Eagles vs. Saints: Should Philadelphia Bench Michael Vick?

Jonathan IrwinContributor IINovember 5, 2012

Can the Eagles win without Vick? Short answer: yes.
Can the Eagles win without Vick? Short answer: yes.Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Monday Night Football this week features the Eagles vs. Saints, and while he remains the offensive catalyst for Philadelphia, many are questioning Michael Vick's role in this one.

Vick was a great story two years ago, turning his life around and returning to the NFL a changed man. He even had a great season, finishing 2010 with 3,018 yards passing and 676 rushing with 30 touchdowns.

That season had many shouting MVP. Nowadays, you'd be lucky to get anyone to shout anything nice about Vick.

The Eagles QB is having his usual dynamic season, passing for over 1,800 yards so far, with 247 yards on the ground.

But 2012 has been far from perfect for Vick. He's been a turnover machine, throwing eight picks and fumbling the ball nine times (five lost) in the Eagles first seven games.

With the turnovers have come the losses, as the Eagles enter Monday night on a three-game losing streak. Philadelphia is 3-4 on the season, needing a second half boost if they have any hopes for the playoffs.

And so we return to the question at hand. Should the Eagles bench Vick?

If Vick was ever going to have a turnaround game, now would be his chance. Not only is he on a big stage, but he's also playing against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

The Saints are allowing teams 304.6 yards per game this season. They were shredded by Peyton Manning 14-34 last week, proving what an elite quarterback can do to them.

Despite their defensive woes, the Saints are still an offensive powerhouse with Drew Brees under center. If Vick is constantly putting the ball back in Brees' hands, the Eagles will have a hard time keeping pace.

Benching Vick could ultimately be the deciding factor in this game.

Philadelphia can still lean on star running back LeSean McCoy (504 yards rushing, 134 receiving, five touchdowns) for offensive production. And New Orleans actually rates worst against the run than the pass.

And while facing the Saints' secondary would be an ideal situation for Vick, it would be just as ideal for backup Nick Foles.

If I were Andy Reid, I'd go in with the mindset of starting Vick. But the minute he makes a turnover, I'd consider pulling him.

Unfortunately for Vick, that's probably close to how his head coach will approach this one.