Michael Vick Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week

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Michael Vick Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week

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.


NFL Announces Kurt Coleman Will Not Be Fined For Hit On Austin Collie

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®


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.


Andy Reid Addresses Hit On Austin Collie

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?


Vick, Eagles Beat Indianapolis Colts to Improve to 5-3

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.


Video: Eagles Hit On Austin Collie

Here's video of the controversial hit on Colts WR Austin Collie. Was it clean? Did it deserve a flag? You be the judge.

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."


Eagles Vs Colts: CBS Crew Agrees The Hit On Collie Was Clean

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.”


Referrees Disallow Tackling; Colts Cut Eagles Lead to 16-14

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.


Vick Extends Eagles Lead over Colts with Legs and Arm(s)

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.


Colts Cut Eagles Lead to 13-7 on Manning TD to Jacob Tamme

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.

Max Jean-Gilles is out with a concussion in favor of Nick Cole and safety Nate Allen went down as well — could also be a concussion. No word yet.


Eagles take 13 point lead in first

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.


Eagles Vs Colts - Eagles Announce Inactives

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.


Eagles Vs Colts: Addai, Hart, Session, & Gonzalez All Ruled For Today's Game

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.

Also out for the Colts this weekend is LB Clint Session, CB Justin Tryon, S Bob Sanders, DT Antonio Johnson & TE Brody Eldridge.

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.


Eagles Vs Colts: Michael Vick Thinks This Is A Statement Game

Eagles QB Michael Vick was asked today whether he thought this weekend’s matchup with the Indianapolis Colts was a “statement game.”

“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.”

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