Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Vick lucky? A bad decision-maker?

While much of the national media have praised Michael Vick for his performance this season, one writer says he's getting lucky and making bad decisions.

Vick lucky? A bad decision-maker?

Eagles QB Michael Vick watches from the sideline of the Eagles 27-17 win over the Giants. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)
Eagles QB Michael Vick watches from the sideline of the Eagles 27-17 win over the Giants. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)

While much of the national media point out Michael Vick's league-leading 108.7 QB rating and 8.42 yards per attempt, one writer says he's getting lucky and making bad decisions.

Vick has yet to throw an interception in 191 attempts this season.

But KC Joyner of ESPN.com writes that luck has more to do with that stat than Vick's decision-making (Note - This is an Insider article that requires subscription to see fully):

Exhibit No. 1 in this arena is the tremendous volume of bad decisions Vick has made this season. For those unfamiliar with this metric, a bad decision is defined as when a quarterback makes a mistake with the ball that leads to a turnover or a near turnover (e.g. a dropped interception, a fumble that is recovered by the offense, etc.). Common instances of this include forcing passes into coverage, staring at receivers or not seeing zone defenders in a passing lane.

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It is a subjective metric, but it is also one that throughout the years has done a very good job of identifying which quarterbacks are taking too many risks, and Vick certainly fits that bill.

The game-video analysis shows him as having made 12 bad decisions in 202 dropbacks. (The dropbacks in this case include plays that were nullified by penalties but do not include spiked passes or sacks.) That equates to a 5.9 percent bad-decision rate. That means one out of every 17 passes Vick has thrown this season have been unnecessarily risk-laden.

To put that total into perspective, consider that Chicago Bears fans were almost ready to run Jay Cutler out of town last season in large part because of his risk-taking, and he posted a bad-decision rate of 3.4 percent. Vick's current rate is nearly 75 percent higher.

Joyner isn't the only writer who's not fully on board the Vick bandwagon.

SI.com's Peter King thinks Vick is taking too many hits:

I'm not quite sure why, but in the past three weeks, since Vick has come back from his rib-cartilage injury, he's run the ball 29 times (too many), while LeSean McCoy, the bellwether back, has run it 41 times in those three weeks. Will the Eagles do a better job of getting Vick to stay at home, and a better job of distributing the ball to other playmakers? They'd better, if they want Vick to last well into the playoffs.

King also thinks it's too early to start mentioning Vick as an MVP candidate since he's only played 58 percent of the Eagles' snaps.

Other links:

* The Redskins have signed former Eagle Macho Harris. Harris started at free safety for the Birds in 2009, after they selected him in the fifth round out of Virginia Tech. He battled injuries through training camp as the team tried Harris at cornerback, and then moved him back to safety. He was waived before the season.

* Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post writes that Brian Dawkins might not have much of a future with the Broncos:

"I'm going to continue to fight. That's just what I do," Dawkins said Monday night.

But watching Dawkins give futile pursuit to the San Diego Chargers, it felt like the end is near. Is Dawkins done? Have the years finally stolen his talent?

Earlier today, I posted Man Up on the offense.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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