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Michael Vick And Turnover In Philadelphia's Soul

Michael Vick's turnovers are killing the Philadelphia Eagles. The Atlanta Falcons must take advantage of that.

Scott Cunningham

So we should probably talk about Michael Vick.

Forget all the background noise about the "pensive," "thoughtful" and "reflective" Vick. Let's ignore the circumstances that led to him leaving Atlanta, heading to prison and becoming the latest American rehabilitation story. Let's focus on his performance on the football field, particularly in 2010.

I choose 2010 to focus on because it was, with the benefit of hindsight, an outlier in Vick's career. Before 2010 and after 2010, he never posted a quarterback rating higher than 84.9 for a full season, threw more than 20 touchdown passes or completed over 60% of his passes. He surpassed all those numbers in 2010, and at the time many thought Vick had figured it out.

If there's on truism I subscribe to in this life, it's that people don't really change. They can tap into talent that already exists, work harder to hone their talents and go through stretches where they seem superhuman, but most of us can't keep that going for a long time. Vick certainly is the perfect example of that.

In his last two seasons, Vick has thrown 26 touchdowns versus 22 interceptions, completed 59.5 percent of his passes, and fumbled an astonishing 19 times. He is who he is at this point: A playmaker with a cannon arm who has severe turnover and accuracy problems. The turnover problems might bring Vick and Andy Reid down in one fell swoop.

The Eagles might be better served letting Nick Foles try to learn on the job, given the relative strength of the rest of the team, but they're going to stick with Vick for now. The Falcons have to try to take advantage of that.

The book on Vick is that you have to pressure him, hit him and confuse him. The Falcons can do all three, but they can't afford to let sloppy tackling and poor angles get in the way of what should be a golden opportunity. With a quarterback on board who doesn't turn the ball over, the Eagles have enough talent to make life hell for the Falcons, especially at home. With Vick, they can win this game fairly handily.

The Falcons can move to 7-0 with a win, and the easiest way to do that is by forcing Vick to make mistakes. How do you think the Falcons will accomplish that?