Eagles Wake-Up Call: Vick Under Pressure
Michael Vick only completed 43.3 percent of his passes against the Chiefs on Thursday. The last time he had a completion percentage that low was 2006, when he went 9-of-24 (37.5%) against the Saints while employed by the Falcons.
He made poor decisions with the football at times and too many of his throws were off target.
Chip Kelly, though, seemed to come down harder on the offensive line than he did the quarterback following the 26-16 loss to Kansas City.
“I don’t think Michael was out of sorts,” said Kelly. “I thought Michael did some nice things. We have to do a better job protecting Mike and giving him an opportunity to set his feet and throw the football.
“We gave up too much pressure tonight. A lot of times they’re just rushing four and they’re getting to the quarterback extremely quickly. You know, we’re not even getting to the top of our drop and we’re getting too much pressure on them. We can’t put Mike in a lot of bad situations, and I think we’ve got to clean that up.”
Judging by the body language of the offensive linemen in the locker room following the game, they agreed with Kelly’s assessment. Jason Kelce, who made some uncharacteristic mistakes against the Cheifs, was clearly frustrated with himself. Todd Herremans had his hoodie pulled tight around his face, and spoke so low that he was barely audible.
“We felt going into this game we had a very solid matchup with our offensive line, we felt like we had a very good offensive line,” said Kelce. “We did not answer the call. It was a very poor performance up front for us.
“They had a straight four-man rush for the vast majority of the game. They were playing a lot of man-to-man and blitzing linebackers late, and that kind of forced us to keep a lot of things solid inside and left the tackles with a lot of one-on-one blocks.”
Jason Peters and rookie Lane Johnson did not fare so well in those one-on-one matchups. They were charged with a combined eight quarterback hurries and four sacks. Three of those sacks were yielded by Johnson, according to Pro Football Focus.
“I think he’s just young,” said Kelly of the rookie right tackle. “In this league, if you’re young, you’re going to make mistakes. When you make mistakes, the key is not to make the same mistakes. That’s the good thing with Lane. There’s going to be new things come up in the Broncos game that he may not have seen yet. We’ll coach him up on it and continue to grow him. But I think he’s got a great future here.”
Vick has faced pressure on 45 percent of his dropbacks through three games, per PFF. Only Brandon Weeden and Matt Schaub have been under duress at a higher rate. The 33-year-old has completed only 39 percent of his throws when under fire. With no pressure, Vick is completing 66 percent of his passes.
On Friday, Kelly conceded that Vick was just “okay” against Kansas City and needed to get the ball out quicker at times.
But the offensive front shares some of the responsibility.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The NFL is unlikely to investigate the Chiefs for faking injuries.
Sheil has identified one Andy Reid play that Kelly is sure to steal.
A roundup of reactions from the Eagles’ loss to the Chiefs.
Kapadia’s All-22 look at why the “swinging gate” play failed.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Pro Football Focus gave high grades to both Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox:
The two best players on the defense were the starting defensive ends, Cedric Thornton(+2.5 run defense) and Fletcher Cox (+4.7 overall). First-year starter Thornton set a career high with four defensive stops and marked his third straight game with a positive grade against the run by racking up 50+ snaps for the third straight time. The star of the piece though, was Cox — last year’s first-round pick continued the fine form he showed against the Chargers on Sunday with a strong game in both run defense and as a pass rusher. Cox matched Thornton’s +2.5 run defense grade, but also chipped in with three pressures (1 Sk, 2 Hu) for the third straight game. Both players did good work all across the line and are providing a strong launching pad for the Eagles’ defense in both base and sub-packages that the rest of the unit isn’t continuing behind them.
Reuben Frank on just how bad it has been for this pass defense:
The 969 net passing yards they’ve allowed is 16th-most in NFL history through three games, 116 more than any previous defense in Eagles history and 451 more than last year’s horrible unit.
Griffin III, Rivers and Smith are only the second trio of quarterbacks to throw for 270 or more yards against the Eagles in consecutive weeks in the last 25 years. Donovan McNabb, Peyton Manning and Kerry Collins did it in 2010.
The Eagles, 1-2, are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete a staggering 67 percent of their passes.
Eagles get back to work Tuesday. Plenty to get to before then.