Five Eagles Numbers That Matter

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickHere are five numbers that matter, following the Eagles’ loss to the Steelers:

8– Number of Michael Vick fumbles through five games. The Eagles’ quarterback once again had to address the turnovers after Sunday’s game. One quote really stood out.

“I’ve never really had a problem fumbling the football,” Vick said. “It was just one of them days. Everything happens for a reason. If it was meant to be, I wouldn’t have fumbled the ball at the goal line. I have no explanation for it. There’s really none.”

I’ll cut Vick some slack. He’s addressing the media right after the game, and he’s tired of answering the same questions. But to say he’s never had a problem fumbling the football is just off-base. In 2004, with the Falcons, Vick fumbled a league-high 16 times. In 2010, when Vick led the Eagles to playoffs, he fumbled a league-high 10 times. Last season, he fumbled 10 times.

Entering Sunday, Vick had a league-leading five fumbles, and he added three more vs. Pittsburgh. It’s a huge problem, and while the rate of fumbles may go down, evidence suggests the issue is not going away.

72.2 – Vick’s completion percentage in the second half. After the Cardinals game, I used this space to criticize Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg for their game-plan. Everything was downfield, and they put Vick and the offensive line in a very difficult spot, especially considering the team had backups starting at left tackle and center. The last two weeks have been a different story though. The offense has looked more efficient. They are not going for big plays all game long. And other than the fumbles, it’s been working. Vick has completed 65 percent of his passes in the last two games (39-for-60) and he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 104 passes. According to ESPN, Vick was 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) against the blitz. At some point, Reid and Mornhinweg could get impatient, but it sure looks like this offense will operate differently the rest of the way. And given the issues with turnovers and pass protection, that’s a good thing.

16 – The Eagles’ average points per game in the first five. Entering Sunday, the Eagles ranked 30th, averaging 16.5 points per game. During Reid’s tenure as the team’s head coach, the Eagles have averaged 23.8 points per game. They’ve finished in the top half of the league 10 times; the bottom half just three times. As I mentioned above, this has the look of a different offense from the ones we’ve seen the past couple weeks, but the Eagles still need to get more points on the board.

“We’re going to need to score more points,” Vick said. “We’re going to need to help our defense out a lot more. And we tried to [today] the best we can.”

The offense has scored a total of three touchdowns in the last three games.

5.8 Rashard Mendenhall’s yards-per-carry average Sunday. Many will point out that the Eagles’ defense only allowed 16 points, and that’s obviously true. But the offense, which was clicking in the second half, only got three possessions after halftime. As a team, the Steelers were averaging just 2.6 yards per carry in their first three games. Yes, Mendenhall came back, but this was his first action of the season after rehabbing from a torn ACL. Mendenhall has averaged 4.1 yards per carry for his career, but he had 81 yards on 14 carries against the Eagles. In the next couple days, we’ll go back and look at what happened with the run defense.

5.6 – Ben Roethlisberger’s yards per attempt. He needed 37 passes to accumulate 207 yards. Generally speaking, you’ll take that as a defense. Roethlisberger is usually able to hit on big plays, averaging 8.0 yards per attempt in his career. The Eagles didn’t have any sacks, and the Steelers hit on some critical third downs, but overall, the Eagles limited Pittsburgh’s big plays downfield. Mike Wallace, one of the league’s best vertical threats, had just two catches for 17 yards on eight targets. The Steelers’ longest pass play of the day went for just 20 yards.

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  • Michael

    What’s wrong with the D-Line? Not only are they not getting sacks but they’re not even pressuring the QB! I think all the fans would love to see Sheil do some SERIOUS D-Line analysis in this weeks All-22.

    • Morgan C

      Agreed. Sheil, please, the D-Line. I understand that they were maybe getting some pressure, but zero sacks in the past two games is unacceptable, with the talent, depth, and money spent on that unit. Unacceptable.

      Other than that, I agree that Kendricks and Boykin have come down to earth. Poor game for Kendricks specifically, today.

      And I’m just sick of Vick and the fumbles, and worse, the cavalier attitude he has about the fumbles. Bench him and maybe he’ll get the message.

      • Bedetermine

        The problem is the 4 man up front are TIRED throughout the game. They have to create pressure but I do not know where you get off thinking that a four man rush with a sprinkle of blitz here and there is going to work. we do not have the biggest front four. We are designed for speed and athleticism. So when those guys are being chipped, extra O line man and no blitz help, they will get tired. 3rd and long and the pressure was mediocre at best!!! got to do a better job. This is ridiculous.

        • Nancy

          But what about the all those linemen being subbed in to keep the line fresh? Sorry but the D line looked gassed the whole game…not just when they were actually tired.

      • A_T_G

        Who are you agreeing with about Boykin and Kendricks? I think you are the only one to mention them.

  • JofreyRice

    Was he drunk? He’s never had a problem fumbling the football? Fumbling problems have followed him for his entire career. What a dope.

    I have a feeling that the LBs are not going to come out too well when you examine the all-22. After a hot start, I think both Ryans and Kendricks have fallen off a bit over the last 2 games. Coleman definitely blew some tackles in this game, too.

    This is where I think, Castillio hurts the Eagles. His ability to adjust is very questionable. When they failed to get pressure in the first half, they should have made some adjustment–especially on 3rd down.

  • LegalEagle

    you criticized Marty and Andy previously (after earlier games ) for their game plans – for throwing the ball down field and using plays that are slow to develop. I think you were correct to do so. BUT – You give them a pass this game – but in the first half I believe they threw “bombs” five times – none of which connected. That is five plays that were wasted = yeah, I know all about stretching the field and all= They did move the ball on one drive, when Vick fumbled, but they put up no points. In the second half they controlled the game with quick passes and runs and scored 14 points. They were not seeking down field “bombs” and they used runs and shorter patterns. I believe Marty is doing what he thinks is best to win games, but he is not seeing what has worked and hasnt worked. Numbers don’t lie = this team is not scoring points, so what you are doing is not working.
    Marty is not a good game planner.
    I think a big part of the problem is that Marty doesnt understand line play. There were many plays where we had lineman not blocking anyone = one egregious example involved the Steelers shifting to the offensive right side, and the line wound having Bell block no one, center and right guard doubling one rusher, and the RT having three guys rush by him. Ugly. My point is that the O is not really working as a smooth coordinated machine – and when you see other teams (like NE) work all together , you see where we fall short. I think we have pretty good talent but I think our failings now have more to do with coaching than talent.
    Sorry for the rant.


    • LegalEagle

      When I say we have pretty good talent, I am well aware of our short coming on the Oline.

  • GoBirds1

    is a thought. If you had a 6’5″ QB that not only could see over the
    line, but could effectively read the D, get the ball out quickly, and
    hit a hot receiver in stride without hitting the opposing lineman (or
    your own for that matter), wouldn’t you use him and have an efficient
    offense? McNabb could never do that, and certainly Vick can’t either.
    Maybe the Marty and Andy show are convinced that it can’t be done.
    However, I see rookie and 2nd year starting QBs all over the league
    doing it. So why can’t Foles? It is just a matter of circumstances or
    injury that the opportunity will present itself, so why wait to find

    I hate to break it to you, an offense scoring an average of 16 points
    per game and almost 3 turnovers, with 11 of them coming from Vick, this
    team is going nowhere. If Reid cannot instill some discipline in ball
    security when both in and out of the pocket, then when 8 and 8 looks
    like a reality, we will see what Foles can do. GoBIrds!

    I don’t think it is possible that a rookie could have more turnovers than our 10 year vet starter.

    • JofreyRice

      Yep. Maybe Foles isn’t the answer, but it’s certain Vick isn’t. This pattern now stretches back to the Tuesday night game against the Vikings, with just a few games of good play sprinkled in. They might be 3-2, but Vick is playing at a Weeden/Gabbert/Sanchez/Cassel level right now.

  • GoBirds1

    Here are some numbers for you on our almost MVP QB of ’10 season. For Vick’s career he has the following:
    TDs – 117 throwing, 34 running, total – 151
    TOs – INTs 78, Fumbles 39 (84 fumbles, 39 lost), total – 117

    That works out to about 1.5 TDs per game and 1.2 TOs per game. If this is the production your starting QB is going to put up, the only way you win games is if the defense wins the TO battle. With this turnover machine running the O and Andy and Marty calling the plays, that is not going to happen often. Good luck with the rest of schedule, 8 and 8 looks optimistic to me. Did Lurie start his search yet?

  • Mr. Magee

    Hate to agree with you gobirds, but I gotta do it…

    Eagles have a lot of problems right now, and some of them are big. But the biggest one of all is the highly talented and highly mistake-prone QB. Isn’t it pretty safe to say at this point that the Eagles are not going to a super bowl with Vick?

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to envision a very interesting scenario playing out: Andy gives up on Vick at some point and plans to insert Foles into the starting lineup to try and make the playoffs and also save Andy’s job – but if you’re Jeff Laurie, do you let him do it?!

    What if it works and the Eagles make the playoffs, but are one and done? What if it doesn’t work and Foles’ “psychie” is damaged in the process?

  • Zivetor

    Someone make Vick read this article. Especially about the number 8. If you’ve lead the league in fumbles twice in your career, and on pace to do so again, you have a fumbling problem.

  • xlGmanlx

    What happened to the screen? The igg’s used to be one of the best in the NFL, how many screens have we run in the past 5 games? That is the number I want to know.

    • bentheimmigrant

      It went with Westbrook, to a large extent.

  • 1975

    how can you run an efficient offense when u get constant pressure up the middle all game??the o line break downs are terrible. vick can even stand on a spot to deliver a accurate pass cause he’s getting hammerd everytime he lets the ball go

  • beavis

    A. Can someone explain why Vick has no internal clock that lets him know when the blitz is coming or when the pocket is collapsing? It’s sad to watch big Ben do his thing on third down and throughout the game. He makes plays.
    B. Spotty o-line play, not enough running plays, few throws to Celek, poor decision making. Offense is looking like Jacksonville or Carolina or Miami. Who would have thunk it?
    C. Remember a few weeks ago when the Eagles D-line was the second coming? Yesterday … Crickets. We they tired? Are they getting double teamed? What happened to the old JJ blitz scheme? I miss watching the Eagles bring the house. I wonder if there are stats showing how little the tam actually brings 6-7 guys on the rush.

  • JohnGiam

    Poor job By castillo! He has been good so far so I wont kill him, but I think his inexperience showed these past 2 weeks. You can stay true to your system and Philosophiy, but when opponents are making drastic changes, sometime you might have to get away from your system to counter it, and Castillo did a poor job of that the past 2 weeks. The Giants put on film a way to slow down our Dline..the steelers did it the week after. Juans Philosophy is front line pressure, rare blitzing. if opponents are going to constantly chip our ends, then you gotta adjust and throw blitzes at them. after two of your blitzes get through, they wil stop the chipping and keep them honest. Until Castillo proves that he will adjust and blitz you til you cant chip anymore, our dline is going to struggle. Guess what? there is 2 weeks in a row worth of film out there to slow down our Dline. You think the lions arent watchingf that film? This week we need a heavy emphasis on the blitz in practice. we need to be c risp with it for sunday. Todd Bowles has his work cut out this week on tightening the secondary to be prepared for the blitzing attack.
    Look, we have a good defense that has stood tall all season long until yesterday. They will have slip ups over the course of the season. They gave one up on the road to a hungry big ben, I wont crucify them for that, especially sinxce all season long they had to claw and scratch to over come the terrible situations Vick put them in. Hopefully yesterday was a learning experience for them, and they can go on another 4 game streak of beingf sharp and dominant! Take the winning drive they let up against a good team, and a hall of fame qb….they played a good but not great game yesterday on the road in a tough stadium. I cant crucify a young and still gelling defense for that! Had that happened in the linc, it would be a dif story!

    • xlGmanlx

      They scored 6 in the second half, I don’t think we can lay too much at his feet. We also did beat the giants and ravens, two teams that were in the NFC championship game, and the Steelers with BB have one 2 SB’s in the last ten years. I think Juan is doing better than expected, MM on the other hand…….

      • johnGiam

        AS A WHOLE, i wont blame any off the loss on the steelers on the Defense or Juan. The defense has been holding us down all season, and even great defenses can be snake bit on the road against a hall of fame qb. I dont blame the D at all for the loss….with that said, win or lose there is always more that a player or coach can do.. We know Juan has No say on the defensive line, thats all washburn. But Juan cant allow the line to be chipped and double teamed all day either just to stick to his philosophy..I get it, we arent a heavy blitzing team…that doesnt mean there wont be times when we need to blitz. Juan needsa to help that line out. Keep offensive coordinators honest!
        Just cause I dont blam,e the loss on the D or Juan, doesant mean I still dont want to see improvement