Now that Nick Foles has been named the starter for the 3-6 Eagles in Sunday’s NFC East showdown against the 3-6 Washington Redskins, the Michael Vick Experiment should be officially over in Philadelphia. After Vick suffered a concussion last week against the Dallas Cowboys in a 38-23 loss, most fans wishes came true as Foles, like most backup quarterbacks who are expected to save the day, was greeted with a standing ovation as he jogged onto the field.
Foles’s performance was average at best, completing 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. But he made some expected rookie mistakes by throwing across his body and almost two more interceptions. Normally the Reid-Mornhinweg combo would call a more balanced offense when the starter leaves the game with an injury, but after Foles displayed the ability to throw down the field, the game plan quickly reverted back to a pass-heavy one. They once again abandoned the run even after holding a 17-10 lead in the 3rd quarter, another indictment on Reid’s in-game management. The Cowboys subsequently were able to come back with 3 touchdowns within a 3 minute span and won going away.
But what’s most important is, the Eagles, losers now of 5 in a row, are forced to play Foles and see if he can actually play well against starting defenses. He dazzled against 2nd and 3rd stringers in the preseason, which gave fans hope that this franchise may have its quarterback of the future. He’s tall at 6’6″ and seemingly can make all the throws needed to be effective at this level. But what he must be able to do at the highest level, is he must be able to decipher what the complex defenses of the NFL, are showing him. Something Vick failed miserable at doing. Especially with a makeshift offensive line providing, and not so adequate protection.
For the Eagles to make the leap to a contending team, sweeping changes have to be made from the head coach down through the roster. But the most important position in this league is the quarterback and if Foles is going to be the man going forward, it’s imperative that he can consistently win the chess game that the elite quarterbacks can against the quarterback of the defense, while playing from the pocket.
An encouraging sign last week was that Foles didn’t have that deer-in-the-headlights look in his eyes when his number was called and going up against a hapless Redskins defense, he should be productive. But if there are any leftover Reid supporters hoping Foles can perform a miracle and save his job, those who can’t take anymore of Reid, will be scared to death if Foles does.