So, our time in Philadelphia is up after four days, and it was a blast. The Eagles closed it out with a 24-23 win over the Ravens, a thrilling showdown that featured an insanely loud Lincoln Financial Field providing the finishing touches.
In the end, despite four turnovers, the Eagles out-lasted Baltimore thanks to the late-game heroics of QB Michael Vick (who I interviewed 1-on-1 on the field). Again. So… they are 2-0 with two, one-point wins.
But where is what I’m left with: What does that mean?
Are the Eagles a fantastically talented and efficient team that has overcame nine turnovers in two games because they are awesome? And are they a team that will be dominant if they stop turning it over? Or, are turnovers part of who they are? Maybe they are a tax on having Vick and this offense.
Vick has an opinion.
“It just goes to show how good we can be,” said Vick, who was 23 of 32 for 371 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. “It definitely shows how good our defense is because they’re stopping the offense and putting the ball back on our side so we can score points. I think at some point we’ll cut down on the turnovers, we’ll cut it back, but it’s still early and we just have to get in tuned and stay in-sync with what we do in our offense. I think it all starts with me though.”
He’s right. Vick is partly to blame for the turnovers. I mean, he threw two of them. One was an across-his-body endzone toss and the other was a too-hard rifle off Brent Celek’s hands. Both could have been avoided. He knows that.
“It’s kind of a Catch-22 situation,” Vick said. “We know how good we can be. We see the progress and we see what we do down after down and then it’s all negated by penalties and turnovers, so the sky is the limit. I’m waiting to have a game where it’s all clean, and I know sometimes that is very rare in this league. It can be done.”
That, of course, is the goal. It has been a major topic all offseason. Yet avoiding turnovers hasn’t happened yet. They haven’t done away with the turnovers at all. Will they? We shall see. If they do, look out. Or, with the free-wheeling way they play, are turnovers just inevitable. I have a lot of questions.
“I did that to make sure that if we won the game, (the media) would have something to write about,” said coach Andy Reid, joking about why his team turned the ball over so much. “We have to get better. There’s nothing that I can tell you. I don’t like turnovers, and I don’t want turnovers. The players don’t want turnovers, so we have to get better at it. You have to hang onto the football when you’re given a chance to handle the football, and you have to make sure that you throw the ball to the right person. This isn’t something that we planned on having. … I’d like to see what it looks like when you don’t have the turnovers.”
How good can the Eagles be? WR DeSean Jackson has an idea.
“If you cut away those turnovers, the best team in the league,” he said, “period, hands down.”
I have no idea if he’s right.