mora Junior, Reid has defended Vick’s lack of production and inability to win. Just like Mora, if Reid remains in denial he’ll be replaced. So what are Reid’s options?
There are 3 things Reid can do:
1. Remain in denial, and go the way of Jim Mora Junior.
2. Replace Vick as the starter, and put a real passing QB in the pocket. At the moment, given the current state of affairs, this would be the best options. If not now, give Vick one more game to lead this team to a decisive victory.
3. Let the real Ron Mexico stand up. Vick isn’t a passer, his career stats prove this. Change the name of the game, change the dynamic of the offense, and let him option. Design plays for his talents on the ground. Imagine Cam Newton, except 10 NFL seasons wiser. Scary right?!! Michael Vick sold out seats in the Georgia Dome, and non-Falcons fans would flip on the Falcons games just to see the exciting Michael Vick make the defense sweat. God gave the man quickness, now let him use those feet. Let the real Ron Mexico stand up!