Michael Vick: Grading Philadelphia Eagles QB's Week 1 Performance vs. Redskins
There probably isn't a more polarizing quarterback in the National Football League over the past decade than Michael Vick.
A superstar in Atlanta, Vick's career was reduced to ruins by the dogfighting scandal that left him in prison for nearly two years. He resurrected that career with the Philadelphia Eagles with a transcendent 2010 season but fell out of favor with two turnover-filled years since.
Now, Vick is getting a third shot, having won the starting job in Philly running the hurry-up offense of new head coach Chip Kelly.
Granted, it's still awfully early in the season, and the Redskins' three first-quarter turnovers had something to do with it, but the Eagles ran a staggering 30 plays in the first 15 minutes alone.
They ran more than 50 plays in the first half.
The result of that offensive explosion was a victory for the Eagles, who controlled the game throughout en route to a 33-27 win.
Let's take a look at how Vick performed in his first game under center for Kelly.
Accuracy is not necessarily a word that has been associated a lot with Vick throughout his NFL career. Only once in Vick's 10 NFL seasons has he completed over 60 percent of his passes.
Vick hit that number on the nose against the Redskins, completing 15 of 25 attempts.
It was something of a mixed bag with Vick.
Many of his throws, especially in play action, were right on the money. Both of Vick's scoring strikes, a 25-yarder to DeSean Jackson and a 28-yard toss to Brent Celek, were off of play fakes.
However, twice in the first quarter Vick missed wide-open tight ends on deep throws, sailing one and missing wide on the other.
In other words, Vick played like Vick.
One of the biggest question marks surrounding Vick where running Kelly's offense was concerned was whether or not he could make the proper reads and get rid of the ball quickly. Those qualities were staples of Kelly's passers at Oregon.
Granted, it's a pretty small sample size given that the Eagles took their foot off the gas (prematurely) in the second half, and Vick wasn't getting rid of the rock overly quickly.
With that said, however, he consistently made solid decisions with the football and didn't force the action.
He also controlled the tempo very well in the first half, executing Kelly's up-tempo attack with precision and without making mistakes.
Vick did have one turnover, but it was on a batted pass early in the game that was ruled a lateral.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated may have put it best.
This is the Michael Vick that Andy Reid envisioned, but the difference is this isn't Reid's offense. Vick is playing under control for Chip.— Don Banks (@DonBanks) September 10, 2013
All in all, a very solid debut for Vick in Kelly's scheme.
One of the reasons why fantasy football owners have always been enamored with Vick is that he's often looked better in the box score than he did on the field.
Week 1 vs. Redskins
On Monday night, the reverse held true. Due in large part to the Eagles' early lead, the team became overly conservative. Had Vick played the second half like he did the first, that stat line would have been a lot gaudier.
Monday night's win went about as well as fans of the Eagles could have hoped, the second half doldrums aside.
That was due in no small part to Vick running Kelly's offense effectively. He got the team to the line of scrimmage quickly. He found the open man. Vick stood in the pocket, rather than taking off at the first sign of trouble. Most importantly, he made good decisions with the ball and didn't commit unforced errors.
There's a lot of football yet to be played, but Kelly had to like what he saw from his starting quarterback in Week 1.
Overall Grade: B+
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