Eagles Fans, Do Not Set Yourself Up for a Skull Crush…Just Don’t Do it

Vick knows where his loyalty lies

Believe in your team. I know a lot of you do but some are…sheeeeesh…flipping all over the place and to think…you actually have the cojones mas grande to get mad when someone calls you out like one should.

We can be fans of sport, but as this past year showed with the ridiculous reaction to LeBron leaving Cleveland, calm it down a little bit. It’s just sports right?

If the ’10-’11 Philadelphia Eagles do not win the Super Bowl don’t go all psycho by demanding the front office fire this cat and trade this other dude.

Expectations were very low after McNabb was traded and the consensus was the Eagles would not make the playoffs.

This was supposed to be a rebuilding season remember? Kevin Kolb was given the fat plastic keys to drive his own NFL bicycle sans training wheels. 12 veterans were let go or traded and Philly is now the youngest team in the NFL. Vick was a “wildcat quarterback” who was mainly used like a Tim Tebow battering ram despite being smaller than my 17 year old son. The O-line was beat up and out of sorts.

Asante Samuel was toughing it out on one leg. The other only defensive Pro Bowl caliber holdover, Trent Cole, was facing all sorts of double and triple teams as the Eagles defense was revamped.

Game one. The Eagles were being handled by the Green Bay Packers. Kevin Kolb leaves the game with a concussion after Clay Matthews walks him down when the young quarterback tried to evade the pocket.

Vick comes in, steadies the offense in spectacular fashion (173 and a TD passing, 103 on the ground) but comes up short 27-20. The Eagles go on the road for two….escaping a very underrated Lions team 35-32 and destroying Jacksonville 28-3…setting up what at the time, was the game of the year.

Vick misses three games after suffering a rib injury in the loss to Washington…a 27-24 road win at San Francisco, a 31-17 demolition of Atlanta at home and a 37-19 loss on the road to Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans. Kevin Kolb plays well in his stead but the excitement level is nothing MV7. I thought it was unfair to compare Vick and Kolb in any instance because the kid is still unproven and Mike is one of the most dynamic players ever.

The Eagles then head into the bye 4-3, giving Vick another week to rest his ribs. Andy Reid definitively names Vick the starter.

Mike shakes off the rust after a month on the sideline and leads the Eagles  to a 26-24 home win vs Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Asante Samuel’s interception of Manning late seals the deal.

Next up was another showdown with Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins in DC on Monday Night Football.

Vick has a game for the history books. He goes 20-28 for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns and also runs for 80 yards on 10 carries and another 2 touchdowns.

Pundits league wide begin to include Michael Vick in the NFL MVP discussion. He has a good game in a 27-17 win vs. the Giants in New York. The Giants get some good licks on Vick and also sack him 3 times.

At this point in the season, Vick has yet to throw an interception.

He throws his first pick during a 31-26 road loss to the Chicago Bears. Also in this game, Vick throws as incredible a pass as I’ve ever seen:

He has his third 300 yard game (out of four) in a 34-24 win at the Linc vs. Houston.

The narrative becomes Vick vs. Brady for MVP.

The Eagles head into Dallas 8-4. Philly wins 30-27. DeSean Jackson catches 4 balls for 210 yards and this 91 yard TD:

Mike Vick can do no wrong. Philadelphia is buzzing. The quarterback is beloved in a way Donovan McNabb never was. Because most of the Eagles games are seen by a national audience Vick’s story becomes international.

Heading into a huge game vs. the New York Giants all NFL eyes were focused on what Vick and the Eagles would do next. Eli Manning and the stout Giants defense would have none of it. Vick was hit legally, illegally and sacked 3 times. The Eagles fell behind 24-10 in the 4th quarter before the Giants lost containment on Vick and the Eagles stormed back to win a historic shocker:

The Eagles at 10-4, now eye the number one seed and home field advantage in the NFC. Next up is the beleaguered Minnesota Vikings. The game comes on the heels of a tremendous snow storm that blanketed the Midwest and gave us this incredible footage:

The storm heads east and with potential accumulation hitting two feet in and around Philly. The game is postponed until Tuesday. Brett Favre doesn’t play. Joe Webb does and the Vikings catch the Eagles at the right time and leave Philly 24-14 victors.

The national media hits the brake on proclaiming the Eagles NFL or even NFC best. The MVP race is all but given to Tom Brady. Serious concerns regarding how far the Eagles go seep into the discussion.

Philadelphia rests most of its star players and fall to the Dallas Cowboys in the final game yesterday 14-13.

The game was meaningless and in the first round the Eagles host the Packers Sunday at 4:30.

There was crazy apprehension to play Michael Vick because the narrative said Vick was washed up after spending the better part of two years incarcerated.

Readers and writers of The Starting Five stated over and over and over that the Eagles front office was crazy to think Kolb was the answer.

Michael Vick comes in, lights the sports world on fire and Philly now has a true chance to go deep in the playoffs.

Let’s mention Philly’s deficiencies.

Dimitri Patterson seems to be the evolution of Izell Jenkins. Nate Allen is on IR after having a decent rookie campaign.

Andy Reid does not run the ball…

Teams are blitzing Mike Vick as the season progressed to take away the go patterns of Maclin and Jackson. As a result, those plays weren’t available at a premium because teams were bringing the bass to Vick’s face.

Jukebox (as I call him), did not score a touchdown in Eagles losses. His speed and quickness are so otherworldly that when he scores everything in game changes. Announcers, fans, the other team, cops…whoever is there…drop their jaws…but when DeSean is shut down, the Eagles offense is pedestrian and Vick must do it alone.

Pass protection is horrible and Mike must go Randall (explicit lyrics) just to pull out a win. Green Bay will disguise everything at the line and players you think are coming, won’t be and vice versa.

I have serious concerns whether Maclin and Jackson are tough enough to handle anything over the middle or even quick slants to counter pressure when the pocket drops around Vick. Double moves on the outside? Of course because there’s free space and Celek (who is tough) down the middle might keep safties honest.

Big plays must happen. This team has been built like the Phoenix Suns for years. Some folks wanna blame McNabb, but when you don’t have a balance offense in the NFL, you do not win the Superbowl.

Don’t give me Brady and the Pats, because that little stuff to Welker and Chad Hall’s physical twin are just as effective as 4 yards and a cloud of dust.

If Marty Mornhinweg (rumored to be a head coaching candidate) and the aforementioned Andy Reid commit to utilizing a very talented LeSean McCoy (the Pack has been out gained on the ground this year) in the run game and work the intermediate stuff in the air the sky is the limit…BUT when has that ever happened during Reid’s tenure?

Mike Vick has had a glorious season. One for the ages. He’s been deadly accurate (again, the Celek TD pass in Chicago was outstanding). He rushed for 676 yards and 9 touchdowns while missing 3 games.  His combined yardage is near the top of the league and his passer rating is 100.2

He’s also taken a tremendous beating and folks speculating he was gonna be out for yesterday’s loss to the Cowboys was a no brainer.

Clay Matthews will try to add more shine to what may be a Defensive Player of the Year campaign. Last season’s DPOY, Charles Woodson is never toast and will be a challenge for Vick down field as well as in the pocket because he will come on blitzes. AJ Hawk ain’t no slouch either.

Kevin Kolb will never forget chunks of turf impairing his already blurry vision after Matthews drove him from here to China .

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He’s mobile, accurate, poised, has command of the huddle and more than anything, his team believes in him. The Pack has gained about 800 more yards than the opposition (1000 more in the air, 200 less on the ground).

I don’t know if the Eagles will be able to outscore the Packers because Green Bay obviously is better on defense.

Come back Jim Johnson…if only for a game…RIP sir. Philly misses you.

There are serious team holes and as it is, this outfit is not built to win it all. Vick has been magical but how many more times can he do it? In no way am I saying he can’t but how many times have you witnessed ONE guy doing it all offensively in this town?

Philly shouldn’t have to rely on Vick to be the Superman we’ve always known him to be on the field.

You’ve been set up once again. Kolb would have been retired by now with this porous line.

Vick is Randall but Randall didn’t have a line either or the receivers or the running game Mike has at his leisure.

This Vick season is so reminiscent of Cunningham’s in 1998. Remember Randall sat out almost the same amount of time as Mike. Cunningham was given a potent offense, scored the most points in NFL history (until the ’07 Pats broke the record) and we all know what happened vs. ATL.

Vick is athletic enough to get away from any defensive player who has ever lived. He’s deceptively strong and his fast twitches make defensive coordinators sick.

Yes, he didn’t study as much in ATL but those who are actually surprised at what he’s doing with true offensive talent need to turn off the cotdamn TV.

Hopefully lightening will be Philly gulped out of the proverbial bottle but the Birds will only go as far as Michael Vick flies similar to every other year and every other quarterback who has played in Philly. We’ve seen this before despite Vick’s performance being on another level. Be patient. Don’t go all crazy if it doesn’t happen because there are many reasons why it probably won’t happen.

If  the Eagles do win it all,  I’ll be one of the many writers in line to write Vick’s book. Trust.

According to MGM Sports International, the Eagles are a 9-2 favorite to win the Super Bowl.

Good luck but all I ask is you try to keep what happens next in its proper context.

5 Responses to “Eagles Fans, Do Not Set Yourself Up for a Skull Crush…Just Don’t Do it”

  1. Ron Glover says:

    In my gut I believe that the season comes to a screeching halt on Sunday. I have wavering faith in the offensive line and none whatsoever in the defense as a collective unit.

    Avant and Celek are going to have to stay in close to keep those edge rushers at bay. Vick is going to have to hit his first read quickly as his running lanes are going to be closed like I-95 on Thanksgiving Weekend.

  2. Jerold Wells Jr says:

    Green Bay was THIIIIIIIIS close to winning against the Cardinals last year. They are a year better. Aaron Rodgers is a monster of a QB. I think he leapfrogged Peyton and is 2 more seasons of his current production away from being mentioned with Brady/Brees as the best in the game. If GB wins it’ll be bc he was the best player on the field. He usually is when GB wins.

    I think this game more than any other will show how far Vick has come. It’ll be hard for MV7 to do the same things he did against GB the second time around. Not impossible though. Maclin/Jackson will have to get loose. Vick has proven time and time again that he can put the ball where it needs to be, even if he has to take hits to do so. Run good routes and the ball will be there.

    Neither of these teams run the ball effectively. GB bc they cant. Philly bc they choose not to. Between Shady and Harrison there is the ability to get 150 on the ground against the GB front seven. GB has suffered injuries on the DLine.

    If it turns into a shootout I like GBs ability to take the ball away. If possessions are at a premium gimme Philly due the legs of Shady, Vick and ultimately David Akers.

  3. HarveyDent says:

    Glad to see a rare article from you, Miz. Hope the project’s going fine.

    Now to said article. I’m playing Devil’s Advocate on this one because everyone on here who follows the Eagles like we do knows that this team could have won three Super Bowls with McNabb if Reid and the coaching staff had committed to running the ball more to save the wear and tear on Triple Soul 5 (Keep ya head up, Don). I really, really like Andy Reid for some strange reason because I appreciate the way he respects his players in public but he’s been at this for too long not to know he has to utilize the run game if he wants these special QB’s, Vick and McNabb, he’s been blessed with to win the whole enchilada. What makes Kolb and Garcia so deserving of a run commitment other than the fact they have less athletic abilities than the guys they backed up?

    Jerome Harrison ran for almost a c-note yesterday but I don’t think I’ve seen him get any serious burn since that second DC game. GB has a great defense but if Reid and Marty M run him along with Shady they’d have to pay attention to them which allows Vick and the wideouts to do what they can do with just a slight opening. To flip a saying, this ain’t chess, it’s checkers. In football, if you run the ball consistently the opposing defense will have to honor it and commit at least one man to stop it. That’s one less defender to guard a weapon like DJax or hold containment on MV7 if he decides to pull it down.

    That’s where the Eagles’ fan frustration comes in because those of us who watch the team know that the first decade of this century could and should have been a Philadelphia Story in the NFC and the NFL. The Eagles wasted McNabb’s talent by not using the talent he had around him collectively because Brian Westrook and Correll Buckhalter were just as potent in that backfield as Shady and Harrison are today. I’m not going to jump off the Eagles’ bandwagon again no matter what happens this Sunday but that passion I had the past ten years is not there anymore. I love Vick and think he’s more decisive that #5 when it comes to what he wants to do with the ball but I do know that McNabb’s body of work was the best by any QB who ever toiled in Philly and the fact that he’s the poster child still for everything wrong with that team just kills me. That’s what crushes my skull, Mizzo, because I see Vick being set up for the fall just his predecessor was and unless he has an S on his chest under his jersey and Thor’s mighty hammer in his right hand he’s not going to win either.

  4. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    When you hold it down, you hold it DOWN!

  5. Burundi says:

    Superbly crafted writing, Mizzo. Way to make them dance on the page and fully illuminate images in our mind’s eye. Best of luck with you getting to pen that book. It’s important that one of our own, Vick, has someone who’s gifted and able to equally display fact and nuance about his life in a powerful way as you have exhibited time and time again…