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Will The Offense Be More Aggressive?

Posted Nov 2, 2012

Yes, the Eagles did not commit any turnovers in their loss to the Falcons last Sunday.

But in order to achieve that, were to Eagles too conservative?

"I’m trying not to make a mistake, and that’s not me," quarterback Michael Vick said on Thursday. "I’ll be honest with you. I have to go play lights out, I have to go play the game and leave it all on the field, and play aggressive, and shoot it and run the ball as I feel I need to. If I get a seam, get a crack (then) take it."

Vick may have played one of his best games of the season against Atlanta, as head coach Andy Reid said on Thursday, but in the process he negated his elite arm strength and the deep speed of his dynamic receivers. According to Pro Football Focus, Vick threw just two passes that sailed 20 yards or more in the air. Neither was completed. In fact, Vick only attempted four passes that traveled just 10-to-19 yards. Three of them were completed for 19 yards. Vick did most of his damage Sunday in passes that went from the line of scrimmage to 9 yards out completing 12-of-21 attempts for 108 yards.

Vick's one touchdown toss, a 7-yard catch-and-run by running back LeSean McCoy, was thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

"We want to be aggressive, unafraid to make a mistake," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "If we make a mistake, we admit it, we find a solution, we correct it and we move on. It's that simple.

"Excellence is all about attitude. At a certain point in that ballgame, we needed more of it. I'm talking about that certain mentality and that attitude."

Mornhinweg agreed with Vick's sentiment that the offense needs to be "aggressive, aggressive, aggressive." He noted that against certain teams there will only be a few opportunities and the Eagles did not take advantage of them last Sunday. Mornhinweg was most disappointed in the fact that the Eagles rallied to cut the Falcons' lead to 30-17 after McCoy's receiving touchdown with 7:18 left in the game. The Eagles defense forced a three-and-out and the offense got the ball with a chance to make it a close game. Over the next two drives, the offense gained one first down by penalty and just five net yards.

"When I watched the tape from Sunday I just thought I didn’t play aggressive enough," Vick said. "I thought there were a lot of things on both sides of the ball that we could have done better. We started slow and we didn’t finish strong. We didn’t get the win. There is a lot to learn from the film. Probably more than any loss we had all season so as much as you hate to say it, some good things came out of it. Look forward to getting it corrected and moving forward."

Looking back at the wins over the Ravens and the Giants, Vick was a combined 5-of-8 for 147 yards and two touchdowns on passes that went 20 yards or more in the air, per Pro Football Focus. He was even crisper in the intermediate game by going 15-of-19 for 285 yards in those two contests.

The Eagles travel to New Orleans to play the Saints this week on Monday Night Football. The last time the Eagles played on Monday Night Football in a road contest was the memorable November performance against the Washington Redskins in 2010. Vick became the first player in NFL history to pass for 300 yards (333), rush for 50 yards (80) and have four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game. On Monday, it might be time for another once-in-a-lifetime performance against a historically bad Saints defense, one that has surrendered at least 400 yards in each of their first seven games.

The Saints rank 30th in pass defense, 31st in run defense and last in yards allowed. In fact, the Saints defense has given up an average of 50 yards per game more than the next-to-last defense in the Buffalo Bills.

If Vick is going to regain that "swag," as he put it on Thursday, there may be no better time than on Monday in New Orleans.

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