Michael Vick's health was once a concern among Eagles fans. If he stayed on the field Philadelphia was a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and if he went down with an injury they were barely a .500 team.
As it turns out the Eagles stink with him or without him.
Vick is entirely to blame for it, although his recent trend in turnovers is not helping the situation. The problem is on the other side of the ball more often than not.
The defense couldn't stop Mark Sanchez, Kevin Kolb, Jay Cutler or Tony Romo even if one of them was in the midst of an epically bad performance. It should be entertaining to see those matchups unfold as the season progresses.
Until then, the Eagles need to protect Vick as they desperately try to salvage their season and protect Andy Reid's job.
Some may say the season is over, but it technically isn't. The Eagles find themselves in a bad division being led by Rex Grossman and the Washington Redskins. It's an outlook only held by the delusional fans, the coaching staff, and the players.
To them, keeping Vick on the field matters. How to keep him there is a different story.
Reid, who probably has the biggest interest, needs the offense to outscore the opposition since the defense he put together is an embarrassment.
The only way the offense can put up a ton of points is by letting Vick make plays with his legs and arm. This brings about a huge problem for Reid: If Vick is dropping back to throw the ball over 30 times and taking off to run about 10 times he is exposed to hits and injuries.
Logic says the Eagles need to run the ball more often to keep Vick healthy. Logic also says the offensive line isn't good enough to block a decent defensive line well enough to open up the running game. And it certainly isn't good enough to help the Eagles score 30-plus points per game, which is what they need to overcome their defense.
The Eagles can certainly put up points through the passing game though.
Reid needs to run slants and quick outs. immediately following Vick's third step the ball is out of hands and he avoids contact.
Simple enough, case closed, see you all in Indianapolis.
Too bad Vick is not an accurate passer. Reid can't ask an inaccurate quarterback to complete passes based on timing and accuracy. Does anyone remember how poorly Donovan McNabb looked with that kind of philosophy?
There really is no solution to keeping Vick healthy. Reid has to roll the dice and allow a playmaker, which is what Vick is, to make some plays.
Without a solution it is only a matter of time before Vick goes down for an extended period of time and the Eagles are considered toast even more so than former Eagles cornerback Izel Jenkins.
But maybe the Eagles are already there, and the one concern Eagles fans had at the beginning of the season doesn't matter anymore.