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Michael Vick has been knocked to the ground 61 times this season. So our what to watch for this week, is what is Andy Reid going to do about that?
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what one thing is probably going to decide this game. It's turnovers. And it certainly doesn't take a genius to figure out who will be responsible for making sure those turnovers don't happen.
It's Michael Vick.
There will be opportunities for Vick in this game. The Giants secondary has really struggled this season ranking 23rd against the pass. As Ed from BBV pointed out in our chat this week, part of that has been due to a rash of injuries at the position, but this season has also season Corey Webster regress from a Pro Bowl caliber player last season to a liability over the first 3 games of 2012.
But none of this is going to matter if the insane rate of turnovers continues. They waste good defensive stands and big plays by the offense. The Eagles are top 5 in the league in yardage per game this season and dead last in points per game. You can pretty much take it to the bank that cause of that is that 11 drives this season have ended with a turnover.
Now, last week Vick seemed to improve on his decision making as far where he was throwing the ball. He didn't throw any picks and didn't have any dropped either. The problem last week was that he was getting hit. A lot... and that's been the case all season. ESPN had a pretty shocking stat about the rate Vick has been getting hit.
Vick has been knocked to the ground 61 times already this season, and he has endured some form of contact on 21 additional plays. There are running backs in this league who haven't been hit 82 times.
Obviously you can put some of the blame on him for holding onto the ball too long. But that's not the only issue. The Cardinals were over-running the offensive line last week and had Vick unloaded the ball quicker, he still would have been punished in that game. Obviously, the Giants are just as capable of wreaking that kind of havoc up front.
Which finally brings us to our what to watch for... What is Andy Reid going to do about that?
So far this season, he's done nothing. It's been the same "keep firing" philosophy we've seen for years. He hasn't run enough to blunt the pass rush, he hasn't called enough 3 step drops, hasn't run enough screens and hasn't used enough max protect. His QB is getting killed out there and he simply hasn't done enough.
So while we'll all certainly be hoping to see Michael Vick be more decisive with the ball, at some point it has to fall on the coach to do whatever he can to help his QB and put him in a position to be successful. Let's see if Andy does that Sunday night.