Week 5 winners/losers: Michael Vick is still Eagles' best option despite erratic play

Jason Cole
Yahoo Sports

It seems as clear as Waterford crystal that the Philadelphia Eagles should bench quarterback Michael Vick, if for no other reason than to get him to calm down.

But here's the frightening thing to consider: How bad will it be if the Eagles go to a quarterback who can't get out of the way of the endless number of defensive players that the Philly offensive line allows to run free?

Eagles fans can howl at the moon all they want about Vick's 11 turnovers in five games (six interceptions and five lost fumbles after putting the ball on the ground twice against Pittsburgh). But the fact is that the offensive line is so atrocious that backup Nick Foles would stand about the same chance as a man against a highly motivated buck – except Foles wouldn't have a tree to climb for safety.

View gallery

.

Michael Vick fumbles the ball into the end zone after Ryan Clark's hit. (AP)

Ultimately, the Eagles don't have a lot of great options despite three ugly trends. The first is that Vick is on the way to obliterating his career-worst total of 19 turnovers in 2004 (he's on pace for 35 this season, assuming the unlikely chance of him playing a full season).

The second is that Vick has been sacked 14 times, putting him on pace to go down 45 times for the season. Assuming he can play a full season, which he hasn't since joining Philly, this would tie for the second-most times he has been sacked in his career.

Finally, the Eagles have been limited to less than 20 points in four of five games. In Vick's previous two seasons, which included 26 starts between the regular season and playoffs, the Eagles had been held under 20 only five times total.

In fairness to Vick, he did put the Eagles in position to win Sunday with a pair of touchdown passes in the second half. Philadelphia was up one point in the fourth quarter when Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger worked some of his usual magic as the Steelers rallied for a 16-14 win.

[More: Robert Griffin III knocked out of loss with a concussion]

The Eagles' struggles stand out because they have the skill-position players to be one of the best offenses in the league between Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and tight end Brent Celek. And while some people can dismiss the loss Sunday as a tough game at Pittsburgh, the truth is the Eagles have struggled to score against everybody this season, whether it's the Steelers, the injury-depleted Giants at home or at Cleveland in the opener.

The question is what does coach Andy Reid, a man who is under immense pressure to win based on owner Jeff Lurie's remarks before the season, do about Vick? Does he sit Vick down the way he once did Donovan McNabb, even though he knows the offense won't be much better with Foles?

Or does he let Vick play through the situation?

Here are the winners and losers for Week 5:

View gallery

.
WINNERS

View gallery

.

Ben Roethlisberger is on the go against the Eagles. (AP)

Having mentioned Ben Roethlisberger, the win marked his 21st fourth-quarter comeback of his nine-year career. That puts him one behind fellow 2004 draft classmate Eli Manning. The total of 43 is impressive, but well behind the combined 71 that Class of '83ers Dan Marino (36) and John Elway (35) had in their careers. Marino is tied with Peyton Manning for the most all time. Elway is by himself in second.

Indianapolis fans who were worried that the Colts might have taken the wrong quarterback between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III (there was no bad choice in that one), should be a little less concerned after Sunday. Luck and wide receiver Reggie Wayne (13 receptions, 212 yards and a touchdown) were critical in leading the Colts to a 30-27 victory against the Green Bay Packers. The Colts, who have played three straight at home, are now 2-2. More important, Luck has put them in position to win each of those games. If not for a bungled coverage against Jacksonville, the Colts could be 3-1 with three consecutive comeback victories engineered by Luck. This team is still a long way from being a serious playoff contender, but Sunday showed great progress by Luck, who hung in against pressure in the second half. He did a much better job of handling the pass rush than in the opener at Chicago and even showed the courage to throw the ball to Wayne when the great Charles Woodson was covering him. And nice touch reportedly by owner Jim Irsay to deliver the game ball to Chuck Pagano in the hospital.

[More: Andrew Luck, Colts honor Chuck Pagano with upset of Packers]

It's been a pretty awesome week for Chicago Bears cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman and Lance Briggs, who were drafted in the second and third rounds in 2003, respectively. In the stretch of a calendar week (Monday at Dallas and Sunday at Jacksonville), both Tillman and Briggs had two interception returns for touchdowns in runaway Chicago victories. In each of Tillman's interceptions, those picks stretched three-point leads into 10-point leads. Each of Briggs' scores essentially put the games on ice. Tillman now has four TD returns for scores in his past 21 games. That matches the four TD returns he had in his first 128 games (eight seasons).

View gallery

.

Santana Moss carries the ball into the end zone. (AP)

Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who took over when Griffin was knocked out with a head injury, created some pretty serious buzz with that tracer-bullet 77-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss in the 24-17 loss to the Falcons. Yeah, Moss was wide open as Atlanta safeties William Moore and Thomas DeCoud forgot to run with a guy going full speed through the secondary, but that's not the point. Cousins saw the play the whole way and delivered a sensational pass. Of course, his two interceptions later on were the typical stuff of rookies, but the arm he showed on that one play was terrific. It should also say plenty about Cousins that he was the guy coach Mike Shanahan had made the No. 2 quarterback already, bypassing former starter Rex Grossman.

Good work by Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush on his 13-yard touchdown run in the second half. That play turned out to be the clinching score in the Dolphins' 17-13 win over the Bengals. Moreover, it was further evidence against the theory about Bush when he was traded by New Orleans to Miami before the 2011 season. The word back then was that Bush couldn't cut on runs to his left. This was yet another example of how Bush can do exactly that. The bigger issue for the Dolphins is what to do about Bush, who will be a free agent after this season. So far, there appear to be no serious discussions about a new deal for Bush, which is pretty strange considering the Dolphins' dearth of offensive weapons.

Congrats to Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall on his return to the lineup following an ACL tear with a 14-carry, 81-yard, one-touchdown effort. After watching the moribund Steelers' running game over the first three games, perhaps now Pittsburgh fans will embrace Mendenhall a bit more than they have in the past. Last year, there were even plenty of fans who believed Isaac Redman would eventually supplant Mendenhall. That's just not reality. At least not yet.

[More: Foe uses trickery in attempt to slow down Antonio Brown]

Give the Falcons credit for hanging tough in a brutal game against Washington. The Falcons found a way to score 17 points in the fourth quarter as they improved to 5-0. For the second week in a row, the Falcons got critical plays from running back Michael Turner in the second half. This time he scored a decisive rushing touchdown.

View gallery

.
LOSERS

View gallery

.

Matt Cassel walks off the field with trainers during the second half. (AP)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel added injury to insult. Not only was he knocked out of the game against Baltimore, he had three more turnovers before exiting. That gives Cassel 13 turnovers for the season and puts him on pace for 42 this season. Of course, don't expect him to keep that pace because you can pretty much count on him losing his job after this game, one way or another. This has been a brutal fall for Cassel, who was on thin ice last week with the coaching staff and front office.

You hate to say it, but it increasingly looks like Troy Polamalu's body has been taken over by the ghost of Bob Sanders (yeah, I know he's not dead, but you get the reference). Polamalu returned to the lineup Sunday after missing the previous two games. No sooner was he back on the field that Polamalu strained his right calf and didn't return. Polamalu has missed multiple games in three of the past four seasons. And it looks like for the fourth time in the past seven seasons, he will miss at least three games.

[More: Charles Tillman and Lance Brigg make history]

Green Bay fans are obviously going to be concerned after the Packers squandered a 21-3 lead to the Colts in the first half and have now fallen to 2-3. As much as you might want to blame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the bigger issue is the failure of the offensive line to protect him. In three of the past four games, Rodgers has been sacked at least five times and he has been sacked 21 times overall. The Packers are on pace to allow 67 sacks this season, which would obliterate the career-high 50 sacks taken by Rodgers in 2009. Yeah, Rodgers tends to hold the ball sometimes, but this problem is deeper than that.

[Yahoo! Sports Radio: RB Donald Brown on Colts' victory]

View gallery

.

Victor Cruz catches a second-half TD pass in front of Trevin Wade. (AP)

I'm not a defensive coordinator and won't pretend to know the things that go into that job, particularly when you have to replace a terrific young cornerback like Joe Haden, which is what Cleveland's Dick Jauron had to do the first four weeks of this season. But something is seriously wrong when your defensive backs are getting beat as consistently as Cleveland's were on Sunday against the New York Giants. Sure, New York wide receiver Victor Cruz is an excellent player, but he was running almost completely free on his second and third touchdowns. This was man coverage against some very basic pass routes and the Browns looked completely lost.

Miami kicker Dan Carpenter missed his fourth field goal in the past three games. Even if he's the most accurate kicker in team history, don't expect the Dolphins to be overly patient with him. If he had hit two of those four, the Dolphins could easily be 4-1 this season.

After watching the defense get torched again in San Francisco, you have to wonder how much longer Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey is going to keep defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. The Bills have allowed 45 points or more in three of five games and have been lit up for 97 points in the last two games.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
High school lineman dies shortly after collapsing on field after making tackle
Dog steals ball while Paul Casey lines up for his eagle putt
U.S. speedskater Simon Cho admits to sabotaging opponent's skate
Y! TV: Child TV stars, then and now

  • Scolari says has chosen Brazil's World Cup squad

    Scolari says has chosen Brazil's World Cup squad

    By Tatiana Ramil SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari knows his 23-man squadfor the World Cup finals and has chosen Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Julio Cesar and Fred to act as captains, he said on Thursday. "I have no doubts," Scolari … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 30 seconds ago
  • Pineda not only pitcher in majors to try pine tar

    Pineda not only pitcher in majors to try pine tar

    New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is hardly the first major leaguer to head to the mound hoping to get away with using pine tar to aid his grip. ''It's not like somebody sits you down and says, 'Hey, dude, you should try this.' You see … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Buffalo Bills cheerleaders halt season after suit

    Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Rebels DL, ex-OT arrested for burglary

    Former Mississippi State offensive lineman Charles Siddoway and current defensive lineman Jordan Washington were arrested on Wednesday and charged with burglary and robbery. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Siddoway started all 26 games of his Mississippi … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Will Ducks find ’another level’ in Game 5?

    Will Ducks find ’another level’ in Game 5?

    Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski breaks down Anaheim’s chances heading home for Game 5 … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 12 minutes ago
  • Is postseason pressure too much for Marc-Andre Fleury?

    Is postseason pressure too much for Marc-Andre Fleury?

    Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski explains why there’s cause for concern for the Pittsburgh netminder heading into Game 5 … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 12 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar, won't appeal

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar, won't appeal

    BOSTON - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games Thursday after being caught using pine tar. "I accept it," Pineda said before Thursday night's game at Fenway Park. Pineda was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday … More »

    The Canadian Press - 13 minutes ago
  • All eyes on Northwestern football players as historic vote on college union arrives

    All eyes on Northwestern football players as historic vote on college union arrives

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern University's football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes — a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. The National … More »

    The Canadian Press - 13 minutes ago
  • Can Blues still beat the defending champs?

    Can Blues still beat the defending champs?

    Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski explains why one piece is crucial for St. Louis to succeed against Chicago … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 13 minutes ago
  • Is Steve Mason better for Flyers in Game 5?

    Is Steve Mason better for Flyers in Game 5?

    Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski explains what changing goalies will mean for Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 13 minutes ago
  • Benfica beats Juventus 2-1 in Europa League semis

    Benfica beats Juventus 2-1 in Europa League semis

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- Substitute Lima scored in the 84th minute to give Benfica a 2-1 victory over Italy's Juventus in the first-leg of their Europa League semifinal Thursday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar stolen in sticker heist

    Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar stolen in sticker heist

    Avid World Cup sticker collectors in Rio de Janeiro were given a shock this week when a van carrying hundreds of thousands of Panini stickers was stolen during a delivery. Thieves made off with some 300,000 of the adhesive stickers featuring … More »

    Reuters - 19 minutes ago
  • Blazers return home with a 2-0 advantage

    Blazers return home with a 2-0 advantage

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Houston has a LaMarcus Aldridge problem. … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Phelps wins first race in comeback

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps made an ominous start in his comeback to competitive swimming on Thursday, setting the fastest time in the 100 metres butterfly heats at a USA Swimming Grand Prix meet in suburban Phoenix. Racing … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • NBA playoffs - What to watch for Friday

    NBA playoffs - What to watch for Friday

    Yahoo Sports' Evan Doherty looks ahead to the trio of Game 3s featuring Raptors-Nets, Bulls-Wizards and Rockets-Blazers. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 26 minutes ago
  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Pop legend Paul McCartney is set to return to Candlestick Park to offer a swan song to the San Francisco 49ers' former stadium. … More »

    AP - Sports - 30 minutes ago
  • Wings may get Zetterberg back for Game 4

    Wings may get Zetterberg back for Game 4

    DETROIT (AP) -- Henrik Zetterberg may play for the Detroit Red Wings in a critical Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. … More »

    AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago
  • Kluber, Indians roll past Royals 5-1

    Kluber, Indians roll past Royals 5-1

    Corey Kluber stayed stone-faced, maintaining the same stoic look in the clubhouse that he had for nine innings on the mound. Only when prodded by an Indians teammate did Kluber crack. ''Did you smile after the game?'' pitcher Justin Masterson … More »

    AP - Sports - 33 minutes ago
  • Kosar: I'm off TV due to slurred speech

    Kosar: I'm off TV due to slurred speech

    Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar believes he has been unfairly sacked as a TV broadcaster. Kosar has been removed as a color commentator for Cleveland's preseason games by the team. The Browns said Wednesday night he was being replaced by … More »

    AP - Sports - 34 minutes ago
  • Trip Tips: Brazil's beachless metropolis is a foodie's paradise

    By Todd Benson SAO PAULO (Reuters) - If your idea of Brazil is beaches and bikinis, São Paulo is not the place to go. But if you're a seasoned traveler who tends to shun traditional tourism hot spots for urban adventures off the beaten trail, then … More »

    Reuters - 36 minutes ago
  • Cabrera, Scherzer lift Tigers by ChiSox

    Cabrera, Scherzer lift Tigers by ChiSox

    There's little doubt that Miguel Cabrera is one of the best hitters in baseball. Cabrera found infield gaps with a pair of two-out hits to drive in three runs in Detroit's 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. ''I'm just trying to hit the ball … More »

    AP - Sports - 37 minutes ago
  • Armstrong loses arbitration appeal to block case

    A Texas appeals court has rejected Lance Armstrong's attempts to block an arbitration panel from reviewing $12 million in bonuses paid to him by a company that wants its money back, a setback for the cyclist who is fighting multiple legal battles … More »

    AP - Sports - 38 minutes ago
  • NLRB to review Northwestern union ruling

    NLRB to review Northwestern union ruling

    Northwestern University's football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes - a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. The National Labor Relations … More »

    AP - Sports - 45 minutes ago
  • Column: 'There's better ways to conceal it.'

    Column: 'There's better ways to conceal it.'

    The thing that has baseball folks riled up about Michael Pineda isn't that he was trying to cheat. It had to qualify as the grossest violation ever of Rule 8.02(b), which says, ''The pitcher shall not ... have on his person, or in his possession, … More »

    AP - Sports - 45 minutes ago
  • Whisenhunt looks forward to Titans' minicamp

    New Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt looks forward to discovering just how many holes the team filled through free agency. Whisenhunt said Thursday he's eager to see his team and begin an evaluation process that could affect the Titans' draft … More »

    AP - Sports - 45 minutes ago
  • Arizona's Bolsinger gets first MLB win

    Arizona's Bolsinger gets first MLB win

    Pitching only 8 miles from where he grew up, Mike Bolsinger had more nerves than usual when he stepped on the mound at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. In front of about 20 family and friends, some of whom he hadn't seen in a long time after … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • Silver expects no CBA opt-out by union

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he has ''no expectation'' that players will opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, potentially leading to another lockout. … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • NASCAR hopes Track Takeover brings fans

    NASCAR hopes Track Takeover brings fans

    They are calling it ''Track Takeover'' at Richmond International Raceway, and track President Dennis Bickmeier hopes allowing fans onto the racing surface a few hours before race time on Saturday night will not only improve their experience at the … More »

    AP - Sports - 51 minutes ago
  • Yankees RHP Pineda suspended 10 games

    Yankees RHP Pineda suspended 10 games

    New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games Thursday after being caught using pine tar. ''I accept it,'' Pineda said before Thursday night's game at Fenway Park. Pineda was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday night's … More »

    AP - Sports - 56 minutes ago
  • Cal Poly baseball team is toast of the West Coast

    Cal Poly has long been known for turning out great engineers and architects. The San Luis Obispo school that produced Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith in the 1970s is enjoying its finest season since joining Division I in 1995. At 35-5, the Mustangs … More »

    AP - Sports - 58 minutes ago
  • Some rules regarding Northwestern union vote

    In the wake of a ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that they qualify as employees under federal law, Northwestern football players are voting Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • The 10-man rotation, starring a very cool time-lapse drawing of LeBron James (Video)

    The 10-man rotation, starring a very cool time-lapse drawing of LeBron James (Video)

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • Benfica and Sevilla secure Europa League wins

    Benfica and Sevilla secure Europa League wins

    By Toby Davis LONDON (Reuters) - A stunning late goal from Benfica's Lima left Juventus's hopes of reaching a home Europa League final hanging in the balance after a 2-1 first-leg defeat, while Sevilla won 2-0 against Valencia in Thursday's … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • NFL draft's most precarious pick: Jadeveon Clowney

    NFL draft's most precarious pick: Jadeveon Clowney

    If the South Carolina standout doesn’t live up to his potential, it's more than possible the blame will fall on his coaching staff for not fully unlocking his immense talent. They will get the burden of proof, because look at how talented Clowney … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 1 hour 1 minute ago
  • Mets hand Cards' Lynn first April loss

    Mets hand Cards' Lynn first April loss

    Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. After 123 starts during seven seasons in Major League Baseball, the 33-year-old right-hander was turned into a reliever by the New York Mets when they brought him up from … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
  • NCAA proposal for governance change

    Highlights from the proposal to change the NCAA's governance structure, which was endorsed Thursday by the NCAA's board of directors. A formal vote is not expected until the board's quarterly meeting in August: - The five biggest football … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for 2015 unveiling: alumni

    New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for 2015 unveiling: alumni

    By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach" is set to begin two years after his image was removed from Penn State University because of a … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 8 minutes ago
  • George Hincapie offers an unvarnished look at cycling in new memoir

    George Hincapie offers an unvarnished look at cycling in new memoir

    George Hincapie was the "Loyal Lieutenant" who helped Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles, only to later provide the key testimony that brought his downfall. Now, Hincapie is talking again about one of the darkest eras in cycling. In a … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Texas' Kouzmanoff to have back evaluated

    Texas' Kouzmanoff to have back evaluated

    Texas third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was scheduled to be evaluated Friday at home by a back specialist before the Rangers make a roster move to activate Adrian Beltre from the disabled list. Kouzmanoff, who is hitting .362 in 13 games and is the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Gomez helps spark aggressive Brewers' hot start

    Gomez helps spark aggressive Brewers' hot start

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Brewers' new leadoff hitter can aggravate pitchers by slugging homers or stealing bases. Carlos Gomez is flustering foes, and his energetic approach has helped Milwaukee jump out to the best record in baseball. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 10 minutes ago