ABOVE PHOTO: Eagles running back LeSean McCoy believes the Eagles have the players to be an elite offense, but they have to avoid costly mistakes.
(Photo by Webster Riddick)
By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Sunday Sun
With the way the Philadelphia Eagles have won and lost games this season, it has to drive their fan base crazy knowing that without the mistakes that have plagued them on both sides of the football, they could unbeaten or at the very least 4-1.
On offense, the $64,000 question is whether or not quarterback Michael Vick can survive a Sunday without giving the football to the opposition. Coming into this weekend’s contest against the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field, Vick, who fumbled three times against the Pittsburgh Steelers, said he’s bracing himself for defenses looking the jar the ball loose.
“Absolutely, I expect everybody that gets close to me to be reaching for the football,” Vick said. “It’s totally my responsibility to take care of the football and especially for the sake of this football team and it’s something I have to get corrected.”
Running back LeSean McCoy, who had a couple of fumbles early in the season, said Vick knows how important ball security and believes that he will do a better job of safeguarding the football.
“He knows how serious it is, but Mike is fine, he’s our leader,” McCoy said. “A lot of people are on him more than we are because we believe in him and we know that Mike got us.”
Oddly enough, Vick has not thrown an interception in his last three games-a total of 108 pass attempts. His last interception was in week two against the Baltimore Ravens. Head coach Andy Reid said Vick has been doing a better job attacking the blitz.
“They blitzed us on some of the plays in that long drive we had (against Pittsburgh),” Reid said. “In some cases, zero blitzes where they brought everybody they could bring and still covered the guys who were eligible. He did well against those.”
But Vick said while it’s good that he is getting better at reading blitzes, he still has to play better in all phases of his game.
“Just trying to take advantage of what the defense gives me. The thing is you can’t take steps forward and then take steps back. In spite of all of the good things that happen, I [have] to focus on the things I haven’t been doing so well,” Vick said.
In terms of yards, the Eagles rank 11th in the league in total offense and average nearly 400 yards per game, but rank 31st in points per game, scoring just 16 per contest. Eagles backup tight end Clay Harbor said it’s been frustrating for the offense because they feel they can be one of the league’s best if they can avoid giving the football away.
“We know how good we can be if we can protect the football,” Harbor said. “If we stop the turnovers, we can be top 10 or top five and one of the most explosive offenses in the league. As players we think we’re one of the best offenses in the league. A couple of turnovers and a couple of missexecuted plays and we’re right there. We still think we’re one of the best offenses in the league.”
McCoy said the Eagles are just too talented a team to be floundering in a sea of their own mistakes.
“We have the right weapons to be an elite offense,” McCoy said. “We just gotta capitalize on opportunities and execute. We gotta stop the penalties and turnovers and stay true to each other. We have to trust each other and be true to each other and just the get the job done. “