The Eagles offense looked off as the game started, but recovered to score three touchdowns in the first half. Michael Vick looked off in the first few series, getting his passes batted down and getting run down by the Dolphins to the tune of two sacks by Jason Taylor in the first two series.
In Vick’s first scramble and run, the quarterback did not slide feet first like he said he would incorporate into his game earlier this week. In fact, he went head first against three Miami Dolphins before being taken down while running the ball on the first Eagles offensive series of the game. Many of us, I’m sure, shook our heads as we watched the play unfold.
The weather became a factor on the last play of the opening drive when Vick slipped on the wet grass and was sacked, forcing the Eagles to punt. The play before the Eagles were stopped and could’ve been forced to punt, but the Dolphins took the penalty on third down to make it third and 13, and the Eagles couldn’t capitalize. The weather improved as the game went on, and Vick didn’t have any more slips or near falls because of the slick grass.
The first punt from Chas Henry was blocked and rolled all the way to the 15-yard line of the Eagles. It seemed like Henry was taking eight minutes to punt the ball. Sometimes I can’t fathom why the Eagles did not keep David Akers, because a rookie kicker and rookie punter have had a direct impact on this season, and it’s not a positive one.
The Eagles dodged a bullet in the 2nd quarter after turning the ball over on a punt return after DeSean Jackson passed the ball and Curtis Marsh fumbled it away. The next play from scrimmage, the Eagles got the ball back after stripping Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore and recovering the fumble. Bobby April made a bad call with that. No need for that play to be called, and the coaching on this team has been terrible this whole season, and this play call is just a microcosm of that.
Vick was getting his ribs tended to on the sideline it looked like, so it’s possible that they are still bothering him enough for his inconsistent play in this game. Still, he played well enough to win and the defense really clamped down on the Miami offense. Completing 15 of 30 passes for 208 yards was relatively mild for Vick, but impressive numbers if he was indeed affected by his rib injury. With one touchdown and one interception, Vick took care of the ball most of the time and the team won the battle of the turnovers.
All in all, the Eagles used LeSean McCoy more than I thought they would, or probably any of us thought they would. McCoy is now one touchdown shy of an Eagles record for rushing touchdowns (15) and total touchdowns (18). That didn’t seem like it was going to go that way early in the game, as the Dolphins held McCoy in check for most of the game. He had 27 rushes for 38 yards, but the two touchdowns obviously were the key in the victory.
Is Vick the answer to this season? I doubt it. But he can be if he takes care of the football like he did today. The Eagles would be on the inside looking out right now if Vick wasn’t the turnover machine that he was earlier in the season. He put himself in positions to be further injured during this game, which points me to believe he won’t finish this season healthy. He’s not going to slide. He’s not going to be able to read defenses well when he’s pressured. But today, he did the job and if he can do the same the next three weeks without getting re-injured, there is no reason why he can’t come back next season and produce at a high level.
But the Eagles also need help from their own division. The Cowboys have to go 1-3 or 0-4 and the Giants have to go 2-2, 1-3, or 0-4 for the Eagles to be able to win the division. Oh yeah, the Eagles also have to go 3-0, too. Can they beat Dallas again? The Jets? The Redskins? We shall see.