After a 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints, calls for Michael Vick to leave this Philadelphia Eagles team as the starting QB will soon be rampant. He is not the problem with the Eagles right now, though, and not the sole reason they are now 3-5.
Sacked seven times by the Saints, he had no chance to ever lead this team to a win against the Saints.
Much was made about a QB debate after the Eagles lost to the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Andy Reid stuck with Vick one more time on Monday Night Football, and it might cost him his job on Tuesday morning.
Vick might be the central point of the offense, but he isn't responsible for dropped passes, the offensive line blowing coverages right up the gut and the defense being unable to get a stop late in the game.
All that aside, Vick isn't the sole culprit for an offense that's struggled to put up points, but he certainly shares the blame. The rest of the offense isn't helping Vick out at all, and there's plenty of blame to go around upon further investigation.
For starters, the offensive line has been a disaster. Without former All-Pro lineman Jason Peters, this group seems to have fallen apart. Peters may make a return this season to his post at left tackle, but that won't stop the bleeding right up the middle that Philadelphia suffered all night long.
Vick was pressured into mistakes, had to leave the pocket and turned what would have been sacks for almost every other QB in the league into plays that resulted in no gain.
Jon Gruden called the game for ESPN on Monday night, and had this to say about Vick's pocket presence facing the Saints' defense.
"You want to bench Michael Vick, you might have 10 sacks" - Jon Gruden #MNF— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 6, 2012
To be fair, Vick did contribute to the early struggles—he has the entire season. His turnover mark is outrageous, and the bug bit him again on Monday night.
NFL (@nfl) November 6, 2012
Surface level interpretation of Vick's struggles lead to the casual fan thinking he would benefit the team more on the bench than on the field. How many people outside of Philadelphia know who the backup QB is?
Rookie Nick Foles is the answer, and despite a quality preseason, he isn't ready to handle NFL defenses on a weekly basis. As Gruden noted, he would have taken at least 10 sacks, probably all of them in the first half.
Upon further investigation, Vick has actually turned it around since his turnover-laden performances in the early part of the season. Here's ESPN's Adam Schefter with the numbers.
Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2012
The Eagles can't expect to be better than a .500 team if guys don't start showing up. In the red zone, the team has been awful, and those struggles again reared their ugly head with a field goal in the first quarter and the pick-six by Vick.
Without a true red zone target, the Eagles have struggled to score when in position. Jeremy Maclin is a possession receiver, DeSean Jackson is a burner and Brent Celek sees safety help in most situations.
Peters' return to the lineup will help. So will an expanded running game, although LeSean McCoy ran for more than 100 yards, and the Eagles still lost by two possessions.
When you hear cries for Vick's head this week, go back and look at the game film before siding with the masses. Andy Reid could end up being the scapegoat, but Vick shouldn't take all the blame from a team so laden with stars that continually comes up short.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.
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