Vick fumbled three times in the game, while turning over two of them–the most costly give-away occurring when he was hit by Steelers’ FS Ryan Clark at the one-yard line, and fumbled the ball into the end-zone for a touchback.
In reality Vick could have–should have –had four fumbles.
Early in the first quarter the QB scrambled up the middle and dove forward before coughing the ball up. It originally appeared as if Vick was not contacted while on the turf, but luckily for the Eagles, upon further review by the replay booth Steelers’ LB Larry Foote’s foot (pun certainly intended) brushed up against Vick while he was down.
Even when Vick isn’t throwing interceptions (zero in Week 5) he still finds a way to give the ball up, which is an incredibly frustrating trend for any team to deal with.
Don’t get me wrong, this loss was not all Vick’s fault.
The QB’s stat line was not gaudy by any means, but aside from the two lost fumbles he really didn’t have a bad game, completing 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns, with zero interceptions. He also tallied 5 rushes for a modest 16 yards.
While the early fumbles proved to be very costly, the Eagles showed a need for improvement in other areas as well, offensively and defensively.
Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy could not get the running game going in any manner rushing 16 times for just 53 yards, and his success on the ground is usually paramount to the team’s success.
With McCoy constantly getting stuffed up front, the play action passing game became ineffective and the Steelers’ defense shifted their focus to shutting down Vick.
And that they did.
Even though Vick completed two-thirds of his passes, his 20 completions totaled less than 9 yards a piece and he did not convert on any deep shots down the field. But the greatest victory for the Steelers’ defense, as with any unit facing Vick, was that they did not let the QB beat them with his legs, holding him for under 20 yards on the ground.
The Steelers’ 16-14 win over the Eagles was certainly not pretty for either offense.
But in the NFL the score doesn’t matter: just the notches in the win and loss columns do. And the Eagles are now an ugly 3-2.
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