The results finally changed, but the story remains the same. The Eagles lost their first game of the season, a blowout at the hands of the Cardinals, but the issues that plagued them in Week 1 against the Browns were just as prevalent two weeks later. And while it was difficult to ignore all the turnovers, mental mistakes and perpetually bad football, winning obscures the truly awful stuff. No more. After what Arizona did to the Eagles while they stood by, apparently helpless to do anything about it, there is no more looking the other way. The problems have to be addresses or 2012 will be a lot like 2011 and that could be bad for a lot of people, starting with coach Andy Reid and Michael Vick.
So it wasn't altogether surprising that on Monday Reid offered his lukewarm support for Vick as the starting quarterback. It's hard to fully support someone who through three games has three touchdowns, six interceptions, is completing 55 percent of his throws and has taken nine sacks. On the upside, that invincibility vest -- also known as Vick's new Kevlar flak jacket -- appears to be working wonders, though it won't matter much if he's standing next to Reid on the sidelines.
"Right now we're with Michael," Reid said the day after the Cards' loss. "We'll evaluate it as we go."
Monday evening, during an appearance on WIP, Reid clarified his remarks.
"It was the last question. I was finishing up the press conference," he said. "Michael's our quarterback. Period. Michael's our quarterback. Listen, does he need to get better? Do we all need to get better? Yes. We're all going to do that."
Reid's not wrong, everyone needs to get better. But it's tough to ignore just how much Vick has struggled. And while it's not entirely his fault -- it's impossible to see blind-side rushers about to knock you silly -- he bears a lot of the responsibility. The Eagles would've beaten the Ravens by two touchdowns if not for two inexplicable interceptions, one that came in the Ravens' end zone. And the Browns game was one of the worst performances you'll see by a quarterback at any level. But this is the deal Reid made when he installed Vick under center. Certainly, his style of play isn't a surprise, but that doesn't absolve Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg from their game-planning and play-callling.
Reid admitted the Eagles should have run the ball more against the Cards, which has anyone half-paying attention nodding in agreement. CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher suggested Wednesday "this bold new play in which the quarterback turns 180 degrees and hands the ball to the person behind him? Just a thought."
How something so simple could be so difficult for Reid to commit to is one of life's great mysteries.
Continuing the theme, CSNPhilly.com's Ray Didinger adds that the coaches didn't do Vick any favors. "They called 25 pass plays and just five runs in the first half. That put more pressure on the O-line. Also, they kept calling deep routes against a secondary that was playing its safeties 15 to 20 yards off the line."
So, yes, a confluence of events have the Eagles in their current predicament and Vick, Reid and Mornhinweg are the primary culprits. Whether things change is another matter; we've been talking about a more balanced offensive attack since Reid arrived. Why should he suddenly switch things up now?