A tale of two Vicks: Can the quarterback be fumble free at the Linc?

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The Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 are a good  football team with the potential to be even better. Though they have a winning record at 3-2 and sit atop the NFC East, there are several areas where improvement is needed.

They know it. We know it.

Many of the issues relate to the Eagles offense. The team leads the league in giveaways with a total of 14–6 interceptions and 8 fumbles (the Panthers and the Cowboys are next with 11 each). The Birds are also ranked next to last in the league in points per game, accumulating an average of  just 16 points per game. They are 29th in the NFL in total points with 80. By comparison, the Patriots lead the league with a total of 165 points, with 33 points per game.

But guess what? Both teams have the same record. The numbers can’t explain everything.

What we do know is that the Birds are making the hard work of winning football games that much harder by the way they’re playing games this season. The mistakes being made are fixable, but that makes them all the more frustrating.

Philadelphia will face a Detroit Lions team coming off of their bye week with a disappointing 1-3 record. Sounds a lot like the story heading into the Steelers game, doesn’t it? Detroit will want to reclaim its storyline for the season starting with this game. The Eagles will want to head into their bye on a high note and quiet continuing questions about the sustainability of Philadelphia’s success.

The Eagles are having some difficulties with some of the most basic concepts of football. Like holding onto the ball. Yeah, that’s a big one, and Mike Vick knows that he will continue to face questions about his league-leading amount of fumbles until his performance improves. Does he anticipate having opponents focused on getting him to fumble as a part of their game plan?

“Absolutely. I expect everybody who gets close to me to be reaching for the football. It’s totally my responsibility to take care of the football and especially for the sake of this football team. It’s something that I [have to get] corrected. I set a goal for [reducing] interceptions and now I have to set another goal. That’s the least that I should be worried about right now at this point in the season. It’s just a situation that I created for myself and I definitely have to take care of it.”

The mystery of why Vick has suddenly developed a fumble problem  confounds even Andy Reid, who checked to see if Vick’s kevlar vest could have be part  of the problem. But alas, it was not.

Though Vick’s fumbles were the primary story out of the Eagles’ 16-14 loss to the Steelers, there was a lot of positive in the quarterback’s performance. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns  and his ability to detect the blitz improved.

Vick assessed the situation well on Wednesday in speaking about the progress versus the blitz contrasted with his issues with ball security.

The thing is you can’t take steps forward and then take steps back. In spite of all of the good things that happen, I [have] to focus on the things I haven’t been doing so well.

Mike Vick took a step forward in the Eagles win over the Giants, his first game this season without a fumble. Then he stepped back in the loss to the Steelers, fumbling the ball three times, two of those resulting in a turnover. Can Vick move ahead once again versus the Lions and continue the progress after the bye?

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