Tag:Michael Vick
Posted on: September 22, 2011 1:57 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 2:03 pm
 

Michael Vick at practice, first-team taking snaps

Posted by Will Brinson

Michael Vick suffered a concussion on Sunday night in Atlanta, and that put his status for Week 3's game against the Giants in serious jeopardy. Good news for everyone involved -- well, except Tom Coughlin, but he expected it -- since Vick appears prepped to start Sunday, as he's at Eagles practice on Thursday, taking snaps with his helmet on.

Vick was "symptom-free" earlier in the week, but the Eagles wouldn't confirm that he'd play, mainly because of the potential for regression and the possibility that he could display symptoms later.

With the Giants banged up, Andy Reid actually has an interesting quandary on his hands.

As Pat Kirwan notes in our preview below, Reid could always run backup Mike Kafka, who looked good in relief action against the Falcons, out as the starter this week and use Vick only if and win the Eagles struggled.


Of course as Pat also notes, Vick is very likely to start -- Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer correctly points out that Vick returning to practice as early as Thursday is a "clear sign" that Reid intends to play him against the Giants.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL experts chat: LIVE!

Posted by Will Brinson

It's Wednesday, which means we're in the, ahem, neutral zone when it comes to the NFL week. We're far enough removed from Monday night and too far away from Sunday to really feel comfortable without our football, so we're firing up a live chat at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday with experts Pete Prisco, Clark Judge, Mike Freeman, Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson.

Want to know if Michael Vick will play? Can Tony Romo get on the field with a punctured lung? Why are the Giants such fakers? What's the deal with the Chiefs? Are the Bills for real?

All those questions, plus whatever else you want to ask, answered live below, starting at 1.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 10:41 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Report: Vick 'symptom-free' after concussion test

Posted by Will Brinson

Following his departure Sunday night due to a concussion, there was much concern that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick might be absent.

As it is right now, though, things look pretty good -- Vick didn't show any symptoms of a concussion after taking the NFL's baseline test on Wednesday and participated in the Eagles walkthrough even though he didn't participate in practice. 

Still, that doesn't mean that Vick is necessarly cleared for Sunday's game against the Giants quite yet.

"It's hard to give you the future because you have to do things the right way and go through the process," coach Andy Reid said.

Additionally, just because Vick didn't show symptoms Wednesday doesn't mean they can't pop up in the future, as trainer Rick Burkholder noted, adding that Vick would visit an indepedent neurologist in the next day or so.

"Just because he doesn't have symptoms today doesn't mean he won't have symptoms tomorrow," Burkholder said. "You can't predict."

Beause Vick was absent, backup Mike Kafka reportedly took most of the first-team snaps during practice. It's also believed that Vince Young will be cleared to play sooner rather than later.

"We're pretty fortunate to have three quarterbacks who can play the game," Reid said. "My message to all three of them was: 'Get ready accordingly."'

Tom Coughlin, on the other hand, is just preparing for Vick. The Giants said on a conference call Tuesday that he fully expects to see Vick on the field come Sunday.

"I expect Michael Vick will play and if he can play, I am sure he will," Coughlin said.

The issue, of course, is whether Vick is even allowed to play. Before he can step foot on the practice field, the quarterback must clear a battery of concussion tests administered by an indepedent doctor, per the NFL concussion protocol.

If Vick doesn't show any further concussion symptoms, he'll have been clear since Wednesday, which means he can return to practice on Friday.
Week 3 NFL Preview

Provided Vick has cleared the tests and provided he'll play, it's not surprising to anyone, especially the two coaches involved. Clearly Coughlin never thought about gameplanning with Vick not playing in mind, and it's highly unlikely that Andy Reid did either.

"He remembered everything," Reid said about talking with Vick after the game. "He recalled everything. I tried to quiz him and see where he was at. He was frustrated that he wasn't able to finish. He had a vested interest in finishing."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Why aren't mouthguards mandatory for NFL?

M. Vick suffered a concussion during Sunday's game vs. Atlanta (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a quarterback who likes to scramble and whose coach calls draws specifically because of that quarterback’s athleticism has to know he’s at higher risk for taking shots from the defense.

And as we’ve seen, quarterbacks are not immune from suffering head injuries, even if they never leave the pocket. So, wouldn’t it make sense for the quarterback who does so much running to wear a mouthpiece to protect himself from the dangers of a concussion that could keep him out of the lineup for weeks to come* (and, more importantly, help keep himself healthy in the long run)?

*I mean, Dunta Robinson was playing in this game, for gosh sakes!

You’d think so, but according to Foxsports.com, which studied the videotape from the Eagles loss to the Falcons, Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick didn’t appear to have a guard in his mouth when he was hit after a throw and suffered a concussion while banging his head into his tackle, Todd Herremans.

And Alex Marvez writes that if Vick had been wearing a mouth protector, perhaps his concussion and his lacerated tongue could have been avoided (even though Marvez also writes, “There also isn’t a definitive medical link between mouth guards and concussion prevention although some studies and anecdotal evidence have strongly suggested this is the case.”).

The mouthpieces aren’t mandatory, because the NFLPA -- and really, the players -- don’t want them. They’re uncomfortable, at least until you get used to them, and they make it hard to breathe. Plus there is a question about how difficult it would be to call out signals and audibles if you’re wearing a piece of plastic around your teeth.

But if the players are serious about their own health (and they were awfully quick during the lockout to levy charges that the owners were not serious about it), they probably need to take away the option of wearing mouthpieces.

It probably shouldn’t, but it always astounds me when players don’t seem to care much about their own safety. Whether it’s specially-designed helmets or mouthpieces that could reduce the instances of concussions, players, for the most part, seem uninterested in trying something new that could help. The NFLPA should make them care by agreeing to make mouthpieces mandatory.

And you know who was wearing a mouthpiece during that Sunday night? Backup Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka, who probably will start in place of the concussed Vick next week.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:01 am
 

NFL fines Dunta Robinson $40K for Maclin hit

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday night, Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson repeated history by smashing Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with a helmet-to-helmet hit that reminded everyone of a similar shot he dropped on Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson in 2010.

Robinson was fined $40,000 by the NFL on Monday for violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9 (a) (2) of the NFL's official playing rules (you probably know it as the "defenseless receiver rule").

"It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture," the rule reads.

He was also alerted by NFL VP of Football Operations Merton Hanks that any future violations of player safety rules would result in a suspension.

"Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension," Hanks wrote to Robinson in a letter.  Roger Goodell was informed of the decision, and said "we felt this was the appropriate discipline."

The $40,000 is the minimum fine available to repeat offenders -- Robinson classifies, per the NFL, because of his hit on Jackson in 2010. At that time, Robinson was fined $50,000, but that fine was later reduced to $25,000.

"Robinson hit was violation because Maclin was defenseless by rule-had 'not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner,'" NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello tweeted Monday.

Our own Pete Prisco, who was on the scene for the Falcons-Eagles tilt -- notes that the "Falcons didn't feel it was cheap." Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said following Sunday night's game that he believed the hit was legal and "that's the way we teach it."
NFL Week 2

"My opinion didn't change," Smith reiterated Monday.

If Robinson does appeal, his case will be heard by ex-NFL coaches Art Shell and Ted Cottrell and must be heard by the second Tuesday.

I wrote this morning that Robinson should be suspended by the NFL, and I still feel that way. He flagrantly went head-hunting on Maclin, and both players are lucky that the Eagles wideout didn't sustain a serious injury.

"Player safety is a priority and we will not relent on it," NFL VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson said over the summer. "Let me make it very clear, particularly in regard to repeat offenders, that egregious acts will be subject to suspension. We will not feel the need to hesitate in this regard."

Had the hit on Maclin resulted in the wideout being carted off the field (a la Austin Collie), would Robinson have been suspended? My guess -- which is, admittedly, a morbid hypothetical -- is that Robinson wouldn't be suiting up for the Falcons next game.

And that's a scary thought because it means the league remains reactive -- rather than proactive -- when it comes to player safety.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 3:01 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson



Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 1 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

(Ed. note: Week 2 Podcast will be live first thing Monday morning. Thanks for your patience.)

1. Michael Vick doesn't gets Michael Vick'd
Vick was going to get injured this year. That's just what happens when you combine a quarterback who runs like he does with an offensive line that blocks like Philly's doesn't. But what an unlikely way for him to get injured -- getting tackled in the pocket and falling into a head-to-head, concussion-inducing hit with Todd Herremans, his own offensive lineman.

And even though Mike Kafka looked pretty darn good in an impromptu relief appearance, and even though he provided an endless amount of philosophy-fueled jokes on Twitter, he's not Michael Vick, and he's not going to steal the starter's job or become the single-biggest story of the NFL season.

Fortunately for the Eagles, they've got a reasonably cushy schedule the next four games, facing the Giants, the 49ers, the Bills and the Redskins. But it's a quick reminder to those ready to crown the "Dream Team" as the likely Super Bowl champion: quarterback is a very talented, but very fragile position for them, and if they can't keep Vick upright, it's going to be tough sailing.

Three other notes on that game, while we're here. One, that was an embarrassing display by Falcons fans as Vick left the game, spitting out blood, to boo him mercilessly. I get that many folks won't get past what he did, and how much he might have cost the Atlanta franchise. But to boo a guy who could have suffered a serious head injury is just lacking in class. And kind of surprising for a sports city that typically doesn't show up to scream that loudly.

Two, can the NFL please do something about these "neck injury" classifications? Vick's neck might be sore, as Andy Reid said shortly after the game, he did in fact suffer a concussion. The only difference is that listing him with a concussion would rule him out for the game. A "neck injury" is a loophole for Vick to return to a potentially dangerous situation in terms of his personal health. The NFL needs to make teams get honest on these injury reports if they're going to be serious about player safety.

And finally, big ups to Matt Ryan for his performance in that game. Anyone who left the Falcons for dead after they were smacked around for the Bears obviously doesn't understand the importance of jumping to conclusions after a week's worth of football. The Falcons still got a little greedy when it came to forcing balls downfield to Julio Jones, and they could probably benefit from targeting Roddy White more, but Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner were dynamite. Ryan suffered an injury, too, but stood strong and led his team to a win with four touchdowns.

Absolutely a signature win, especially when you consider the opponent and the circumstances.

2. Dunta Robinson should be suspended
No need for a cute title here, and yeah, I'm adding one more point to the Eagles-Falcons game, but it's an important one. And it's pretty damn cut-and-dry when it comes to the hit of the Falcons cornerback on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in the third quarter on Sunday night: it was dirty.

Maclin caught a ball over the middle, was running after the catch and got absolutely head-hunted by Robinson, who did the exact same thing to another Eagles wideout (DeSean Jackson) when these teams played in 2010.

Robinson was fined $50,000 for the monster helmet-to-helmet shot on Jackson. But that's not enough punishment -- he needs to be suspended.

The league said in 2010, immediately following Robinson's hit on Jackson mind you, that they would begin making an example out of repeat offenders by suspending them. We haven't seen that yet.

But we should; Robinson's decision -- and make no mistake, it absolutely was a decision, not a "reaction" -- to launch himself into Maclin helmet first was similar in a manner similar to the headbanging shot on Todd Heap that landed Brandon Meriweathear a big fine.

And it's similar, if not nearly identical, to his shot on Jackson last season.

There was a flag and there was a penalty, and Robinson was not ejected, as he should have been for the flagrant nature of the hit.

There'll absolutely be a fine coming his way in the middle of the week, but if Roger Goodell and Ray Anderson truly want to make an example out a classic case of a repeat offender, Robinson needs to be suspended.

3. Detroit Swag City
The Lions were one of the sleepiest of sleeper teams to begin the 2011 season. And with good reason -- if Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can stay healthy, there's reason to believe Detroit's got enough potency on offense to compete with a playoff spot.

But here's the thing: they're actually doing it. It almost never works like that (ask the 2010 Houston Texans) but it's working right now.

Perhaps the biggest difference in these Lions, though, is the heretofore unseen amount of swagger present in Detroit football.

Before the 2010 season began, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli accused the Detroit front office of tampering. In response, the Lions would like offer Exhibit A: a 48-3 beatdown of Kansas City on Sunday in which they absolutely mangled KC in every aspect of the football game. It's the single-biggest margin of victory in Detroit's history, tied with their 45-point victory against Cleveland way back in 1957.

Exhibit B? The Lions decision to run Keiland Williams up the middle on fourth-and-one, leading 41-3, with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Just don't expect them to admit they were rubbing it in.

"We're not trying to do anything other than trying to win the game," Schwartz said.

Exhibit C? The Lions were "thrilled enough with the win" to give defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham a Gatorade bath with 28 seconds left:



This would be totally normal except for the fact that Cunningham is a defensive coordinator and this is the second week of the season. Oh right: Cunningham's the guy the Chiefs accused of tampering during the 2010 season.

So, yeah, message sent. But don't expect this swagger to suddenly disappear -- the guy who instilled it, Schwartz, doesn't see a whole to love about the victory.

"We can play better," Schwartz said after the game.

That's a pretty scary thought considering the Lions forced three fumbles (and recovered all three) and picked Matt Cassel three times. But Schwartz is right -- they've started slow on offense in both of their wins this year, and didn't look exceptional against the run early against Kansas City.

4. The Chiefs are dead, long live the Chiefs
There's a lot to love about the second week of the NFL season, but while we're here, we might as well go ahead and note that the Chiefs are donecakes when it comes to competing in the 2011 NFL season.

They're 0-2, they look lost on offense and defense, their best players are dropping like flies, and they have a negative 79 point differential through two games.

Considering they just got done with the "easy" part of their schedule -- the Bills and the Lions -- this does not bode well for the rest of their year. And Jamaal Charles' injury -- the running back is believed to be done for the year after tearing his ACL while colliding with the Lions mascot Sunday -- is the most tragic part of this Icarusian swoon back to reality.

Charles is truly one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL, he's a home-run threat every single time he touches the ball, and he's the reason the Chiefs led the league in rushing last year and barnstormed their way to the AFC West title.

There will be no more excitement this season, and there will be no such division title.

In fact, the only drama remaining for the Chiefs is whether or not Todd Haley can hold onto his job for the rest of the year. To his credit, he's certainly willing to take the blame.

"The season will not be canceled as far as I know," Haley said on Sunday. "What we have to do is we have to stop doing those things that are costing us dearly, and putting us in very difficult positions."

Haley might wish the season would be canceled, though. A quick glance at the Chiefs schedule pegs their Week 5 game against Indianapolis as the easiest contest remaining, as they've got two matchups with Denver, Oakland and San Diego remaining and play one of the most brutal five-game stretches in the NFL starting in November: at New England, versus Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at the Jets, versus Green Bay.

No one has a warmer seat than Todd Haley right now.

4. Yes We Cam 2.0
Normally I might be cheesed that people are jacking my "Yes We Cam" swag (unless that's been around since Auburn and I just missed it), but being on board the Cam Newton bandwagon's too fun to get worried about anything.

Newton now has two of the three-highest passing games in Panthers history, he's one of only seven quarterbacks to throw for 400-plus yards in two-straight games, he owns the rookie record for most passing yards in a debut, he owns the rookie record for most passing yards in a game (ever), and, yeah, I get it -- he's 0-2.

The fact that people are screaming about win-loss records by a rookie on a team that's coming off a 2-14 campaign tells me two things. One, either they don't understand that quarterbacks don't play defense (much like pitchers don't score runs in baseball; wins aren't relative to success). Or two, they're sitting back in a corner and chugging a warm glass of Haterade, just because they can.

Newton's a guy that's always inspired critics. And he probably always will. But right now, he's making the right throws, he's saying the right things, and he's showing some of the most impressive progression we've ever seen in a young NFL quarterback.

Does he make mistakes? Absolutely. His three interceptions were pretty terrible. One might even call them rookie mistakes. And one might even note that they were a result of Rob Chudzinski taking the gloves off on the offense and winging the ball around. But there's no real need in ripping Chud, because he and Ron Rivera's coaching staff are the guys putting Newton in a position to succeed, and they deserve credit.

Just like Cam, regardless of the record.

It's been mentioned before, and it'll be mentioned again -- the Panthers probably won't win a lot of games when Newton's throwing for 400 yards. But that's a byproduct of lacking balance in the offensive attack, not because "Cam's not a winner."

5. Is 400 the new 300?

Speaking of 400-yard games, you've probably noticed that we've seen a number of games this season that have featured 400 or more passing yards. Six to be exact, which is quite a lot. In fact, we're currently on pace -- barring another offensive outpouring on Monday night -- for a whopping 48 400-yard games and and an absolutely insane 176 300-yard games in 2011.

Year 300-Yard Games
400-Yard Games
2006
65 7
2007
81 4
2008
76 8
2009
100 7
2010
96 11
2011
22 6

Now, there's a bit of caveating that needs to occur here. First of all, Newton is on pace to throw for something like 6,538 passing yards in 2011. While it would be foolish to guarantee it won't happen, it's pretty unlikely that Newton shatters Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record by nearly 1,500 yards. (Tom Brady is, of course, more likely, but it's still a long ways off.)

Which is to say, it's still early, and you can't just simply project NFL numbers, particularly 400-yard passing games, across a season and expect continuity from here on out.

But as recently as 1998, we had just 52 300-yard games. At this year's pace, we're in reach of that many 400-yarders. It might not happen right now, but remember how 1,500-yard rushing seasons replaced 1,000 yard seasons as the new benchmark?

That transition is in process for the passing game right now, thanks to the entire league taking things aerial. It's a trend that won't go away and, sooner than later, 400 might actually become the new 300.

6. More like a Breathalyzer score
Not every quarterback's out there gunning the ball around with aplomb, though. Take Luke McCown of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who registered a quarterback rating on Sunday -- 1.8 -- that's impressive for all the wrong reasons.



McCown was 6/19 for 59 yards with four interceptions in the 32-3 loss to the Jets and inspiring only in the sense that his play makes you wonder what the hell the Jags were thinking when they decided to cut David Garrard one week before the regular season began. As my man Mike Freeman wrote, Garrard's kicking it somewhere much more fun than Jack Del Rio's office, cackling his ass off at McCown's performance on Sunday.

What makes it slightly more understandable is that it was against the Jets, who aren't exactly a cream-puff defense.

What makes it all slightly less understandable is that the Jaguars traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert this year, and seem hesitant to give him the nod. Why? Obviously Garrard wasn't the guy, because they cut him. And obviously McCown isn't the guy, because even Braylon Edwards is unimpressed with the digit he posted.

Gabbert was 5/6 in junk time, but let's see what the kids' got already. Jack Del Rio might be stringing out his job a little longer by playing the "you left me with no quarterback" card, but if my boss threw away my computer before the NFL season started, I wouldn't leave the other brand new computer I just bought sitting in a box in the sideline while fumbling through deadlines on a 10-year-old PC that I know doesn't work.

I'd crack that box open, see if the new computer is worth what I paid. Which is what Jacksonville needs to do.

7. Mmmmmm. [Fractured] ribs.
It's time to give Tony Romo his due -- the guy gets absolutely shredded when he makes stupid mistakes, like last week's debacle against the Jets. But on Sunday he returned after it was announced he'd suffered some fracture ribs and everyone assumed that it was Jon Kitna's ship to sink.

It was not. Romo came in, hit Jesse Holley for a big gain and the Cowboys took things to overtime where they ended up winning 27-24.

"I didn't want to be 0-2, and at the end of the day it's about winning and losing in this game," Romo said afterwards. "We needed a win. Why I wanted to be out there? I'm competitive. If I can play I'm gonna play."

Not the most convincing win against a 49ers team, but it was a win that an injury-ravaged Cowboys team badly needed to win. Things might be about to get rough for Jerry Jones squad, and we'll find out just how much of a creative mastermind Jason Garrett really is -- Miles Austin's dealing with a hamstring injury, Felix Jones has a separated shoulder and Romo's got a couple busted ribs.

If Romo can play and Dez Bryant can get back from his quad injury, there's still plenty of firepower on this offense, especially if DeMarco Murray can learn blitz pickups quickly enough to stay on the field in more than passing situations. The former Sooner is a highly-talented receiver out of the backfield, and has the potential to be a serious threat.

None (or all?) of that might happen, though, and this could be a situation where Kitna's trying to manage an offense that can't move the ball on the ground and can't stop anyone from passing on them until their secondary's back up to speed.

With Washington and Detroit on the schedule before their Week 5 bye and New England and St. Louis immediately after, that's a dangerous proposition indeed.

8. Living in the 90's
Man ... anyone else harking back to the Super Bowl heyday when we used to get "In Living Color" halftime shows lately? (Men on Football!) And I really hope you do, otherwise I'm suddenly old and busted.

That's back when the Bills used to get beatdown by the Cowboys and Redskins on the reg, and after two weeks of football, there's a sense of déjà vu circulating around certain cities, as Buffalo and Washington are both undefeated.

The Bills seem to be a little bit more "fa real" than the 'Skins, if only because their offense is more potent, but Washington, who plays the Cowboys next week, is a better bet to get to 3-0 than Buffalo, who host the Patriots.

Still, it's a remarkably fascinating story that two teams that literally no one picked to find their way to undefeated at any point past the first week of the season. And I don't want to start laying bets on Rex Grossman or anything, just yet, but kudos to the guy for finding ways to win in Washington when no one -- including yours truly -- even bothered to take him seriously after his "we'll win the NFC East" prediction.

They still won't, of course, but two weeks into the season Grossman looks a lot more right than anyone would have ever thought.

Meanwhile, Chan Gailey looks a lot more smart than anyone would have thought (good thing Todd Haley fired that guy, huh??), pushing the Bills to a remarkable 2-0 after beating Oakland 38-35 in the most exciting game of the day, particularly when you consider the Bills came out of halftime down 21-3.

"That was an amazing gutcheck by our team," Chan Gailey said.

Yes, ripping off five touchdowns in five second-half possessions is a "gutcheck." Or a guy doing remarkable things with unlikely personnel. Story of Gailey's career.

9. Same old, Same old
Being the lone expert to pick the Chargers for the upset over the Patriots on Sunday wasn't a bad spot -- San Diego could/should have won that game. Or at least not lost by two touchdowns anyway.

A brutal fumble from Mike Tolbert blew the game wide open, but it was kind of indicative of how San Diego operates in September; last week it looked like the Chargers might have kicked that monkey off their back.

Then they roll into Foxboro with a loaded gun and "pull a Plaxico" on themselves, firing repeatedly at the ground underneath their feet, whiffing three times inside the Patriots 20 and giving the ball away at the most inopportune times.

It's standard operating procedure for the Bolts, or at least it feels that way because it's September. And they'll probably be fine because the division is down (though you can argue the Raiders are dangerous and I'm fine with that) and they'll probably make the playoffs on the strength of a big November and December run.

But this is a team that's supposed to make a Super Bowl run. And they're not there right now. Which is, well, not that surprising.

10. Reviews under review?
The new NFL system for reviewing all touchdowns has been irritating through two weeks only in that every announcer in every game has to mention it after every touchdown, as if NFL fans weren't already aware of what's going on.

Oh, and the fact that there's some bizarro miscommunication going on with how the officials on the field and the people working in the booth are handling the issue of checking out plays.

Buffalo's interception by Da'Norris Searcy required a 10-minute break in which the officials finally came back on the field and announced, after everyone had left, that Searcy did in fact pick the ball off.

And Darren Sproles had what looked like a controversial score to end the Saints game in which he stepped out of bounds, yet no replay was deemed necessary.

Aaron Hernandez had a score against the Chargers Sunday that looked like a lock for a review under the dreaded "Calvin Johnson Rule," but the replay officials didn't even bother checking. Or it was so clear that they didn't need to.

If we're going to take the time to check out every single touchdown, let's make sure we actually check out every single touchdown. NFL fans might not be the most patient bunch, and it stinks seeing a touchdown celebration held off because of a potential rules issue, but getting the call right is the biggest deal, and providing a streamlined process for ensuring integrity of all necessary reviews is something the NFL needs to get in place immediately.

Put an APB out for:
Chris Johnson's rushing skills. It's one thing to be a star running back who really disappoints his fantasy owners (joke) by not producing at a high clip. It's an entirely different thing to be a star running back who's drawing boos from fans because you held out of training camp, demanded "Manning money" and then decided to start averaging less than 40 rushing yards a game.

Pop-culture referencing Jim Irsay tweet that's sure to drive Colts fans insane of the week
"All u negative,Colt haters.....ahhhh,well...ummm...that's just YOUR opinion...man!"

Hate to break it to, you Jim, but the bums lost. Again.

Muffed Punts
Leftovers from Sunday's action ...
... Andy Dalton and A.J. Green turning into a potentially dangerous connection in Cincy definitely deserves more love.
... Did anyone watch the Stanford-Arizona game on Saturday night? Because Andrew Luck is the real freaking deal, man. Kid is smart, strong, has a cannon for an arm, and can make all the throws. I'd tank my season for him.
... If you want to try a ridiculously delicious sandwich, and you live near a Village Tavern, hit it up for Sunday brunch and get the fried egg BLT. Standard ingredients but add cheddar cheese and an over-medium egg. It's unreal.
... Not even sure how to feel about this one -- some clown of a Bears fan mocked New Orleans devastation thanks to Hurricane Katrina a few years back, and some Saints fans got their revenge on Sunday. Or something.
... Does any good running back in the NFL have less breakaway speed than Michael Turner?
... Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson, two guys with Vikings history, are both franchise leaders for touchdowns (receiving and rushing, respectively) for their franchises now, and it happened on the same day.
... Josh Freeman is such a closer -- he stormed back against the Vikings on Sunday, giving him eight comeback wins in 14 career victories.

Worth 1,000 Words


Hot Seat Tracker
Long story, but I'm still waiting on the fancy math stuff. Whatever, not much has changed from last week, where the same small number of suspects find themselves with warm pants.
  • Todd Haley -- It just stinks that he might not get to hang around and coach Andrew Luck.
  • Jack Del Rio -- See: above. It's just an unbelievable mangling of the quarterback position.
  • Tony Sparano -- The Dolphins are 0-2, can't defend against the pass and despite Chad Henne looking much better, are not as good as we thought.
  • Jim Caldwell -- No idea if Jim Irsay would even can Caldwell at any point, as the Colts might actually like a figurehead with Manning around.
  • Tom Coughlin -- A loss Monday would not go a long way in helping his job security.
Chasing Andrew Luck (Plus Odds)
Chiefs (2/5): Like I said, the schedule is brutal down the stretch.
Colts (2/1): As Pete Prisco likes to say, the snake has no head.
Seahawks (3/1): Seen Pete Carroll screw up too many things to think he can get picking up Luck right. Still, this team is bad.
Jaguars (5/1): Yeah, they've got a win, but they're throwing out Gabbert now. We hope. Which is awkward.
Dolphins (7/1): Surely they can't be this bad.

MVP Watch
Mark my words: a quarterback will win this year. Bold, eh? Whatever. Matthew Stafford's my leader in the clubhouse, but I wouldn't scream at you if you screamed at me for not picking Tom Brady, considering he's looking like, well, Tom Brady. Ryan Fitzpatrick deserves some love and no, I am not joking this week. And sure, Aaron Rodgers if you want. It's early still.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 18, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 11:38 am
 

Vick leaves game with neck injury, concussion

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


By the time Michael Vick had to leave the Eagles-Falcons game, he had been erratic and, at the same time, devastating to his offense and to Atlanta’s defense.
NFL Week 2

And in the process of leading Philadelphia to a 31-21 lead, Vick got hammered by his own player and had to leave the game with a neck injury. After the game, coach Andy Reid said Vick had suffered a concussion.

Deep in Atlanta territory, the Falcons caught Vick with a corner blitz, and after he releases the ball, Atlanta safety William Moore wrapped him and tackled him to the ground. Problem is, on the way down, Vick’s head connected with the helmet of his tackle Todd Herremans.

It was a sickening collision, and a wobbly Vick had to be helped off the field while spitting out blood. Backup quarterback Mike Kafka, seeing his first NFL action, has replaced Vick -- who got booed off the field as he walked to the locker room by the classy Falcons fans.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 17, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Reeves says Falcons weren't there for Vick

Reeves on the Falcons: “When Mike really needed them they turned their back." (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


Dan Reeves was the coach when the Falcons selected Michael Vick with the first-overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. Atlanta was 7-9 and 9-6-1 in Vick's first two seasons before Reeves was fired midway through the 2003 campaign. At lot has happened in the subsequent eight years; Vick led the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game in 2004 before dogfighting charges and legal issues landed him in prison in 2007. He returned to football in 2009 with the Eagles, as Donovan McNabb's backup, and after a Comeback Player of the Year effort in 2010, he's now Philly's franchise quarterback.

On Sunday night, he returns to Atlanta, this time as the Eagles starter, in a matchup between two teams many people expect to be in the playoffs come January.

Reeves, who still keeps in touch with Vick, understands that this isn't a typical week for either the Falcons or the Eagles. “There is a big buzz down here,” Reeves told PhillySportsDaily.com's Tim McManus. “There is tremendous excitement waiting for this game. There are mixed emotions.”

McManus writes that Reeves "was one of many that had invested something valuable in Vick and got burned." Despite it all, Reeves remained loyal, something he thinks the organization should have done, too.

“When Mike really needed them they turned their back on him in my opinion,” said Reeves. “They could have been a big supporter and they let him go. I think it could have been handled differently. I wasn’t there so I don’t know the organization’s standpoint, but I thought they could have been more supportive and instead they severed ties with him.”

That's a slippery slope. As PFT.com's Mike Florio notes, Vick had exhibited a pattern of lying to his employers, the NFL and authorities about his involvement in dogfighting. At some point, the Falcons needed to move on, and that's what they did. And it wasn't all unicorns and rainbows for them; the team was dreadful in 2007, going 4-12 and watching new head coach Bobby Petrino quit midway through the year.

“[Vick] has let down his fans and his team. He has damaged the reputation of our club and the entire National Football League, and betrayed the trust of many people,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in the summer of 2007

The Eagles-Falcons get-together won't be the first time Vick has faced his former team, just the first time he'll do so as Philly's starting quarterback. The two sides played in December 2009. On that day, Vick replaced McNabb in the fourth quarter with the Eagles leading 27-0. Yahoo.com's Michael Silver writes that it was "to the delight of thousands of [Atlanta] fans – many of them wearing replicas of Vick’s old Falcons jersey – who’d been chanting his name."

Silver continues:

"In what Blank would come to view as a gratuitous gesture of disrespect by Philly coach Andy Reid, Vick wowed the crowd with a 43-yard pass to wideout Reggie Brown, followed by a 5-yard scoring toss to tight end Brent Celek, his first touchdown pass since 2006 in an eventual 34-7 victory. With tens of thousands of frustrated customers already having bolted, the Dome was dominated by jubilant Vick supporters, and Blank could only sit and seethe."

So, yes, this won't be your typical non-divisional, Week 2 matchup between two NFC teams. Far from it, in fact.


The Atlanta Falcons will square off against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Who will come out on top? Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan for a preview of this game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com