Originally written on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 11/13/11

No doubt about it, Michael Vick was played a tough set of cards today.

With DeSean Jackson suspended and Jeremy Maclin missing time with an injury, Vick was forced to carry the Eagles offense with Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and Steve Smith. Still, that is no excuse for how he played today. At times he appeared to just throw the ball up hoping something would happen or someone at the other end would catch it.

Today for Vick, the Cardinals were at the other end more often then not. The upsetting part is that this was not a one game thing- Vick has been playing this way for the last few games, and the lack of criticism he is getting from fans is unbelievable.

In the last 4 games, Vick has thrown more interceptions (4) than touchdowns (3). It could have been more, as today alone he had 2 interceptions called back by officials. But while they may not go down in his final statistics for the year, it does not change the fact that 4 times today Vick stood back, made a read, and forced a throw that he should not have that ended up an interception.

Forcing is something Vick has been doing a lot of recently, as he clearly gets rattled when the pressure builds in the 4th quarter. He dances around in the pocket, looking for somewhere to go, showing that he is realizing in his initial read that nothing is there. But with his team down and the season on the line for the last month, Vick goes against what he see's and forces the ball into double, even triple coverage sometimes. Remember, the Eagles have scored exactly 3 points in the 4th quarter all season.

When the season was just beginning, Vick was playing at a high level as the parts around him were the problem. The defense, the offensive line, and the coaching caught a lot of blame for the 1-4 start to the season- and rightfully so. 

But since then, the truth is that Vick has played a major hand in each of the Eagles losses. He threw an interception in the red zone against Chicago- a throw he forced into double coverage. He made Maclin reach out for a ball on 4th down, when if he hit him in stride Maclin may have been able to get the 1st down.

Today against Arizona, he over threw wide out recievers. In the first quarter, he had Brent Celek wide out down the sideline for an easy touchdown, but he over threw him by 10 yards. Vick sailed a ball to Steve Smith out of bounds on the final drive of the game, and his last pass that was intercepted was overthrown as well. 

Meanwhile, John Skelton- yes, John Skelton- made two beautiful touch passes in the 4th quarter on the Cardinals game winning drive. 

I ask you this: If Skelton played for the Eagles today, and Vick played for the Cardinals, do the Eagles win? Maybe not, but the point remains that when the pressure got big, Skelton came through for his team- and Vick did not. 

Despite playing poorly, Vick has gone generally unscathed in the eyes of the public. Andy Reid continues to get the blame, but he cannot go out their and make Vick hit Celek in stride. The fact is that Reid is putting Vick in a position to win, and Vick isn't getting it done. 

Ever since Vick got to this town, and the inital backlash went away, he has walked around in a bubble to fans in this town- as if critizing his play on the field is somehow holding his past against him.  It is not just the fans, it is the media as well. Vick's high light plays- which have been few and far between- blind the media. 

With the New York Giants loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the are 3 games behind with 7 to go. Beat the Giants next week on Sunday night, they will be only 2 back, and don't be surprised to see the national media jump back on the Philadelphia bandwagon.

But if the Eagles have any chance of a miracle comeback- and it truly would be a miracle at this point- Vick is right at the top of players who will have to turn the reason around, whether the fans want to admit it or not. 

Follow Buzz on Broad Eagles Beat Writer Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks


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