Eagles Are Right to Baby Michael Vick
Michael Vick left Sunday night’s Eagles game spitting blood onto the field after a collision with lineman Todd Herremans left the quarterback with a concussion and clipped the wings of an offense that was soaring toward victory. It’s been reported that after suffering the injury Vick tried to re-enter the game but was prevented from doing so by medical personnel—a smart bet by the organization that they should double-down for this week’s matchup with the Giants.
The Eagles are in a position where they’re almost forced to coddle Vick whenever necessary. Philly’s offense is so mighty and powerful when everyone is healthy that allowing any one of the regular weapons—especially Michael Vick—to play through an injury is almost indefensible. Missing Vick for a game and a quarter to a concussion is a significantly preferable scenario than having him get a second concussion next week and be forced to miss a legitimate amount of time. After seeing Philly’s offensive line play two full games this year, suggesting he won’t take some licks is ludicrous. Plus, there are more wounded athletes in New York’s defensive backfield than in Dr. James Andrews’s Rolodex.
The Giants defense is employing glorified NFL Europe players in its secondary. They gave up 300 yards passing to Rex Grossman and the Redskins in a Week 1 loss and then allowed Sam Bradford to toss for 331 and a touchdown last night. And Bradford would have posted an even more noteworthy performance if he hadn’t hit his lineman in the back of the head with his throws and had his passes dropped, and the Rams hadn’t folded down the stretch.
Moreover, Mike Kafka proved to be a suitable understudy to Vick by going 7-9 for 72 yards at the end of the Falcons game Sunday night in what was, realistically, his first foray into NFL action. He even managed to engineer a quality drive in the clutch that was derailed by Jeremy Maclin’s drop on 4th and 4 in Atlanta territory. I’m not going to suggest that the Birds shouldn’t fret if Vick were to hit the shelf for the season just because Kafka is some phenom—the reality is that he’s a guy who has only a few possessions of NFL experience and played college ball at a university better known for its law school than its football program. But, I honestly think anyone is a better option than putting Michael Vick’s health at further risk just two games into the season.
The Eagles should start Mike Kafka for next week’s home opener. Or Vince Young or even that schmuck parading around Manayunk and D.C. as Vince Young so he can sleep with co-eds. It really shouldn’t matter who’s under center. LeSean McCoy has been more than effective slicing up opposing defenses, and the receiving corps has created a lot of separation.
In the NFC East this year, the Eagles are a heavy favorite and they should act like it. Sending Vick out there on Sunday will put the entire season at risk. And after watching the Giants play two games this year I’m not entirely concerned about what they’ll be able to do in the Linc this week save for the three-headed running attack tuning up our inexperienced linebackers. Play Kafka or Young—count on your other stars to pick up the offense and put points on the board. It’s responsible and will prove good enough. And until playoff time, that’s all the Eagles should be concerned about.