Michael Vick gave it his all Thursday night in front of a home crowd in Pittsburgh, at one point even throwing his body in the way to block for running back LeVeon Bell as Bell made his way into the end zone. Vick’s performance, however, wasn’t enough to give the struggling Steelers the win as the Ravens squeaked out an over time victory with a 52-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker, according to NBC Sports.
Vick was signed by the Steelers in August, as reported by Bleacher Report, in an effort to provide starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with a formidable back-up. Some questioned if Vick was a good choice, considering his 52.9% completion rate in the 2014-15 season as well as Michael’s tendency to be injury prone. Steelers fans barely had time to blink, however, before Michael Vick was on the field after Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury in week three of the season.
Vick’s first outing with the Steelers didn’t win the quarterback any fans as NFL.com noted, Michael had both a fumble and an interception that gave the Rams potential scoring opportunities in last week’s game. Somehow Vick was able to pull out a win and maintain the Steelers winning record of 2-1.
(Michael Vick, Steelers Vs Rams. Photo courtesy of Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images Sports.)
Vick seemed to show some improvement Thursday night against the Ravens, and fans were hopeful as Michael completed 11 of 13 passes in the first half. But, it wasn’t Vick’s throwing game that garnered the most attention. As running back Le’Veon Bell made a break for the end zone, he found no room to run to the left. Vick noticed Bell turning and making a break for the right, and in a rare moment, the oft-injured Vick took a risk and ran straight for the only Ravens defender blocking Bell’s path.
Despite Michael Vick’s virtually error free performance the first half, however, the game really came down to the tale of two kickers and some questionable play calls by offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. According to Fox Sports, social media erupted as the choice was made to keep the ball in Michael Vick’s hands on fourth down rather than allow Scobee to attempt a potentially game winning field goal.
Michael Vick pulls Scobee aside, reminds him that he did time and prison and even there didn’t see that many shanks. #PITvsBAL
— nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) October 2, 2015
Despite many attributing the loss to Scobee’s missed field goals, there were still plenty of people chiming in with their lack of faith in Michael Vick’s ability to fill the shoes of Big Ben as he continues to recover for another four to five weeks.
— Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) October 2, 2015
At one point, even Michael Vick’s brother Marcus Vick seemed to lack faith in Michael when he tweeted in favor of Scobee going for the field goal rather than Vick continuing on fourth down.
Let’s kick it for the 50. He can’t miss 3
— Marcus Vick (@MVFive) October 2, 2015
With Thursday’s divisional loss to the Ravens, Michael Vick might need to get used to throwing those blocks, as Vick will undoubtedly face more scrutiny in the upcoming weeks. The Steelers will face another AFC North divisional opponent, the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals, in just four weeks and with Roethlisberger expected to miss five to six weeks of game play, the Steelers hopes of making it to the playoffs may rest in the hands of Michael Vick.
What do you think? Do the Steelers have a chance to succeed with Michael Vick under center?
[Image of Michael Vick, Steelers versus Ravens, courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Sports.]