The Philadelphia Eagles won its division matchup versus the New York Giants 19-17. Going into the game, the main focus was on quarterback, Michael Vick.
Throughout the first three weeks of the 2012 season, Vick had an accumulated QB rating of 66.2, which included 6 interceptions and 2 fumbles. In the Eagles’ last game, a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Vick and the offense failed to score a single touchdown.
Due to these poor performances, rumors began to swirl about the security of Vick’s role as the starting QB. While many of these speculations proved to be a mere topic to spark debates across the sports world, Vick undoubtedly under the microscope in this game.
The first half was heavily dominated by both teams’ defenses. Finally, with a shade under two minutes left in the first half, Michael Vick capped off a 7-yard drive with a touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson.
It was on this scoring drive that Vick’s offense seemed to finally click. Instead of trying for the big plays, the Eagles ran a West coast-styled offense. They utilized short, quick passes that kept the offense moving smoothly and efficiently. This play calling kept Vick from getting pressured into making bad choices. While Vick only had this one TD pass, he continued to make great strides in-terms of game management and ball security throughout the remainder of the game.
Despite the up-tempo pace of the offense, Vick was under constant pressure. He was knocked down eight times, but only sacked once. Aside from passing, Vick also used his legs to convert two first downs.
When the Giants took the lead late in the game, the focus was back on Vick. Given what had been seen in some of Vick’s prior drives in 2012, it was surprising to see him move methodically down the field with ease. He still was not going back to his old habits of forcing passes and trying to play a hero.
It was during a critical third and goal that Vick showed the most maturity. As he dropped back and began to roll out towards the end zone, nothing appeared to be open. Instead of forcing a bad throw or taking an unnecessary hit, Vick ran for a few yards and slid. Staying in bounds, the clock continued to run and the Eagle’s kicked the field goal that would ultimately win the game.
While it was not a marquee game in-terms of touchdowns scored, Vick finished the game with a 99.4 rating and attributed 241 of the 323 total offensive yards.
Now while things seem to be clearing up for this murky Eagles’ offense, there are some things to consider. First, the Giants’ pass defense was without its starting safety and held a 22nd ranking going into this game. Conversely, the Giants’ rushing defense was ranked 10th and allowed 192 rushing yards.
Also, the margins of victory for the Eagles in the first two weeks were by a point, tonight the team won by two.
While a win is a win, the Eagles must work harder to widen the scoring margin. If not, Eagle’s fans will be in for more couch grasping games and may not have any fingernails left by the end of the season. Moreover, the team cannot expect to win and be a contender in the playoff race with such a small scoring margins.
As of now though, the Eagle’s sit atop the NFC east with a 3-1 record, pending a Dallas loss on Monday Night Football.