Eagles vs. Bills: Containing Michael Vick Is Key to Victory

Robert QuinnCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on October 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The 49ers defeated the Eagles 24-23. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles will faceoff in this NFL Week 5 matchup, in which Michael Vick will be the subject of scrutiny throughout the game. The Bills and Eagles have been surprising throughout the first quarter of the 2011 NFL season, as the constant bottom-feeders of the AFC East have surged through September with a 3-1 record.

Meanwhile, the Eagles made huge splashes in the offseason, including the additions of cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomughua and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, running back Ronnie Brown and defensive ends Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, among others. 

However, the Bills' defensive game plan needs to change drastically this week. In the first four games of the year, the Bills defense allowed a total of 20 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. While Vick is attempting to become the pocket passer that he has the ability to become, his instincts usually take over and he runs the ball. 

Vick's unpredictability will present a challenge to a Bills defense that has only been able to record four sacks on the year, despite the additions of linebackers Shawne Merriman and Nick Barnett. 

In the first four games of the year, Vick has been through a lot, suffering a concussion and a hand contusion, to go along with his comments regarding officials not protecting him enough. But the adversity hasn't stopped him from completing 61.2 percent of his passes for 1,021 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. 

On the ground, Vick has scrambled 32 times for 228 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone. 

With former Buffalo Bills' left tackle Jason Peters' status doubtful for Sunday, the Bills may be able to apply a bit more pressure in the trenches to force Vick into bad decisions. 

However, when Vick scrambles, incredible things usually happen. With Bills cornerbacks Terrence McGee and Aaron Williams sidelined, the limited secondary needs to hold their own the line of scrimmage with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and tight end Brent Celek. 

This game will ultimately be decided by the play of Michael Vick, but the Bills have a chance to throw him off with some pressure and make up for last week's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.