May 22, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is interviewed after practice during organized team activities at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
In his most recent piece for ESPN, our old pal KC Joyner proclaimed the Eagles as the favorites to win the NFC East this year. It's notable for him, because he was one of the few dissenters last season when everyone was declaring the Eagles the team to beat.
Of the factors he cites, which we'll talk more about later, the one that jumped out at me was Michael Vick's "luck"
The aforementioned article touting the Giants as 2011 NFC East favorites detailed how Vick was due for a drop-off, in part because he was one of the most fortunate passers in the league in 2010.
This fall, the tables are completely turned. Vick still had a penchant for risk-taking last season (3.4 percent bad decision rate (BDR), ranked 26th), but he also had a lot of unlucky breaks, as 48.3 percent of the possible interception chances he had were turned into picks by the opposing team. If Vick gets back to a standard level of fortune (which is roughly 40 percent of potential picks turning into interceptions) and improves his BDR by a slight amount, he could remove at least three to five turnovers from his 2011 statistical résumé.
Turnovers were the issue for the Eagles offense last season. They explained the inconsistency from quarter to quarter, the red zone issues... almost everything. So limiting them will be key. Joyner's argument here is that while they still need to get better overall, they should also benefit from a little regression to the mean.
Last season, I felt like a lot Vick's early turnovers were due to bad luck. Jason Avant getting a ball taken out of his hands, Steve Smith smacking a ball up into the air to be picked... Those kinds of things are not indicative of poor decisions on the QBs part. However, I thought more of the later season turnovers were not so much due to luck.