It’s Dallas week and we have a quarterback controversy, so we can strangle that to do death over the next six days.
Do tell us about the quarterback debate,
We don’t know Vick wouldn’t have thrown three touchdown passes and no interceptions, the way Foles did, against a defense that came in allowing 17.5 points a game. (We do know Vick hasn’t thrown three touchdown passes in a game since Dec. 19, 2010, the miracle comeback game against the Giants that ended with the DeSean Jackson punt return for a touchdown.)
We don’t know Vick wouldn’t have managed a 133.3 passer rating against the Bucs, as Foles did in his first start of the season. (We do know the last time Vick posted a passer rating that high was the Nov. 15, 2010, a Monday night blowout of the Redskins.)
Foles not only got the job done, he left little to criticize. He got rid of the ball, threw it accurately, avoided or withstood pressure when necessary, and ran the offense at pretty close to the pace the coach desires. All of that will make Kelly’s decision easier if Vick is a coin flip to return from his hamstring injury by next Sunday’s home game against the Cowboys.
The Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two red-zone trips (going 2 for 3 total), an area where the offense struggled under Vick. Riley Cooper broke out with his first career 100-yard game, and the screen suddenly became a deadly weapon in the offense.
Naturally, the talk around town this week will center on which QB deserves to start when the playing field is even. Lines will be drawn across several factions and debates will be waged on sports-talk radio and online.
If Kelly steps to the podium on Monday and declares Vick is still the starter if he is healthy, it would be a decision to bench the hot-hand. Vick might have been named the starter in training camp, but Foles has been lights-out the last six quarters and change, throwing for five touchdowns and 493 yards.
Vick, on the other hand, has not thrown a touchdown since the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs over three weeks ago. The offense appeared to be getting in a rut as a of late with Vick, especially in the red zone. Vick’s play was not horrible, but the offense just didn’t seem to be in sync with him under center- at least not as in sync as it looked with Foles since he was inserted as the starter.
What we have now is a quarterback controversy, and one that will rage during Dallas week.
Yes, the Cowboys come to town Sunday, and that’s always a hoot even when everyone knows whom the quarterback will be.
Kelly could put it to an early rest by saying that Vick will not play because the hamstring just doesn’t look like it will be healed in time. Of course, he could have done that last week, too, but didn’t.
Two of Vick’s three losses were to the Broncos and Chiefs — the only two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. The bulk of Foles’ work has come against the Giants and Bucs, who are now a combined 0-11.
New York’s defense is one of the league’s worst. Tampa’s, though, was ranked fourth in the NFL in yards allowed coming in and was yielding 17.5 points per game. No team had scored more than 23 points against the Bucs this season before the Eagles put up 31, thanks in large part to Foles’ four-touchdown day (three passing, one rushing).
You get the idea– it’s a vintage QB controversy. One quarterback of average athletic ability tearing it up, while the injured superhuman sits on the bench with a nagging injury.
I think Foles should start.
It was Vick’s job to lose when the season started, and yes, the Eagles’ offense has put up big yards in all of their outings, but if one thing became apparent over the first six games, it’s that the Birds still have a long way to go, even further than those of us bulls thought. Vick, obviously, isn’t a long-term answer. I’m not sure Foles is, either. But Foles is young and has shown enough in his limited opportunities that you almost have to throw him a bone during this season of change. Might as well see what you got now instead of next year when, maybe, the Eagles will be contenders.
Besides, Foles has been really good. He doesn’t do really dumb things with the ball, the way Vick does. That’s why the Eagles are never going to win a big game (not the, just a– as in playoffs) with Vick. Throughout his career, he has made crushing mistakes, and he’s had more than enough chances to show that he is a reliable starter in this league… yet every single time, whether due to injury, inconsistent play or jail, he has come up short. By contrast, Foles has seemed incredibly poised in his limited opportunities. That sort of thing usually gets better with time. So, let Foles start now – he gives you as good a chance as any to beat the Cowboys – and see what happens. The Eagles, prone to boneheadedness over the past few seasons, could use a heady player running things on offense.
Anyway, we’re in for a week of nonstop questions and noncommittal answers at the NovaCare Complex. Fun.