The Philadelphia Eagles shouldn't be among the lowest scoring teams in football right now. Of course, Eagles fans like myself know to blame Michael Vick and all his turnovers for most of that. But the players that he is really hurting with all his interceptions and fumbles are his receivers - specifically DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
Thanks to all these turnovers, Jackson and Maclin haven't gotten a chance to truly break out this year. The Eagles rely on them to complete big plays and race into the end zone - but they have gotten too little of that so far. Some of it may be their own fault, yet they can't very well do damage if Vick can't get them the ball.
Jackson finally got his big new contract this past offseason, with the promise that he would redeem himself for last year's problems. His stats have been respectable so far, with 24 catches for 391 yards through five games. But with only one touchdown, this still has to qualify as a disappointing start.
Still, Jackson isn't someone to measure by stats, as his huge plays and breakneck runs often make up for a low number of catches. However, since he hasn't had many of those highlight-reel catches thus far, it is easy to think the Eagles aren't getting a bang for all those bucks they paid him. Yet if Vick could give him a chance to catch more balls - instead of throwing long or short or right to an opposing player - maybe Jackson could get somewhere.
Maclin is really supposed to be the No. 1 receiver in Philadelphia, but his stats haven't reflected it. He has already missed a game due to injury, and he has only caught 14 passes in the four games he has played in. Yet he does have two touchdowns to Jackson's one, so that counts as a slight silver lining.
The entire offense has struggled due to Vick's mistakes, as there is only so much everyone else can do in between all these turnovers. In truth, the Eagles might be better served if Vick doesn't throw the ball so often and lets LeSean McCoy do more. But as long as Andy Reid is in charge, that won't happen more than a few times a year.
Given how much Reid lets Vick pass, no matter what kind of game he is having, this should give Jackson and Maclin all the opportunities they need to make an impact. Eventually, logic dictates that Vick won't have two-three turnovers every single week and can get the ball to where - and who - it is supposed to go to.
For whatever reason, Jackson and Maclin are well overdue for the kind of big games and huge receptions they are known for. If they find a way to do that, the Eagles will be in much better shape and will have far more points - whether it is Vick or Nick Foles throwing them the football.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Eagles since he was eight years old.
Other stories by this contributor
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Michael Vick
- The Eagles
- DeSean Jackson
- Jeremy Maclin