Michael Vick Injury: Why Philadelphia Eagles Will Be Fine Without Him
For the second time in as many games, Michael Vick was knocked out and his status for next week is a question mark (although the initial diagnosis of a broken hand has been changed to a contusion).
If you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you are probably a little worried about how the season has started, but there is still a long way to go.
While the Eagles have yet to dominate like many expected, here are some reasons why even without Vick the team will be all right.
LeSean McCoy has already been carrying a large part of the offensive load for the Philadelphia Eagles, and if Vick doesn't make it back Sunday, McCoy will take on even more responsibility.
The former Pittsburgh Panther has racked up 345 yards on the ground and another 42 receiving yards. McCoy has four rushing touchdowns and one touchdown reception as well.
Although he has had a great start to the season, McCoy will really start hurting defenses when he gets a few more screen passes thrown in his direction.
Vick or no Vick, whoever lines up at quarterback next Sunday will be happy that McCoy is there to relieve some pressure.
Depth at Wide Receiver
With DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper, the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL (and the team needs them all with the multitude of injuries at the position).
When the Eagles line up in four receiver sets, opposing defenses just don't have the personnel to match up.
Even Mike Kafka and Vince Young can hit Jackson with a pass over the middle or Maclin on a curl route in the end zone.
Although having Michael Vick on the field is a luxury, the backup quarterbacks will still put up some yardage.
What Will Andy Reid Do?
It doesn't matter who is playing quarterback, Andy Reid will figure out how to move the ball down the field.
It is no secret that Reid likes to focus on the air attack, but if Michael Vick is out Sunday, it will force Reid to become much more creative.
Reid always finds a way to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers.
If the defenses hone in on LeSean McCoy and stack the box, Reid can take some deep shots. He can even move McCoy into the slot with an empty backfield or with Ronnie Brown at running back.
If the defense keys in on DeSean Jackson, Reid might send him on go routes and clear one side of the field using the receiver as a decoy.
The San Francisco 49ers defense won't be giving up easy yards, but Reid will find a way to have a productive afternoon.
The Defense at Home vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Philadelphia Eagles defense will be an asset against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which hasn't been seen since the team's first game against the St. Louis Rams.
The 49ers defense has played pretty well all season, but Alex Smith and the offense are struggling to score again this year.
If the Eagles defense can do three things, it will be a long day for the 49ers.
First, the Eagles will need to get pressure on the quarterback early. Not only will that rattle Alex Smith, but it will force Jim Harbaugh to keep Vernon Davis in as a blocker. If the Eagles can't get to Smith, Davis will burn the defense all day long.
The Eagles will have to cover the receivers well, too. If the pass-rush isn't working, then the secondary can still force some coverage sacks.
Lastly and most importantly, the linebackers need to hit and wrap up Frank Gore. The 49ers will attempt to control the clock by giving a ton of carries to Gore. If the Eagles stymie the 49ers' plans, Alex Smith will be stuck in 3rd-and-long scenarios. A death sentence for the 49ers offense.