Michael Vick's Same Old Story | Eagles Addict

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One of the most documented stories of the past calendar year has been Michael Vick’s need to cut back on turnovers.  Another was the notion that he needed to regain his 2010 form.

Everyone remembers Michael Vick in 2010.  He was dominant and borderline unstoppable.  He led the Eagles to the playoffs where they lost in a Wild Card game to the eventual champion Green Bay Packers.

He followed up his incredible 2010 campaign with an abysmal 2011.  That’s what happened, right?

Not exactly.

Over time people tend to view the past through a much broader lens than they do the present.  That’s what has happened with Michael Vick’s 2010 season.

When viewed more closely, 2010 transforms from the stuff of legend to myth.

Before i write any further I should clarify that I am not a Vick hater that hasn’t forgiven him for previous sins.  I actually appreciate the guy’s heart, tenacity, courage and desire to win.

It’s just that I don’t think he’s all that great of a quarterback and i don’t see him leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl.

Vick opened 2010 with a seven-game stretch that saw him throw 11 touchdowns, run for five more and turn the ball over just one time.  The Eagles were 5-1 in his starts.

Over his final six starts in 2010, Vick threw for another 11 touchdowns and ran for five more.  He also threw seven interceptions and fumbled seven times, losing two.  The Eagles went 3-3 in those games.

When coupled with 2011, things don’t look so good.

Over 19 games Vick threw 29 touchdown passes against 21 interceptions.  When his rushing performance is included he adds six more touchdowns but also 10 more fumbles with four lost.

That brings his totals to 35 touchdowns and 27 turnovers in 19 games.  Vick led the Eagles to a 10-9 record in that stretch.

Now to the overall point of this writing: Michael Vick is what he is.

He is an electrifying player that is a ton of fun to watch.  He takes risks and chances and when everything works out he takes you on an incomparable thrill ride.  When things go wrong, though, they go incredibly wrong.  Unfortunately things go wrong too often.

Since Vick’s 2010 slide began he’s started 22 games with a record of 12-10.  In those games he’s completed 59.5 percent of his passes and thrown for 5,910 yards, 32 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.

He averages 7.73 yards per attempt, he has a 4.18 touchdown percentage and a 3.53 interception percentage.  He’s also been sacked 51 times for minus-320 yards.

With Vick you can never forget what he adds with his legs.  He’s carried the ball 150 times for 1,016 yards and a 6.77-yard average.  He’s scored seven touchdowns but fumbled 22 times, losing nine.

That brings us to a total of 966 plays that Vick has accounted for.  He has produced 6,606 yards, averaged 6.84 yards per play, accounted for 39 touchdowns and 36 turnovers.  He turns the ball over on 3.73 percent of his plays.

In total Vick has been intercepted or has fumbled 49 times in 966 plays.  That means he throws the ball to the opponent or puts the ball on the ground 5.07 percent of the time.

Since a quarterback can’t actually fumble once a pass has been attempted, I wanted to look even closer.  I figured it makes sense to view fumbles on only plays where a fumble could actually occur.

Those would be on rushing attempts and sacks.  Vick totaled 201 such plays Vick has netted 696 yards and coughed the ball up 22 times for 10.95 percent.  Vick fumbles more than once out of every 10 plays where a fumble is possible.

Obviously some of these numbers are obviously not mainstream statistical markers so for the sake of comparison, here are two of Vick’s contemporaries over a similar period of time.

Since 2010 Tony Romo has started 25 games for the Cowboys and posted an 11-14 record.  Not many quarterbacks get hammered by fans and media more than Romo.

Over this period Romo is completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 6,630 yards, 46 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

He’s averaged 7.86 yards per attempt with a 5.46 touchdown percentage and a 2.37 interception percentage.  He has been sacked 50 times for 313 yards. Romo also has 39 rushes for 96 yards and a touchdown with seven fumbles and three lost.

Vick 12-10 59.5 5,910 32 4.18 27 3.53 7.73
Romo 11-14 66.9 6,630 46 5.46 20 2.37 7.86

On 932 total plays, Romo has produced 6,413 yards for a 6.88 average per play.  He has accounted for 47 touchdowns and 23 turnovers.  He’s turned the ball over on 2.47 percent of his plays.

Vick 966 6,606 6.84 39 36 3.73
Romo 932 6,413 6.88 47 23 2.47

On 89 total rushing attempts and sacks, Romo has lost 217 yards and fumbled seven times for 7.87 percent of the time.

Vick 201 696 3.46 7 22 10.95 9
Romo 89 -217 -2.44 1 7 7.87 3

Romo has been intercepted or has fumbled 27 times in 932 plays, equaling 2.90 percent of the time.

Vick 966 49 5.07
Romo 932 27 2.90

Michael Vick doesn’t compare too favorably to the NFL’s whipping boy.  How does he fare against the division’s other top QB?

Since the start of 2011, Eli Manning has started 23 games including the 2011 playoffs.  The Giants are 15-8 in those starts.

Manning has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 7,193 yards, 43 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

He has an impressive 8.23 yards per attempt along with a 4.94 touchdown percentage and a 2.30 interception percentage.  He’s been sacked 43 times for 306 yards and has rushed 48 times for 38 yards with a touchdown and 10 fumbles and four lost.

Vick 12-10 59.5 5,910 32 4.18 27 3.53 7.73
Manning 15-8 62.5 7,163 43 4.94 20 2.30 8.23

Eli is responsible for 961 plays on which he generated 6,895 yards for a 7.17 average.  He has accounted for 44 touchdowns and 24 turnovers with a 2.50 turnover percentage.

Vick 966 6,606 6.84 39 36 3.73
Manning 961 6,895 7.17 44 24 2.50

On 91 rushing plays and sacks, Manning has lost 268 yards and fumbled 10 times for a 10.99 average.  His fumble average is slightly worse than Vick’s although Vick has turned it over more often.

Vick 201 696 3.46 7 22 10.95 9
Manning 91 -268 -2.95 1 10 10.99 4

On 961 total plays Manning has been intercepted or has fumbled a total of 30 times.  That equates to 3.12 percent of his plays being up for grabs.

Vick 966 49 5.07
Manning 961 30 3.12

After looking over the two other elite level NFC East quarterbacks, Vick clearly hasn’t measured up.

In my estimation it can’t be written off to simply a down 2011 season.  This has been a consistently inconsistent performance over the past 22 games.

Over that time he has turned the ball over an average of 1.64 times per game.  By comparison, Eli has turned it over 1.04 times per game and Romo just 0.92 times.

While this may seem like an opportune time to pile on, I’ll say that these feelings have been here during all three games, I just haven’t written until now this season.

Also, I wrote something very similar to this after last season ended.  You can read it here.

Michael Vick is a good football player and I’d rather have him than all but about six or seven other quarterbacks.  He is capable of winning a lot of games this season and maybe even one or two in the playoffs.

That is pretty much the best case scenario though.  He just hasn’t shown any capability to play clean football for multiple games in a row.

One last thing in Vick’s defense.  He isn’t Tom Brady or Drew Brees.  He can be erratic throwing the football and he tries to do too much and makes mistakes.

His head coach, Andy Reid and his offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg should know by now what they have.

They have arguably the best running back in the league.  They have a quarterback that is hemorrhaging the football at a clip of 3.0 turnover per game this season.

Isn’t it time to try something that simply has to work better?  Vick admirably led this team to two game-winning touchdowns in weeks 1 and 2 but it can’t happen every week.

At some point you have to play to your strengths and Michael Vick having the entire offense on his turnover-prone shoulders isn’t a strength right now.


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6 Responses to Michael Vick’s Same Old Story

  1. Hey Ron, good to see you back in the game! LOL

    Good work on the stats. I think we talked about this before, but again, even though I can’t stand Romo, I’ve always thought he was a better “true QB” than Vick.

    I still always hold out hope for Vick, but he’s turning the ball over at a record pace. I’m not sure how much more I can stand…or Reid for that matter.

    What’s the over/under until we see Foles? (either due to injury or due to Vick’s ineffectiveness)

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      Thanks Dave, glad to be back. I’ve never had a case of writer’s block this bad before.

      I hate Romo too, but as much as Vick apologists will blame everything around him, Romo has it worse. He is an excellent passer and while he isn’t as explosive as a runner, he is one of the best in the league at avoiding the rush.

      He has actually drastically cut down on his mistakes and bad decisions and Vick just keeps them coming.

      I told you after last season I think Vick just is what he is, but I’d cut him some slack with a full offseason. He had it and he picked up right where he left off. I’m on the fence with Andy, but there is really no excuse to come out and throw on every freaking play.

      I think Vick could get injured at any time, so I’d be surprised if he makes it through two more full games. Performance-wise, I don’t think Foles will replace him unless they play three or four more games like Sunday.

      Do you think there is any threat of Vick being benched?

      • Yeah, I definitely think Vick will get benched if he continues to play like he has been. I’d say, 2 more weeks like this and we’ll see Foles…at least for half a game if not a full game.

        • Ron Pasceri says:

          I honestly hope you are right about that. I think I just have Andy’s stubbornness lodged in my brain and I feel like he refuses to admit being wrong.

          I never thought Foles was the answer or that he should have been challenging Vick in he preseason but I’m just so over the Vick experiment.

          I do fear occasionally that I’m going to end up wrong and looking like a moron but I guess I don’t mind looking bad if it means we won a Super Bowl.

  2. Fábio Campos says:

    Hi Ron,

    remember me? The Brazilian. Dave invited me to follow this site, good to know that you will write here just as he.

    about Vick I think that the true is, he has no football IQ to play like elite QB. He can´t read Defenses, he can´t make the adjustments. he’s more athlete than QB. early 2010 he took the NFL by surprise. In the course of the season the defenses were adapting, with game plan to stop him, and he once again became the real Vick.

    It´s not his fault if the team pay him like elite (and hope he plays like elite). He gives all he can, but what he can is not enough to take the team deep into the playoffs(this requires consistency against good defenses, game after game, and he can´t do this).

    Vick is the typical player to be a good backup, that can enter in some situations and change the rhythm of game, or in case of injury win 2-3 games in the regular season, but just this. I being an Eagles fanatic is sad to realize that Vick will not get us to the SB.

    I hope Foles can play 2-3 games this year. we need to know if he is the answer or if we will need take a shot in the next draft (to be honest I love Foles potential).

    really good to read an article of yours again. great as usual

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      Of course I remember you Fabio, awesome to hear from you again. I love the comment you made “he gives all he can but what he can is not enough.” That is exactly how I feel. He has his strengths and I believe he tries so hard to win but he just doesn’t have what it takes.

      When he is playing at his best he can be as good as anyone but he only plays his best maybe 5 times in a season. Unless he saves it for January he won’t play his best in the playoffs. I think the best finish we can expect is winning one playoff game this year.

      I’d like to see Foles just to get a feel for how he plays with DeSean, Maclin and Celek and against real defenses. Thanks for commenting Fabio!

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