Does Michael Vick Deserve the Blame for the Philadelphia Eagles Loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers?

By Bryn Swartz
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia Eagles’ performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers was their typical performance for the 2012 season.

That means they played a turnover-riddled game, complete with a strong showing from their defense, and a late game offensive score to take the lead. Only this time the Eagles’ defense couldn’t make the stop on Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall, and the rest of the Steelers, and kicker Shaun Suisham nailed a walkoff 34-yard field goal to hand the Eagles their second loss of the season.

For the game, Michael Vick completed 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a 104.2 passer rating, his highest of the season. He also ran five times for 16 yards. But he committed a pair of turnovers, both on lost fumbles, and he fumbled a third time, which was recovered by the Eagles.

One of the two fumbles came on the Eagles’ one-yard line. The ball bounced into the end zone and was recovered by the Steelers. That play negated what would have been an Eagles touchdown and the first points of the game.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Eagles would have won the game if Vick had not lost a fumble.

When the game reached the fourth quarter though, Vick was dominant, as he usually has been this season. He marched the Eagles on an 18-play, 79-yard drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock and gave the Eagles a one-point lead with 6:33 to go.

But the problem is that the Steelers still had plenty of time to move the ball, run down the clock, and win the game on either a field goal or a touchdown. You can’t ask your defense to stop a team from even scoring a field goal every week.

The Eagles’ defense came through with the game on the line against the Browns, Ravens, and Giants. They couldn’t get it done against the Steelers.

Does that mean Vick is to blame for the loss? No. Not every game has one or two players who are to blame for the loss. I can’t think of anyone from this game.

Sure, it would have helped if Vick did not fumble the ball into the end zone. But it also would have helped if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had intercepted Roethlisberger in the end zone right before halftime. It would have helped if the offensive line blocked better for LeSean McCoy in the running game. It would have helped if the defense could get off the field on the final drive, either by stopping Mendenhall or holding the Steelers to a stop on any of the third downs.

Vck didn’t play great. He played okay. The Eagles could have won or lost with his performance today. But he isn’t the reason to blame for the loss.

The Steelers just outplayed the Eagles and that’s why the team lost.

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