My confused view on Michael Vick (and Week 3 NFL picks)

Posted: September 25, 2010 in Football, NFL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Because my girlfriend is a superb lady, she agreed to battle me in NFL picks this year. Each week, I’ll present some sort of explanation for our picks, and at the end, the winner gets dinner from the loser. And no, I don’t like my chances.

While scouring through the thousands of replies from my dozens of non-computer followers, I got one that had me buzzing for the rest of the day:
-Via @StEvenES: what u think bout Mike Vick
Those six words sent me on a mini tweet barrage for another hour or so. To sum up my feelings in a nutshell:
1. The football fan in me LOVES seeing Michael Vick at quarterback.
2. The football nerd in me thinks that this is a shaky idea at best, and will probably fail miserably.

What’s that? You want to know why I feel this way? I thought you’d never ask!!

Football Fan Theory
Throughout his career, Michael Vick has had a healthy dose of “not that bad” mixed in with a fair amount of “OMFG, did you just see that???” I mean, did you see that pass he threw to DeSean Jackson? (I may or may not have made my friends watch that throw about 21 times. I’m ashamed to say that I lost count.) There are also other highlights (the TD run to end the game vs. Minnesota, the long run and flip in the game vs. St. Louis, and the run against Green Bay in Week 1.

This was actually the end of an exciting play!

He makes the game exciting, there’s really no other way round it. The Eagles have a number of great options around Vick, (Brent Celek, Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy) so there’s always the chance that they could put up a lot of points really quickly. The Eagles also seem to use a lot of shotgun, so there’s always the threat of that pesky “zone read” play that will give a defense fits. Of course, there’s the whole “story of redemption” that gets people excited as well. So, hey, what’s not to like about Michael Vick at quarterback?

Well, not that you asked, but…

This is a shaky idea at best. It’s probably going to fail.
I should probably save the “I’m probably the only black person who thinks that this idea might not work out” theory for another blog. Having said that, there have been plenty of ink devoted to statistical data on why the Michael Vick Experience just doesn’t make sense for the Eagles (KC Joyner has a very good read on the matter). Here’s a rundown of the Philadelphia quarterback situation since the end of last season:
1. Philly trades Donovan McNabb to the Redskins, and state that it’s Kevin Kolb’s time to shine.
2. Philly decides to keep Michael Vick around as (presumably) the backup.
3. Kevin Kolb signs a contract extension, giving him something like $12 million guaranteed.
4. The Packers knock Kolb out of the game with a concussion. Vick comes in and almost saves the day.
5. Kolb is held out of the Detroit game, and Vick comes in and plays quite well.
6. After telling everyone that Kolb would return as the starter once healthy, Andy Reid then pulls a John Kerry and goes back to Vick.
(I’m sorry if this is a little dizzying. I’m dizzy from just writing all of that.)

I’m not here to say that you should feel sorry for Kevin Kolb. He’s a grown man, and this is a business. As a team, you have to make sure that you’re giving the team the best opportunity to win. While it’s easy to say that Michael Vick has suddenly turned the corner, and is ready to play as a “developed QB,” how did the Eagles suddenly decide this after two games? Also, has anyone else told Andy Reid that he was playing the Detroit Lions? Also, Kevin Kolb played about a quarter and a half in Week 1. During that quarter and a half, Vick was randomly inserted from time to time. Of course, that’s going to definitely create some rhythm, and give Kolb some confidence, right? (No.) So why suddenly reverse course now? Also, as the football nerds will gladly tell you, Michael Vick has never completed more than 60 percent of his passes (the mark of an accurate passer, which happens to be, you know, important). Also, the “he just WINS GAMES” argument is mediocre at best. Yes, he has a record of 38-29-1 in his career as a starter. And the Falcons went to the NFC title game in 2005. But, uh, did you see his stats from that game? I know, I know, that was five years ago.

Also, Michael Vick is not under contract next year (having said that, there might not be an NFL next year). The Eagles weren’t really re-building by any means, so this can’t be seen as a “win now” idea. What happens if he gets hurt? (As some people will have you believe, NFL players are broken in half ALL THE TIME) What happens when they actually play good teams? Did the coaches also notice the six sacks by Detroit, and the several almost vomit-inducing passes that could have been interceptions? My final argument against: Who is

I'm sure he's digging for a stupid play in this picture.

the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles? ANDY REID! When the game is on the line, and you need one play to make a difference…there’s a 99 percent chance that Andy Reid will call something that is just ridiculously mind-boggling. So…historically mediocre (with some doses of awesome) quarterback + a weak offensive line + an organization that loves to flip flop + a comedy routine of a coach? It just all equates to a really risky move.

Confused yet? I can’t say I blame you.

Anyway, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about the possibility of seeing Michael Vick under center for the remainder of the season. He does things that are exciting! I just hope that the Eagles don’t find a way to screw it up. Now, before I forget…here are my Week 3 picks:
(home team in caps)
CHIEFS (+2.5) over 49ers
RAVENS (-10.5) over Browns
Cowboys (+2.5) over TEXANS (Fall in love with the Moo Cows if you dare)
Lions (+10.5) over VIKINGS
PATRIOTS (-13.5) over Bills
SAINTS (-4.5) over Falcons
Titans (+3.5) over GIANTS
Steelers (-2.5) over BUCS
Bengals (-3.5) over PANTHERS
Eagles (-2.5) over JAGS
Redskins (-3.5) over RAMS
Colts (-6.5) over BRONCOS
CARDINALS (-4.5) over Raiders
Chargers (-5.5) over SEAHAWKS
DOLPHINS (-1.5) over Jets
BEARS (+3.5) over Packers
Last week: 7-9
Season: 14-18

The Lady’s picks:

Need help with your NFL picks? She's the one to call. No, really.

49ers (-2.5) over CHIEFS
RAVENS (-10.5) over Browns
Cowboys (+2.5) over TEXANS
Lions (+10.5) over VIKINGS
Bills (+13.5) over PATRIOTS
SAINTS (-4.5) over Falcons
GIANTS (-3.5) over Titans
Steelers (-2.5) over BUCS
PANTHERS (+3.5) over Bengals
Eagles (-2.5) over JAGS
Redskins (+3.5) over RAMS
Colts (-6.5) over BRONCOS
CARDS (-4.5) over Raiders
Chargers (-5.5) over SEAHAWKS
Jets (-1.5) over DOLPHINS
BEARS (+3.5) over Packers
Last Week: 9-7
Season: 15-17

  1. zenlizzie says:

    First, I know you will pull for mike vick because he is a scoundrel but a winner. Those are your two qualifications for fandom.

    Second, stop SAYING THE NFL ISN’T GOING TO BE AROUND. It is really playing with my emotions. How will I get through my second year of grad school without it??

    Third, that Andy Reid picture is AWESOME. That is how I coach my fantasy football team.

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