Published November 20, 2014
Michael Vick made Andy Reid's quarterback decision look like the right one.
Vick threw three touchdown passes, ran for another score and the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-3 Sunday.
Vick completed 17 of 31 passes for 291 yards, mostly staying in the pocket and picking apart Jacksonville's beleaguered secondary. One of the few times he did run, he broke a tackle, juked another defender and scored from 17 yards out.
Vick found DeSean Jackson for a 61-yard touchdown and hooked up with Jeremy Maclin for two scores. Jackson finished with five catches for 153 yards, Maclin had four receptions for 83 yards, and the Eagles (2-1) improved to 2-0 with Vick as their starter.
Vick became the latest in a growing list of quarterbacks to torch the Jaguars (1-2). Denver's Kyle Orton and San Diego's Philip Rivers burned them repeatedly for big gains the last two weeks.
Jacksonville fans headed to the exits early in the fourth quarter, with their team trailing by 25 points and having seen enough of David Garrard.
Garrard, who was benched last week after throwing four interceptions against the Chargers, was even worse against Philadelphia. Yes, worse. Although Garrard threw just one interception, he tossed up at least four more balls that could have been picked.
Garrard finished 13 of 30 for 105 yards and was sacked six times. Defensive ends Brandon Graham and Trent Cole abused Jaguars offensive tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton early and often, getting the kind of steady pressure that gives Garrard trouble.
Garrard finished with a passer rating of 39.
Maurice Jones-Drew was equally ineffective. The Eagles run-blitzed Jones-Drew, holding him to 88 yards. The biggest question now facing the Jaguars is how much will the poor start affect ticket sales the rest of the season.
Vick offered plenty of answers to anyone who criticized Reid's decision to go with him over Kevin Kolb.
Reid had insisted Kolb would start when he returned from a concussion. But Vick's play prompted Reid to reverse field Tuesday and stick with Vick, saying the shifty left-hander gives Philadelphia a better chance to win.
He sure did against Jacksonville.
The Eagles scored early and late in the first half, with Vick converting third-and-long plays on both drives. He stayed in the pocket on third-and-16 and dropped a perfect pass over cornerback Michael Coe's outstretched arms and into Jackson's hands.
Jackson turned up the sideline and went untouched for 61 yards.
Vick was nearly as precise in the two-minute drill just before halftime. He found Brent Celek down the middle for a 22-yard gain despite facing a coverage scheme that included seven defensive backs. He hooked up with Maclin for 14 yards, then again on a 16-yard score with 4 seconds remaining.
His best pass may have come in the third quarter, when he zipped one down the sideline to Maclin for a 45-yard score that made it 21-3. Maclin beat David Jones on the play. Jackson got his turn against Jones on the next series, flying by the defender for a 42-yard gain.
Vick scrambled for a touchdown five plays later.
Jones, acquired in a trade with Cincinnati three weeks ago, got his second straight start in place of Derek Cox. Coach Jack Del Rio said Cox needed to clear his head after he struggled in the preseason and in the season opener.