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The First Vick Mention In Months

ESPN put together its power rankings today, putting the Falcons just above the Jets and the Dolphins. There's one gem in here that I'd like to note:

TE Alge Crumpler tells the J-C that "it just puzzles me that we can't score points." But is it really puzzling that Atlanta's averaging four points less than last season? Mike Vick's absence accounts for at least that much, if not more.

Oh, this is rich. Take a lot at a Len Pasquarelli column from the offseason:

Want to examine those numbers closer? In his six NFL seasons, Vick has been healthy in four. In those four years, 47 quarterbacks threw 20 or more touchdown passes. It has become the equivalent of hitting 30 home runs, a much discussed but overblown stat. As for the 1,000 rushing yards, well, what did they net the Falcons, who aren't in the playoffs? In the seven games this season in which Vick led Atlanta in rushing, the Falcons were 0-7.

I put these side by side not because I don't believe the Falcons would score more points with Vick (though with this scheme, they might not), but because I'm pretty sure Pasquarelli has a heavy hand in writing these Power Rankings comments. You can't be part of a hard-nosed journalistic team that continually tells your readers that Vick is overrated and then, when that same team struggles without him, turn around and act like he's the difference.

The point is that it's impossible to say whether he would be or not. This has been a frustrating season by any measure, but Vick is simply not a part of this team anymore. I think the lack of scoring might have plenty to do with having Harrington or Leftwich at QB, but it also has to do with Norwood not getting any carries, an extremely conservative gameplan and an injured and ineffective offensive line. It's unfair--and typical--for ESPN to reverse course like this, even if it is a Power Rankings comment.

Okay, I'm done ranting.