It turns out Andy Reid truly did not need to cook up a
conspiracy theory to hold Michael Vick out of the starting lineup. All the head
coach had to do was say the words on Monday, and Nick Foles became the
Eagles’ starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
As recently as a few days ago, Reid claimed the offense would
stick with Vick as soon as he was cleared to play after his latest concussion,
but it seems reality set in sometime over the weekend. Reid acknowledged it was
the right move based on where the team is at this point in the season, meaning
3-9, on the cusp of being mathematically eliminated from postseason play.
"Where we're at right now in the season, I think it gives this kid an
opportunity to play and finish it up," Reid said. "He's playing well
enough, number one, to where I think he can win football games for us,
and then two, I think where we sit at this position in the season, I
think it's the right thing to do. And then Michael, we have to make sure
he gets healthy. This thing has carried on a while here now, and I want
to make sure he's good to go."
Foles’ performance in Dallas on Sunday night may have helped
Reid turn, if he was ever honestly contemplating going back to Vick at all. It was by far the rookie’s best outing since he was first inserted
into a regular season game four weeks ago, connecting on 22 of 34 passes for
251 yards and a touchdown to go along with one sack and no interceptions. He
looked more comfortable in the pocket and pushing the ball down the field.
For the season, Foles is completing 60.9% of his attempts at
6.0 yards per attempt, with three scores to four picks – good for a pedestrian
73.3 passer rating through four games. It could be worse, as the defense has
bailed him out on several errant throws. He’s also been sacked eight times, and
lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Obviously, this was the right call though, as most folks
would have been baffled to see Vick return to the helm. This is the right time
to evaluate a young quarterback, not one who could very well be playing
elsewhere next season. We’ll delve deeper into Vick’s future here somewhere
down the road.
As for Foles, at least he’s shown improvement in each of his
three starts. At this point, we’re not sure how much we’ll be able to judge
from the kid’s last four games, especially given the rash of injuries to key
players on offense, but we’re going to see something. Nobody can complain about
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