Although the Philadelphia Eagles have a winning record (3-2), many have begun questioning whether they would be better off without Michael Vick as their starting quarterback.
Vick has long been the kind of high risk/high reward player who is just as likely to break off a 60-yard TD run as he is to turn the ball over at the worst possible moment.
In just five games this season, Michael Vick already has 11 total turnovers – the Philadelphia Eagles as a team has 14.
While Vick has thrown six interceptions on the year, he has refrained from coughing it up through the air in any of the Eagles' last three games.
The real problem for Vick this season has been in his inability to hold onto the football. Vick has already put the ball on the carpet eight times this season. In fact, the Eagles’ Week 4 win against the New York Giants is currently the only game this year in which Vick has not fumbled the football.
Yet again, on Sunday, Vick’s propensity to misplace the pigskin reared its ugly head. The Eagles lost a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 14-16, and it was Vick’s turnovers which clipped Philly’s wings. On a 1st-and-goal on the Pittsburgh 3-yard line, Vick called his own number and tried to scramble up the middle for the go-ahead score – only one problem – Vick forgot to bring the ball with him. Vick fumbled the ball into the end zone, and losing those seven points ended up looming large in a game the Eagles lost by two.
Head coach Andy Reid did not help matters, after their Week 3 loss, when he qualified his support for Michael Vick, as he stated, “Right now, we're with Michael. That's what we're doing. We'll evaluate it as we go."
That “Right now” left the door wide open to speculation that Reid’s support of Vick might be waning. Given Andy Reid’s very tenuous future as the Eagles’ head coach beyond this season, benching Vick could come via Reid’s need for self-preservation.
Andy Reid is no stranger to giving his starting quarterback the heave, as the same thing happened when Donovan McNabb was commanding the Eagles’ huddles.
The Eagles are 3-2 right now, but their three wins have come by a combined total of four points. With Vick being a constant threat to turn the ball over, these close victories could start turning into close losses – as evident by Sunday’s outcome.
The Eagles' next four opponents are against the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys. If a quarterback change is in Philadelphia’s future, it may come due to a losing record during this stretch.
Rookie Nick Foles impressed a lot of people with his play in the preseason, and would likely be the one called on to replace Vick. Foles was 40/63, for 553 yards and threw six touchdowns to only twp interceptions during his four preseason appearances. The more important stat for Eagles’ fans might be in knowing Nick Foles did not turn the ball over once via the fumble.
Whether Vick lasts the entire season as the Eagles’ quarterback or not, his future with Philadelphia could be in jeopardy.
Vick signed a massive six-year, $100 million contract last season, but only $32.5 million of that deal is guaranteed. The Eagles can part ways with Vick after enduring next season’s $16.9 million cap hit.
If they choose to retain Vick’s services past 2013, the Eagles would owe Vick $19.4 million, $17.9 million and $20 million over the final three years of his contract – those could be some very high-priced turnovers.