Will it be Michael Vick or Vince Young on Sunday? Either way, Patriots will be ready and tested
|11.22.11 at 9:52 pm ET|
This is hardly the week Bill Belichick and his staff want to prepare for any one of three quarterbacks they may face this Sunday in Philadelphia.
But that is exactly the task at hand on a short week as the Patriots get ready for another desperate team this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 17-10 decision over the first-place Giants at MetLife Stadium that improved them to 4-6 on the season and gave them a pulse in the NFC East.
“We have to be ready for every player that’s on the roster, even whoever is in the game to start the game we all know that could be a different player on the second or some other play of the game,” Belichick said on Tuesday. “We’ll prepare for all three quarterbacks and maybe later in the week we’ll be able to zero in more on one than another. We need to be ready for all of them anyway, especially the two that played the most here ‘ Young and Vick.
“Both can run, have good scrambling ability, both have real big arms, can throw the ball down the field as far as they need to. Both guys have done the things offensively that you need to do to be productive and win ‘ make decisions, key pass plays on third down in the red area, scramble and get out of trouble, play-action and so forth. I think they’re both good ‘ whichever one we get, we get.”
Indeed, with the Eagles facing a third-and-1 at the Giants’ 31 late in the fourth quarter, Young took it on a keeper and kept his legs grinding for first down. Young and the Eagles converted five third downs on an 18-play, nine-minute, 80-yard, game-winning drive. It was Philadelphia’s longest in nine years.
There’s lots to consider for both head coaches heading into this game. Young has won 31 games in 48 career starts, including 13 thanks to fourth-quarter drives.
By comparison, Vick has 11 fourth-quarter game-winning drives in 49 career wins as a starter. Vick did not make the trip for Sunday night’s game in New Jersey but Reid said Vick was the first to call and congratulate Young after the game.
Vick was scheduled to throw the ball on Tuesday in an effort to test his two broken ribs. Reid said if Vick passes the tests this week in practice, he’ll get his starting role back.
“We’ll have to defend based on right-handed, left-handed, but I don’t think there is a big play preference for one over the other,” Belichick said. “I’d say it’s minimal at best, that they run their offense and both guys do a good job of it. Both guys have been productive and they have a lot of weapons to utilize and they do a good job of getting them the ball. We’ll hopefully be ready for all the players.”