You can blame the Eagles 3-6 record on a lot of things; poor coaching, turnovers at the worst possible moments and an inability to do anything productive in the second half of pretty much every game they’ve played this year. The main problem, however, is Michael Vick.
He has been simply terrible through the Eagles first nine games and his play brings up an interesting question no one ever posed in the offseason; was Vick’s 2010 season, strictly as a passer, a fluke? Everyone justified his performance last year because he had weapons at his disposal in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy that he never possessed in Atlanta. I am as guilty as anyone in this oversight since my only concern with Vick coming into 2011 was a susceptibility to injuries.
If you look at his pre-jail track record though it is feasible to think that Vick simply isn’t as good a thrower as his 2010 season indicates. He never threw for 3,000 yards or completed more than 56% of his passes in his six year stint with the Falcons yet he cracked 3,000 yards in only 12 ½ games last year and completed 62% of his passes. He also threw for 21 TD’s, a career high, and six INT’s, a career low when he’s played at least 10 games in a season (he threw 3 INT’s in 2001 and 2003 but only played eight games and five games, respectively, in those two seasons). Vick still possesses the same throwing problem he had as a Falcon; he isn’t accurate. This problem largely went away for a year but it’s back in full effect.
The likelihood of it going away again is highly unlikely.
I have to give the Houston Texans a lot of credit. They are in first place in the AFC South at 7-3 and have won four in a row by a combined score of 132-42. This success has happened with their three best players, Andre Johnson, Mario Williams and Arian Foster, healthy and playing all of a quarter and a half together this season (in the Pittsburgh game on October 2nd). Give the much-maligned Gary Kubiak a lot of credit for getting his team to play the best stretch of football in Texans history despite being shorthanded all season long.
Two of the Ravens three losses this season have come against the 3-6 Jaguars and the 3-6 Seahawks. They also narrowly beat the 3-6 Cardinals in a game they trailed 24-3 in the 1st half. Meanwhile they have defeated the Texans and the 7-3 Steelers twice. Luckily for Baltimore most teams that make the playoffs are good. Unfortunately they will probably have to figure out a way to beat Cleveland, who they still have to play twice, and the winless Colts to get there.
Want to know why the 49ers are 8-1; because they don’t have any weaknesses. Their special teams play is immaculate, they run the ball well, stop the run and Alex Smith and the passing game is better than you think. The only facet of their team that is close to a weakness is their pass defense but while they will allow you to move the ball they have only surrendered a respectable 13 TD’s in nine games and have picked off 12 passes. It’s hard to lose when you do nothing wrong.
The Saints 26-23 overtime win yesterday in Atlanta was big for a couple of reasons. First of all, it gives them a 1 ½ game lead over the 5-4 Falcons and Atlanta now has to win in New Orleans to prevent the all important head to head tiebreaker from going to the Saints. Also take a look at the Saints schedule and tell me how they don’t win at least 11 games, which should easily give them the division. Four of their last six games are at home and all of their tough games (Giants, Falcons and Lions) are in the Superdome while their road games in Minnesota and Tennessee are very winnable. Write down the Saints as your 2011 NFC South champions.
A Staff Writer for RotoExperts, Tamer Chamma is a two time top 50 Finalist in the WFAN Fantasy Phenom contest as well as a weekly guest on the SiriusXM "RotoExperts" morning show. Tamer is also a fill-in co-host for the show. You may contact Tamer @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @RotoExperts_TC