By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report
With Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the Baltimore Ravens strolling into South Philly on Sunday, Eagles fans are hoping that Michael Vick and the offense don’t duplicate the first 44-minutes and 32- seconds of their season-opener against the Cleveland Brown.
If the Eagles commit the turnovers, penalties and have a lack of balance on offense against a tough Baltimore squad, the day will with a crescendo of resounding boos at Lincoln Financial Field because the Birds are not going to walk off that field with a win.
Even though the Eagles won last week on the final drive of the game, Vick has probably been more scrutinized this week by fans and media than both President Barack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney in the presidential campaign. Throwing four interceptions in the last game you played makes you a topic of conversation.
But Vick said he definitely wants to put the last week behind him and wants to come out on Sunday with a better performance than he had this past week.
“I’ve got to go into the next week, I can’t dwell on the last game because I don’t plan on having that type of ball game again,” Vick said with a large crowd of reporters surrounding his locker. “Regardless of what the situation dictates, I think you have to go out there and play your game. Don’t get frustrated and don’t get too high or too low when things aren’t going your way. Just keep pounding, keep plugging and good things are going to happen in the end.”
Oddly enough, Vick said the only motivation he has for Sunday’s game is going over the game field and seeing the game film.
“Nobody really has to motivate me, I motivate myself, I watched the film, I’m the one who lived it,” Vick said. “This is about playing the game that I love. Every game is not going to be easy.”
Just about every aspect of Vick’s game has been criticized this week from his inability to read defenses, not finding secondary receivers, not playing enough snaps during the preseason, and for holding onto the ball too long. Head coach Andy Reid defended Vick from such criticism and likened Sunday’s game versus to a basketball player getting hot late in the game after struggling.
“He finished strong and so you gotta take that and roll with it,” Reid said. “He finished the way a great player finishes. You see this all the time in basketball. Great shooters when they have an off-day they keep shooting and when it comes down to the end, the great ones sink the winning shot.
“Michael, that’s what he did, he kept firing. He didn’t seem hesitant at the end of that game of that game where everything was on the line, he continued to fire. He’s a great player, he didn’t have a lot of reps in preseason, but he’ll continue to get better.”
Vick admitted that he has to work on his decision-making and stop trying to players when it’s not there. In Sunday’s game against Cleveland, Vick inexplicably threw passes into double and triple coverage.
“You can’t force throws, you can’t try to stick a ball in a tight spot when a guy’s not really open and try to make something happen,” Vick said. “You’ve got to give it time, you gotta work your way downfield and take what the defense gives you and keep it simple.”
While folks might think that the Ravens are salivating at the opportunity to force Vick into more turnovers, Lewis said he doesn’t think Vick will toss four interceptions against his defense.
“He’s going to get past that real quick because that’s one thing professionals do, especially a guy like that who has the ability to bounce back and make those plays,” Lewis said.”The same mistakes he made last week, we’re not looking for him to make those same mistakes this week.
“ We understand who we’re playing and we understand what Michael Vick is going to give us when we come to Philly. We’re not going to let what happen in Cleveland last week fool us into what’s going on when we come to Philly.”