The Philadelphia Eagles have struggled with quarterback play for one reason or another all year. But while Eagles fans like myself are resigned to Michael Vick's erratic performances, we can take solace in how opposing quarterbacks haven't done much better. In fact, most of them have come up pretty short while facing Philadelphia's defense - which is a big help during Vick's struggles.
Although the Eagles have already faced the likes of Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, they have been pretty well contained so far. This also bodes well for the game with the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14, as Philadelphia tries to lock the explosive Matthew Stafford down next.
The tone was set on Opening Day when the Eagles picked off rookie Brandon Weeden four times in his first game with the Cleveland Browns. But Philadelphia knew it had something special the next week, when it shut down the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco for much of the second half. Flacco can be great or ugly at a moment's notice, yet the Eagles made sure he had one of his ugly games as he barely completed 50 percent of his passes.
Two weeks later, the Eagles technically did a worse job of shutting down Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Manning managed to throw for over 300 yards, carved Philadelphia apart on a few late drives, and nearly led the Giants to a comeback win.
But that is par for the course for Manning nowadays - and at least he didn't torch the Birds for over 400 yards and score over 40 points. In fact, Manning couldn't put anything together in the first half, which bought Philadelphia time until its own offense got hot in the second half as well. By shutting down Manning as well as anyone can shut him down lately, it was a big win for the defense.
Then on Oct. 7, the Eagles kept Roethlisberger contained as well, with a mere 21-for-37 performance and no touchdowns. Unfortunately, he didn't need a touchdown to beat Philadelphia on a game-winning, six-minute long drive at the very end.
The only opposing quarterback to run up big numbers on the Eagles for an entire game was an ex-Eagle, Kevin Kolb. Yet nothing went right in that meeting with the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 23 - and Kolb had perennial Eagles-killer Larry Fitzgerald there to help him.
With those few exceptions, the Eagles have done a great job making sure that other quarterbacks don't beat them. In fact, Vick has beaten Philadelphia and held it back much more than his peers have so far. But as long as the defense does its part, it helps the Eagles survive all their turnovers and usually gives them a shot to win anyway.
If Philadelphia can keep shutting down quarterbacks like Stafford, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tony Romo and Manning throughout the season, it can still keep its season going strong. Of course, as long as Vick doesn't do any better, it will make us fans wonder what could have been if our own quarterback problems weren't so pronounced.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
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