Monday, January 10, 2005

Why the Atlanta/St. Louis Game is so tough to pick

No, it's not the Rams' coach - look at this from the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, UT:

"I hate to rain on the Michael Vick parade, but here goes. Vick is a media/Madison Avenue creation and a vastly overrated quarterback. He ranks 21st in the league in pass efficiency (up five places from two weeks earlier). He threw 14 TD passes and 12 interceptions in 15 games. Those who finished ahead of him in passer rating include Billy Volek, Byron Leftwich, Aaron Brooks and Tim Rattay.

Of the league's top 25 passers, only Jeff Garcia, Rattay and Kurt Warner threw for fewer yards and TDs than Vick, and they all missed significant playing time. Despite all this, Vick made the Pro Bowl team and was given a $100 million contract. He might be a great quarterback someday, but he's got a long way to go. He's a great athlete but not a great quarterback. He's a halfback with a strong arm. From now on, can we let athletes play a few years before they are accorded superstar status?"

Ouch...this guy probably doesn't have an axe to grind either - it's not Salt Lake City has a football team. The other stat pointed out by Peter King today - Atlanta's total for/against points is 340/337.

I'm in the camp with this guy, but in Vick's defense, he doesn't have the caliber of receivers that Peyton Manning or Ben Rothlisberger have available, or the single suburb receiver available to Culpepper or McNabb.

Vick's problem - inconsistency - many commentators will say games can be single-handedly won by Michael Vick. Absolutely, but the supporting cast isn't strong enough to win games without Vick. Does he have to be in top form every week to win? No, but against the best teams he'll have to perform at his peak. Which Michael Vick shows up against St. Louis this week?

[Disclaimer: As a Pitt alumnus, I really don't like Virginia Tech football, so I may have some bias; however, I have come around to Donovan McNabb & Mark Bulger despite the many beatings they laid on the Panthers while I was an undergraduate.]


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