FLOWERY BRANCH — Eagles quarterback Michael Vick described this game as a “must win” situation, and he will be the X-factor, with the season and his starting status on the line.
They have eked out slim wins this season over Cleveland (one point), Baltimore (one point) and the New York Giants (two points). Under coach Andy Reid, the Eagles are 13-0 coming off bye weeks.
For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, Vick knows things will be tough against an opportunistic Falcons defense.
“They are playing to their strengths, and they are just doing whatever it takes to win the football game. Whether that is putting themselves in the right position with a turnover here or a turnover there, that’s what they’ve been thriving off of,” Vick said. “They’ve been doing a great job at creating them.”
Vick has been ordered to take better care of the football. He’s had five fumbles and eight interceptions.
“I’ve had my share of turnovers, and that’s way too many in six games,” Vick said. “Down the 10-game stretch, I’ve got to turn it around and learn from what happened and the mistakes that have been made.”
The Eagles are still very dangerous with Vick at the controls. They have averaged 379 yards per game, which ranks seventh in the NFL. However, they have scored only 17.2 points per game, which ranks 30th.
“It’s surprising when you watch the tape,” Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. “It’s surprising to me that they haven’t scored as much because they move the ball very well. I don’t know exactly what their issue is. They’d know best what it’s been. They are a sleeping giant in a lot of cases as far as their offensive output.”
Vick believes the Eagles will pull through this bumpy stretch.
“Despite it all, everybody has to acknowledge that we are still always in position to win games,” Vick said. “I think that’s most important. I’m always out there fighting for my team each and every second, each and every down.”
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