Mike Check: Vick Shows Progress Vs. the Blitz

We’ve used up plenty of space here discussing Michael Vick’s two fumbles on Sunday.

But what did the Eagles’ quarterback do on the other 55 plays?

As we wrote about yesterday, the Eagles have gone with a completely different game-plan the last two weeks. They’ve become more balanced, given Vick options against the blitz and tried to disguise issues in pass protection.

The part about giving Vick options against the blitz is important. Take a look below at his numbers Sunday against different types of pressure.

Number of Rushers
Number of Plays
Completions
Attempts
Yards
Sacks
Runs
Throw-Aways
41991552131
5105739201
686884001
TOTAL372030175333

Dick LeBeau and the Steelers blitzed on 18 of Vick’s 37 dropbacks, or 48.6 percent of the time.

And Vick had his way against extra pressure, completing 11 of 15 passes (73.3 percent) for 123 yards (8.2 YPA). For those of you who prefer those numbers converted to a quarterback rating, Vick’s was 136.9 against the blitz. And keep in mind those numbers do not include the 31-yard pass interference penalty Jeremy Maclin drew, which also came against the blitz.

That seems like progress to me.

Protection was far from perfect, but Vick did a really good job of getting rid of the ball quickly and letting his playmakers do the rest. More on how the Eagles performed against the blitz in the All-22 breakdown later this week.

PATIENCE WITH THE DEEP BALL

One thing we’ve seen the last two weeks is that Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid are choosing their spots to go downfield. Here’s a breakdown of Vick’s throws by distance:

 
Completions
Attempts
Yards
5 Yards Or Less111355
6 to 15 Yards81096
16 to 25 Yards1124
More Than 25 Yards0 (PI)40

I counted three passes that Vick threw away. Those are not reflected here. On passes that he actually intended to be caught by a receiver, he was 20-for-27 (74.1 percent). As you can see, Vick had a lot of success on the short and intermediate throws, going 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) on passes within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Vick took shots deep too, just not as many. While the offense has changed its style the last two games, the big plays downfield still will be counted on. Vick attempted four passes that traveled more than 25 yards downfield. He didn’t connect on any of them, but Maclin did draw a 31-yard penalty on one.

Through four games, opponents have completed 66.1 percent of their passes against the Lions, but Detroit has allowed just eight pass plays of 20+ yards, second-fewest in the league. Mornhinweg and Reid will have to determine whether they want to stick with the game-plan we’ve seen the past two weeks or switch things up in Week 6.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.