Fumbles again ruin Vick's day
Michael Vick could muster only a quasi explanation.
“The guy just put his helmet on a good spot,” he said.
Other than that, Philadelphia's $100 million franchise quarterback has absolutely “no explanation” for his recent case of fumbleitis.
Vick fumbled three times during the Eagles' 16-14 loss to the Steelers on Sunday, including a pair of miscues within a span of three plays in the first quarter — the second one at the Steelers' 1 that was recovered in the end zone.
“You go from seven (points) to three to zero,” Eagles tackle Todd Herremans said.
The Eagles could have used any of those points to alter the outcome. Instead, questions about Vick's turnover problems are coming at a feverish pitch.
Vick has fumbled eight times in five games, lost five of them, turned the ball over four times inside the red zone and accounted for 11 of the Eagles' 14 turnovers.
“I never had a problem with fumbling before,” said Vick, who has 81 career fumbles, including leading the league twice. “It was one of those things. Everything happens for a reason, and if it was meant to be, I wouldn't have fumbled the ball at the goalline. But I do not have an explanation for it.”
Vick fumbled again late in the first quarter deep in his territory, but the Steelers failed to capitalize on their good field position that time.
“No matter how electrifying a player is, we all have to be more aware of ball security,” Eagles receiver Jason Avant said.
Eagles coach Andy Reid has harped to Vick about ball security for the past two weeks. He went as far as saying the Eagles are evaluating Vick week-to-week before back tracking from that statement a few hours later.
Regardless, Vick's turnover problems have been an issue that surfaced at the worst time yet again.
Vick fumbled midway through the first quarter when he dove head first on a scramble. When he hit the ground, the ball came out and was recovered by Lawrence Timmons. However, the Eagles won the replay challenge, which noted that Vick was down by contact.
Three plays later, Vick wasn't as lucky.
On a designed run on first-and-goal from the Steelers' 3, Vick dove for the goal line at the same time Ryan Clark popped the ball out with his shoulder.
“I tried to protect it, but it came out, and I can't do anything about it,” Vick said.
Avant agreed that it wasn't Vick's fault.
“The one at the goal line, he had that one tucked,” Avant said. “You usually don't see that play happen too much. He had to ball secure, and the guy hit it at the perfect angle and at the right time.”
Later in the quarter, Vick attempted to scramble before Timmons stripped him of the football, giving the Steelers the ball deep in Eagles territory.
It was Vick's third fumble in five plays.
“He didn't want to come in and fumble the ball,” Reid said. “He tried to make plays, and they hit the ball and knocked it out of his hands.”
Vick didn't fumble the rest of the game and finished with 175 yards passing and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Brent Celek with 6:33 left that capped a 17-play drive that took 8:18 off the clock.
But all of that was overshadowed by his fumbles.
“I don't know, I wish I could tell you why,” Vick said.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.