Michael Vick fumbling against the Steelers in week five.
Why Playing Vick is the Answer
Don't misunderstand what I'm getting at from the title of this article, Michael Vick is capable of putting up huge numbers at any time, against any defense. He's an extremely gifted athlete, can throw the deep ball with the best of them, and has the weapons to take advantage of a defense prone to giving up big plays from time to time (like the Lions).
However, he's also prone to something else: Giving the ball away. In five games this season, Michael Vick already has 11 turnovers (and the team has 14 overall).
While the Detroit Lions defense has actually played much better than many fans and analysts realize, it is one of only two units without an interception through Week 5 (the Oakland Raiders are the other).
Only six of Vick's turnovers have been interceptions, but the law of averages dictate that the Lions are bound to get an interception at some point in the near future, and what better QB to face than one that is turnover prone?
When you throw in the apparent return of Louis Delmas, the Lions leader in the secondary, from injury coupled with a defensive line that is capable of getting after the QB (though we need to see more from them) and an offensive line that has already given up 14 sacks this season, it has the makings of a potentially bad day for the Eagles in the turnover column.
What Turnovers Will Do For the Lions
Aside from the obvious benefits of having more chances to score on offense and thus giving your own defense time to rest, limiting the other defenses rest, there is some proof that the Lions are at their best when causing turnovers.
In their first four games of 2011 (all wins) the Lions forced 10 turnovers. In their first four games of 2012 they have forced only three.
How many turnovers do the Lions need to force to beat the Eagles?
Maybe even more telling is that of the other six wins the Lions accumulated in 2011, they caused a whopping 16 turnovers. In their seven losses (including playoffs) they forced only nine turnovers.
Look, it's obvious that turnover differential plays a huge role in wins and losses, but more than that is the fact that the Lions defense was actually the catalyst for a lot of the comeback wins last year.
A few turnovers would bring some energy and life back to this team, especially the offense which has been lackluster at best through the first four games.
If the Lions defensive line can get after Vick and force him to continue his giving ways, the offense might have the breakout game that everyone expects and get a win on Sunday.