After watching the Kansas City Chiefs knock around Michael Vick all night as they picked up a 26-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, it became very clear that Chip Kelly‘s new spread offense is not good for his quarterback’s health.
The main reasons that Vick is being put at risk from the new offense are the many misdirections ran by the team, which rely on not blocking certain players. Because of that, it forces him to run the ball very often.
The problem with misdirections taking out blocking is that it invariably puts the quarterback at risk, as it results in more players getting a chance to hit the quarterback with every snap. This proved to be true on Thursday night, as Vick was sacked six times and hit many more times while scrambling in the pocket from oncoming rushers.
With a total of 11 sacks allowed on the season, it is clear that the Eagles have a fundamental issue with blocking the passer that is in part due to their willingness and emphasis on using misdirection plays.
Having Vick consistently run the ball is a recipe for disaster that has played itself out multiple times in his career. Despite being a very good runner, Vick is relatively small at 6-foot, 215 pounds, and is much more likely to get hurt from a hit when scrambling than a larger quarterback such as a Ben Roethlisberger or Andrew Luck.
When combined with the fact that Vick has never shown a willingness to slide or run out of bounds, the idea of using him as a running threat is a very dangerous proposition.
After watching each of these factors result in Vick getting hit around for the entirety of the night, it was just a matter of when, not if he would pick up a knock and have to leave the game. Luckily for the Eagles, this injury didn’t occur until his last play of the game when he fumbled the ball.
However, continuing to not protect the team’s most important player will surely result in more injuries in the future, and could have the franchise looking for a new quarterback very soon.