Explosiveness at its Finest

He’s electric. He’s exciting. He’s exhilarating to watch. And now he wants to tone down his game?

There’s no one more exciting to watch in the NFL than Michael Vick. Peyton Manning is a machine, Tom Brady is Mr. Clutch, but Vick has the potential to break off a 50-yard pass or 70-yard run on every single play.

As Vick recovered from his recent rib injury, he announced hat he would play more conservatively; that would limit his turnovers and chances for injury. This could be a death sentence to his career, but it also has a chance to be a nice change to his career.

There is no player more explosive, no player who puts more fear into a defensive coordinator than Michael Vick.

There is no player more explosive, no player who puts more fear into a defensive coordinator than Michael Vick.

When he was in Atlanta, Michael Vick was as close to a running back as any quarterback had ever been. He had a loose cannon of an arm, and scrambled whenever he didn’t see an open receiver. The coaches never did anything to stop him from his cavalier ways.

After a dog-fighting incident and a few years off, Michael Vick appears to be a changed man. Not only has he stopped his dog-fighting ring and surrounded himself by better friends, but he’s also changed his game a bit. After one year of riding the bench, he finally has his legs back. Not only that, but his arm looks stronger and more accurate than ever.

When the Eagles dealt long-time leader Donovan McNabb to the division rival Redskins, Vick was not originally slated to be the starter in Philly. But when Kevin Kolb went down in Week 1 with a concussion, Vick was more than able to step in. MV7 lit up the opposition for 799 yards on 61.4% passing, over six points over his career average.

Then in Week 4, Vick went Vick. When he scrambling in the first half against Washington, he heard a crack. Vick broke two ribs and missed the next three games.

Luckily, Kevin Kolb was not great filling in for Vick, so the job fell back into the hands of The Most Interesting Man in the NFL.

Vick’s return to the Eagles will start tonight against the Colts; seventh in the league in pass defense, but a lowly 28th in run defense. Will Vick tune down his game or stay with his explosive ways? That is yet to be seen, but we do know that Philly has the quickest, most explosive offense in the NFC with Vick at the helm.

With that, here are my Week 9 NFL picks, home teams in CAPS.

Buccaneers (+8.5) over FALCONS
So maybe these Bucs aren’t so bad after all. Also, in its eight years of existence, the last place team in the NFC South has gone on to make the playoffs the next season. In fact, every team has won the division except the 2008 Falcons, who won a wild card. The Bucs finished last in the NFC South last year. Hmmm……

Bears (-2.5) over BILLS
The Bears may be bad, but they’re not the Bills. Jay Cutler isn’t this bad, he just needs competent protection from his O-Line.

Patriots (-4.5) over BROWNS
This would be a revenge game for Eric Mangini vs. The Hoodie and the Pats, but is it really a rivalry when only one team wins? This is free money, everybody!

Jets (-4.5) over LIONS
The Lions could be finally ready to take a step up to a 6-win team. They have great young skill position players (Stafford, Megatron, and Best) and one of the best front fours in the league. However, they aren’t quite ready to step up to beat an above average team.

VIKINGS (-8.5) over Cardinals
The Vikings may be in a gigantic mess, but they have lots of talent. The Cards are in a mess, and they don’t have talent. If Brad Childress wants any hope at keeping his job, he’ll need to crush Max Hall and the Cardinals at home.

PANTHERS (+7.5) over Saints
This may be partially biased. This may be extremely boneheaded. However, Carolina doesn’t lose big in division games, and they’ve won three of the last four against New Orleans, so I’ll take the points at home.

RAVENS (-5.5) over Dolphins
The Dolphins are great on the road, however not against defenses like the Ravens’. Baltimore will force Chad Henne to make the big throw, and I don’t think he can make it, especially if Brandon Marshall is getting double coverage.

Chargers (-1.5) over TEXANS
Always remember this: the Texans lost to the Cowboys. They have all the talent in the world, but they just can’t put it all together. Phillip Rivers is one receiver (Vincent Jackson) away from being able to lift his team to victory, no matter how porous his defense is.

SEAHAWKS (+5.5) over Giants
Are the Giants the best team in the NFC? Maybe, but they’re not going to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. The Seahawks don’t lose games at home, and the Giants are too inconsistent for my taste.

Chiefs (+2.5) over RAIDERS
When is the last time this game mattered? 2002?

Colts (+2.5) over EAGLES
Wait! Peyton and points? I don’t care if Vick and Kolb are playing; I’m taking the Colts.

PACKERS (-7.5) over Cowboys
The Cowboys have flash. The Cowboys have talent. But the Cowboys don’t have precision. They can’t avoid terrible penalties and make do the small things. Green Bay may be banged up, but they’re not blowing this one at home.

Steelers (-4.5) over BENGALS
The Bengals are terrible. The Steelers are still the best team in the NFL. This is not hard. In fact, it’s actually the Bojangles “It’s Bo Time!” Lock o’ the Week!

Last Week: 6-7

Season: 52-65

Bojangles Lock o’ the Week: 6-2

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