Vick Expects to Play Better Against Baltimore

The Eagles can ill afford turnovers against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense.

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.”

McCoy, Vick Carve Up Hard-Charging Cowboys Defense in 34-7 Win

By Chris Murray

For the Sunday Sun

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will need a few antacids along with a couple of stiff drinks with a slice of humble pie when he reviews film of how Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and the Eagles offense carved up his defense before a national television audience.

In the Eagles 34-7 shellacking of the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night, the Birds scored on on their first six of their eight possessions in the game, rolled up 495 yards of total offense on the NFL’s seventh-ranked defense. McCoy gashed the Cowboys No.1 ranked defense against the run for 185 yards on 30 carries.

“I feel like the whole offense is actually clicking, not just running the ball,” McCoy said. “The offensive line is playing well. The guys are doing a great job of just blocking. They’re talented, they take a lot of heat, by I don’t see why.”

Oddly enough, McCoy was asked if he went back to head coach Andy Reid and asked for more carries. He said that with all the weapons the Eagles have in players, he said it’s not right for him to worry about his own touches.

“I think it would be selfish for a player on this offense to ask for the ball more because anybody can take off. We got the two best wide receivers in the league and we have guy like (Jason) Avant who makes plays all the time and we have (Tight end Brent) Celek,” McCoy said. “Right now, I’m hot. Next week or two weeks from now DeSean (Jackson) will be hot. You never know.”

When McCoy wasn’t running through the Cowboys defense, Vick was carving up Dallas with both his arm and his leg. He completed 21 of his 28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He had a 129.9 passer rating. The former Virginia Tech star also ran the ball for 50 yards on seven carries. For the first time in 13 games, the Eagles did not turn the ball over.

“I thought Vick was sharp on on his decision-making and I don’t think there were a lot of deflected balls or fumbles,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg said Vick had an outstanding game as a quarterback and is getting better at picking up the blitz.

“I thought Michael Vick played some excellent quarterback tonight,” Morhinweg said. “A couple of those touchdowns were his calls. He’s becoming a tremendous quarterback with recognizing the blitz and he did just a magnificent job with that. He has a come a long way. He’s playing that quarterback at a high level.”

One of those plays that Vick called at the line was a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin that gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead.

“I thought we had a pretty good play on, but I didn’t like it and I wanted to get out of it and was able to check it at the very last minute,” Vick said. “It was great communication and I give a lot of credit to the guys for putting themselves in a position to score and make the play.”

At the beginning of this season, there was plenty of uncertainty with the Eagles offensive, but against a hard-charing Dallas Sunday night, it was quite apparent that the line is starting to develop the kind of chemistry solid enough to protection.

“That’s been our mentality and I think we played above expectations when people were afraid to death to have us out there,” said left guard Evan Mathis. “Jason Kelce and Michael Vick did a tremendous job of directing traffic out there. If you watch the film, you’ll see us all talking, getting all together and figuring out where we have to go instead of walking up to the line and just guessing.”

The Eagles best offense was their defense as they held the ball for 42-minutes, nine-seconds to just 17: 51 for the Cowboys. Speaking of the defense, they kept Tony Romo and company in check by holding to just 267 yards of offense.

“It’s amazing, I think in the first half, I might have played eight plays or something like that. I’m fresh,” said defensive tackle Trevor Laws. “Every play I’m full sprint to the ball. When the offense is moving the ball like that, it helps us play better.”