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Michael Vick's redemption tour rolls on and another honor rolls in. After being named NFC offensive player of the month for September, Vick has been named NFC offensive player of the week after the Eagles 26-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Vick threw for 218 yards and ran for 74 while accounting for two of the Eagles touchdowns.
Beyond just his final stats, you have to look at the plays he made to really see why he won this honor. The kind of plays he did Sunday are arguably things only he can do. Most importantly, they almost all came on 3rd downs. Let's look first at the 58 yard pass to DeSean Jackson. It was 3rd and 7 with the Eagles on their own four yard line. Vick lines up in the shotgun, drops back about 3 or 4 yards deep in the end zone and launches a pass that travels to the opponents 45 yard line. That was about a 60 yard pass that hit DeSean Jackson in stride.
How about in the 3rd quarter with the Eagles facing a 3rd and 4 when he drops back and sees that the Colts DEs have run past him, their interior defense collapsed, and their blitzer just got lost. Vick sees the hole up the middle and gets a 32 yard gain.
Almost the same thing in the 2nd quarter here with the Eagles facing a 3rd and 9. He drops back, see the middle open up and before you know it he's got a huge gain.
The NFL has announced that Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman will not be fined for the collision which injured Colts WR Austin Collie. NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora explained that "Because Collie's helmet-to-helmet contact was a result of being driven toward a defender from a prior hit, there's no fine for this action."
The video clearly showed that the helmets of Coleman and Collie did collide, but it would have been impossible for Coleman to do anything about it because Collie has been knocked into him a fraction of a second earlier by Quintin Mikell. At halftime of the game, CBS analyst Bill Cowher noted that the helmet to helmet contact was unavoidable and said of Coleman "He should not be fined. Do not fine this young man. This was a clean play. Do not fine him."
The NFL agreed with Cowher in part. While they said the play was not worthy of a fine, they did however judge that the play was officiated properly.
Though there's no fine issued, the play was deemed properly officiated. Officials have been instructed to err on the side of player safetyless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Jason La Canfora
The problem here is that NFL sidestepped making a firm decision. They admitted that either Coleman or Mikell were fault and deserving of a fine, but didn't say that the flag was wrong. It would seem like an either/or situation to me. It was either an illegal helmet to helmet shot on a defenseless WR that the league has repeatedly said will be punished with a fine or it isn't. They rode both sides of the fence here and allowed for more ambiguity in the rules.
In his day after press conference, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid was asked whether there was anything that safeties Quintin Mikell or Kurt Coleman could have done differently on the hit on Colts WR Austin Collie. Collie laid on the field for several minutes and was eventually stretchered off. He was however alert and talking at halftime and appears to be ok.
“Well, you know what, there’s really nothing else [because] that was a bang-bang play. And it was two guys, there were three people involved, so by the time Kurt got there [Collie] was being hit back into Kurt. Listen, the league is trying like crazy to make this thing right. And so, I’m not sitting here to judge that. They’re evaluating it more than anybody. And the officials are learning like we are on the go here, so I’m not going to sit up here and bash anybody. I just, for that particular one you asked me a question – what else could they have done different? I don’t see what they could have done different because after looking at it on film and studying it, I don’t see –if the player asked me this I’d have to tell them that – I just don’t see what they could have done different. But again, I completely understand and I’m behind what the league’s trying to do. I think for the players’ sake down the road, we’re kind of in a new territory here, and we’re learning as we go with concussions and what happens when these guys are done playing football [because] you want to make sure that you do look at that. And some things will have to change.”
The NFL is reviewing the hit and we’ll find out their ruling later this week. Quintin Mikell was flagged on the play.
My take is similar to what Reid saw. Quintin Mikell delivered a tough, yet legal hit that was shoulder to shoulder. That hit knocked Collie into Kurt Coleman coming from the other side and their helmets collided. Is that the kind of thing the NFL wants to fine someone for?
It appeared to be headed towards a blowout in the early going, when the Eagles jumped out to a 13-0 lead on a Desean Jackson touchdown and two field goals. But leads are never safe against Peyton Manning and failing to score touchdowns in the red zone always comes back to bite you. Jacob Tamme and Javarris James each put 6 on the board and, after Austin Collie was knocked out of the game on a questionable personal foul call, the momentum was firmly on Indy's side heading into the tunnel with the lead at the half.
But the Eagles defense forced a three-and-out to open the third quarter and David Akers kicked his fourth field goal of the game to put the Birds back on top. Both teams traded punts a few times before a 10 play, 80 yard drive ended in a one-yard QB sneak for Michael Vick's second rushing touchdown of the year. With a two possession lead, the Eagles drained 6:48 off the clock in the middle of the fourth, but couldn't get points out of that drive, handing the ball back to the Colts, who ran 14 plays ending in Javarris James' second touchdown run of the game with under two minutes left in the game.
Rather than risking an onside kick, coach Jim Caldwell decided to kick it away. After an end-around to Desean Jackson netted the Eagles a first down, the Colts used their three timeouts to stretch the clock. After Vick was stopped on 3rd and 7, Andy Reid was forced to give the ball back to Peyton Manning with 40 seconds left and the ball on his own 26. With no timeouts, Manning was forced to use the sidelines, and only managed to get 15 yards before two incomplete passes left him with a 3rd down from his own 41 and only 18 seconds to go. The former MVP dropped back and aired it out to Pierre Garcon around the Eagles 30 but Asante Samuel, who had picked him off earlier in the game, swiped his second, putting this baby on ice.
Michael Vick was in control all game, throwing his 7th touchdown of the season to no interceptions. He also used his legs a ton today, racking up 74 yards and a touchdown, narrowing the gap between he and Steve Young for 2nd on the list of most career rushing yards for a quarterback. LeSean McCoy had a great 62 yard run early in the first, but was contained for the most part after that. Desean Jackson broke the 100-yard mark for the third time this season and scored his 4th touchdown of the year as well. Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant each made a few big plays, but Brent Celek went the entire game without a catch (though a touchdown of his was called back due to a hold).
Though the Eagles secondary let up 11 catches to both Reggie Wayne and Jacob Tamme, they did a great job on Manning for the most part all day. A good percentage of Manning's completions were hitches or quick outs. Going downfield was basically out of the question with Asante Samuel watching him all game. Sean McDermott's unit got good pressure on him, sacking him twice - once by Darryl Tapp and once by Ernie Sims, both offseason acquisitions. Too many missed tackles, but all in all a good day for the defense against an always-tough Peyton Manning.
The Eagles won this game in spite of the officiating and a lot of that credit goes to Mike Vick. Andy Reid improves to 12-0 after the bye week for his career. That's remarkable. Next week is Sunday night at Washington to kick off the second half of the schedule. 5-3 ain't bad.
Just as a reminder, here's what the CBS halftime crew had to say.
Boomer Esiason: "the league is overreacting to the hit and the refs are overreacting to the hit."
Shannon Sharpe: "This is not a personal foul, it’s not."
Bill Cowher on Kurt Coleman: "He should not be fined. Do not fine this young man. This was a clean play. Do not fine him."
On the CBS halftime show, Bill Cowher said he talked to the league offense and they said that the initial hit on Collie, which was the one that was flagged BTW, was clean but the ensuing collision between Collie and Coleman did have contact with the helmet and Collie’s second foot had just not touched the ground. So they say the flag was right. The CBS crew was in complete agreement that the hit was clean.
Boomer Esiason said he saw clearly that Collie caught the pass and put his head down to defend himself. He says "the league is overreacting to the hit and the refs are overreacting to the hit. "
Shannon Sharpe said that when a player goes over the middle against a two deep zone he knows that the safeties are closing in and if he puts his head down to protect himself, he’s not defenseless and you can’t fault the safeties if contact is incidentally made with the head. Sharpe said “This is not a personal foul, it’s not.”
Bill Cowher on Kurt Coleman "He should not be fined. Do not fine this young man. This was a clean play. Do not fine him.”
Ugh. It’s amazing how quickly the momentum changed with the hit on Austin Collie. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going in their drive, then Sav Rocca punted the ball about a foot and a half, and a few easy plays later and the Colts had a field goal in the waning seconds of the half.
The Colts now lead 17-16 and will have the ball to start the second half. Terrific.
Football is a physical game. Players are taught to hit other players with their bodies. The harder you hit, the more likely it is that the ball will be dropped. So when Quinton Mikell and Kurt Coleman sandwiched Austin Collie on a bone-crushingly hard, but LEGAL, hit, the refs decided to throw a flag. Not because the player was defenseless, but because they hit him hard and were worried people would be upset if something wasn’t done to avenge this injustice. Hitting hard is part of the game. If you start disallowing that, we may as well play touch football.
After Austin Collie got stretchered out, Mikell was called for a very light facemask on Blair White, setting the stage for a 6-yard untouched scamper for Javarris James. It’s hard to play defense when the referees are playing for the offense and in the NFL legal department’s pocket. Everyone is hoping Collie isn’t as hurt as he looked to be, but he’ll be the first to tell you that the hit was legal and getting popped is just part of the game. Player safety is one thing, but when you’re penalizing guys for doing their job well, you lose sight of how to play the game.
Either way, the Colts are now down just two points with the ball and a minute to go before halftime. Those red zone field goals hurt right now.
On a third and nine from the Eagles 33, Michael Vick scrambled 24 yards to the Indianapolis side, looking just a half step slower than his erstwhile Falcon years. Two plays later, Jason Avant took a crossing route for 34 yards down to the Colts 6-yard line. Unfortunately, a hitch to Desean Jackson went for minus-8 yards when Jackson tried to reverse fields and ran backwards. A quarterback hurry later and the Eagles were forced to kick a field goal, the third of the game for David Akers.
With a few minutes left in the first half, the Eagles lead 16-7.
Rookie safety Nate Allen was injured after basically being pancaked by Stewart Bradley on a tackle that preceded the Colts first score in this game. Allen was on the turf for a while, but got up and walked off the field seemingly fine. However, the Eagles announced that he was taken into the locker room for x-rays on his upper back and neck.
No word yet on a possible return.
An 11-play, grind it out drive ended in a short touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to tight end Jacob Tamme, playing for Dallas Clark. The Colts are using bubble screens and quick outs to evade the Philadelphia blitz and on that drive, it worked. There were a number of missed tackles and opportunities to blow the play up, in addition to a pass interference call on Stewart Bradley. Sean McDermott needs to figure out a way to limit their success on quick plays.
The Colts have fallen victim to the classic “Big Play” that the ‘09 Philadelphia Eagles relied on so heavily. The first play of the game was a 62-yard rush by LeSean McCoy, setting up an easy 9-yard touchdown from Michael Vick to Desean Jackson. Next, Peyton Manning’s second pass of the day went deep intended for Reggie Wayne that got picked by Colt-killer Asante Samuel and returned 33 yards to the Indianapolis 9. A David Akers field goal sealed that drive.
Lastly, on a drive that started at their own 1-yard line, Vick aired another one out to Jackson on third and long that went for a 58-yard completion. Another Akers field goal topped it off. The score remains 13-0 Eagles with a few minutes left in the first quarter.
While the red zone execution is suspect right now, Eagles fans have to be happy about a double-digit lead on a Colts team that Andy Reid has never defeated.
For the first time since he was swapped for Mike Bell, RB Jerome Harrison will be on the Eagles active roster for gameday. The inactives today include Joique Bell, Ellis Hobbs, Chad Hall, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, King Dunlap, Reggie Wells & Clay Harbor.
Of those, the only real surprise is probably Chad Hall who had done some decent things over the past couple weeks and more or less served as the backup RB while also playing as a slot WR at times. Harrison’s spot on the roster seems to have come at Hall’s expense.
The Colts have left for Philadelphia and left three three key starters behind in Indianapolis. The team announced today that they’ve put WR Anthony Gonzalez on IR with a knee injury and left running backs Joseph Addai and Mike Hart behind with neck and ankle injuries respectively.
As I wrote over on the SBNation fantasy page, the Colts injury situation is only exacerbated by the ridiculous position they’ve been put in by the NFL’s schedule makers. After playing on Monday night, they have to travel to the east coast on a short week to play a team coming off their bye. I’m happy to take whatever advantage we can get especially against a team as good as the Colts, but if the Eagles were in this situation I’d be screaming bloody murder.
“I think so. This is a big game for us. We know the magnitude of it; we know what it can do for us, as far as our confidence moving forward. This is what this game is all about. Two good teams going up playing head-to-head football and you’ve got great players on both sides of the ball, and two great teams, so it’s going to be exciting.”
Vick reiterated that he has no restriction of movement and is 100% recovered by the rib injury which kept him out for the past month. He also says he relishes the chance to face a guy like Peyton Manning.
“By us being in the NFC, you won’t have this opportunity unless you meet him again in the Super Bowl, so it’s great to be playing against one of the great ones, and like I said, that’s what this game is all about. And we’re not doing anything that hasn’t been done before with all of the great ones that came before us.”
GCobb caught up with Eagles LB Ernie Sims in the locker room yesterday to get his thoughts on the Colts offense. Not surprisingly he said the #1 priority is putting pressure on Peyton Manning, but that wasn't all...
Put pressure on Peyton Manning", Sims said. "He’s the key to their offense. You put pressure on him, get him on the ground. Get him moving round in the pocket, get him nervous back there. Even better put him out of the game. That will be our main goal. Put pressure on Peyton Manning and it will trickle down to their whole offense
Earlier this week, Sims was hit with a $50,000 fine for a contact he made to the helmet of a Titans' WR. There was a time when what Sims said here was just how football players talked. It's not particularly threatening, but you have to wonder whether statements like this will perk up the attention of the league given their increased emphasis on player safety.
If Sims gets a chance to hit Manning, he just better make sure he does it below the shoulders.
On whether WR DeSean Jackson passed all his concussion tests:
“Yes, DeSean has passed his tests. I should’ve mentioned that. He has passed his tests. He visited with the doctor and so on; he’s done everything. He’ll be out there today in practice.”
On whether getting Jackson back for Sunday will be an extra boost against the Colts:
“Listen, you want all your guys there. That’s what you want to be a complete team. He’s a very good player, so that helps you and that’s another good football player that you can put out on the field. I’m not going to slight any of the guys that are out there. Jeremy did a nice job of filling in and the other receivers did a nice job of filling in. Listen, he’s a starter and he’s one of the very good receivers in the National Football League. You welcome him back.”
On whether he thought that he would ever coach a future politician in Jon Runyan:
“Listen, I’m a big Jon Runyan fan. I know you’re getting honesty, integrity, toughness and all those things that come with it. I didn’t know it then. He didn’t say much. Now he has the floor. It’s a good thing. It seems like he’s doing well.”
On whether he has a reason for starting Patterson over CB Trevard Lindley or Joselio Hanson:
“Well, Hanson has a huge role and is playing very well in the role that he’s playing. And so Patterson, when he’s had opportunity to play, he made plays. So we’re going to give him that shot. Now Hanson’s going to play a lot too [with] the offense that they run. And then we have a lot of confidence in Lindley too. So I think it’s a good situation. If Ellis is down this week, then Lindley’s up and we’ll see how that works. But it’s all a good thing.”
On playing against Colts quarterback Peyton Manning:
“Well, listen, they’re a good football team and Peyton’s a big part of that. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, as does our team. So, I mean, you’re talking about, I believe, a four-time most valuable player in this league [and] that says a little something. I’m not sure that he’s not the only one that’s done that. That’s quite a feat. A lot of good players come through this league and for him to have that under that belt is a pretty good deal. So he’s a good football player and we’re going to prepare ourselves for that football team and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“Listen, and this is with every player whether you are young or old, it’s with every coach. There’s a human element where mistakes are going to take place. [But] it’s important that you learn from those mistakes; if you’re going to be successful in the National Football League [then] you’re going to learn from your mistakes and you’re going to get better for it. And so, every game’s not going to be a bed of roses for you. Both those kids are mentally tough, so I think that’s the approach they took. They looked at whatever, and every player did and I think every coach did this week, you look at the things that you need to get better at and you go with it. And then you get out of practice and you work on it and do it as fast as you possibly can, close to game speed. And I think those two have that frame of mind. You asked specifically about those guys so I think they’re in that frame of mind.”
Looking for a good barometer with which to gauge the aptitude of an NFL head coach? How about how his teams fare historically coming off their bye week. Obviously with an extra week to rest and prepare, teams should be in better shape to perform at a high level than during normal weeks throughout the course of a physically and emotionally taxing NFL season. Andy Reid already is recognized as one of the league’s most consistent and experienced winners during his tenure as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach. But just how good have his teams been with two weeks to prepare? Very good. Let’s take a look.
The Eagles are a remarkable 11-0 after a bye under head coach Reid, the longest such streak (New England has an eight-game streak in tact).
Thanks to their double-digit active streak, the Eagles have compiled the best record since the bye was introduced in 1990 (17-4). sport and aim to extend that mark on Sunday.
(Information via: @NFLfootballInfo)
This Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Indianapolis Colts in what could be termed the premier quarterback matchup of the week. Michael Vick squares off against Peyton Manning in a game that features two of the top rated passers in the NFL. Vick comes into the game with QB rating of 108.8 while Manning brings a 101.4 rating.
Vick relishes the challenge of facing Manning and calls him the best QB in the game.
“I’m going against the best quarterback in the game, if you ask me, Peyton Manning. I watched him the other night against the Houston Texans, and just an unbelievable job he did, just orchestrating the offense, getting guys lined up, calling the plays. Like I said, this is what it’s all about. You’ve got to play against the best, and you’ve got to want to be the best, so it’s going to be a great matchup, very intriguing.”
Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick spoke after practice today and declared that he was 100% healthy and healed from the rib injury he suffered against the Washington Redskins in week 4. The injury has kept him out three games.
“No soreness at all. It’s a credit to the training staff, and [I] worked hard to get back to this point.”
He said he first truly felt pain free over the weekend.
“It was probably over this weekend, getting treatment all of last week. Just going out, throwing, and moving around, getting movement back. It felt great today.”
He was asked whether the injury will change his approach to scrambling?
“I’ll definitely be smarter when running with the football. Try to get down, if not, who knows, [there’s] no telling what I’ll do. I can’t predetermine what I’m going to do when I play, I just know I have to play smarter and be conscious of what’s going on out there and try to protect myself.”
And finally, whether he’s ready to take a hit and will he wear extra padding?
“We’ve got some extra padding that we’ll wear, but I’m confident that I can take a hit. I can’t play the game worried about getting hit or not being able to play the way I like to play. So, the most important thing is going out there and play with confidence, and believing in my abilities and believing in myself and the guys around me.”
Michael Vick will be the Eagles starter when they face the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
The Philadelphia Eagles are back from their bye week and a slew of good, or at least good sounding news has come out. LT Jason Peters returned to practice and declared that he will be starting this weekend against Dwight Freeney and the Indianapolis Colts. Michael Vick also returned to practice and the Eagles say he's "100 percent healthy and has no pain whatsoever." Also returning to practice was DeSean Jackson, who said he was a "little limited" and said that he would be a "game time decision." Still, if he was on the practice field that must mean that he has been cleared as far as his concussion goes.
Finally, Dimitri Patterson told reporters today that he learned this morning that he'll be replacing Ellis Hobbs as the starting right cornerback this Sunday. Hobbs struggled mightily against the Titans in the teams' previous game and that appears to have cost him his starting job. As we noted over on Bleeding Green Nation, Hobbs also leads in the Eagles in penalties and penalty yardage this year...
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