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Foles should be the starter: second-year QB masterful in Eagles 31-20 win at Tampa

Oct 13, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

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If I’m Chip Kelly, I’ve seen all I needed to from Nick Foles. Simply put, the kid is playing a better quarterback than Michael Vick right now.

The second-year field general picked up right where he left off last week in the Eagles’ 31-20 win over Tampa Bay. Foles completed 22 of 31 attempts for 296 yards (9.5 AVG) and three touchdowns, no interceptions—good for a 133.0 efficiency rating. He added another score on the ground.

Based on points alone, Foles has been far superior at punching the ball into the end zone than Vick. In roughly seven quarters of play over the past three weeks, the backup has moved the offense across the goal line seven times. In nine quarters since Week 3, the incumbent has managed to get the Birds in for six on just four drives.

Foles also did a much better job of getting everybody involved in the offense. Riley Cooper actually looked like a viable No. 2, hauling in four passes for 120 yards and a touchdown on six targets. DeSean Jackson had six receptions on six targets for two touchdowns, including one inside the red zone for the second consecutive week.

In all, Foles hit eight different receivers, and the Eagles converted two of three red zone trips into touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over.

The running game did not take a hit without Vick in the game either, as some suspected it might. LeSean McCoy carried the ball 25 times for 116 yards for a 4.6 average. A lot of those touches were late in the fourth quarter when the Bucs knew the Eagles were trying to ice the game. Shady rounded out his day with 55 yards receiving as well.

And speaking of the Bucs defense, for their part they are not a bad unit by any means. They entered the week holding opponents to 17.5 points per game, and were a top 10 unit overall. Even with Pro Bowlers Gerald McCoy and Darrelle Revis patrolling the field, Foles was able to move the offense almost at will when they were firing on all cylinders.

He threw the deep ball. He threw the underneath stuff. He didn’t make mistakes.

Foles should be the starting signal-caller next Sunday and going forward.

I know that statement won’t sit well with a segment of the fan base who is infatuated with Vick’s natural ability, but he simply isn’t as sharp when it comes to delivering the football. Foles is now completing 67.2 percent of his passes compared to Vick’s 53.8. The quarterback ratings are 127.9 to 90.6. It’s clear as day which player is more efficient, and Vick’s 307 rushing yards aren’t making up that difference.

Even the offensive line looks better, as Foles was sacked only once the entire day. Maybe it’s because he’s getting the ball out faster, or maybe it’s because he throws it away. Either way, he’s not getting taken down in the backfield as often.

Vick fan, Foles fan, it shouldn’t matter if you’re an Eagles fan. This is Foles’ time.

As for the other side of the ball, give the Eagles’ defense credit for holding the Bucs to 20 points, although it wasn’t a great performance. Philly struggled to pressure rookie Mike Glennon making his second career start, and he had his team leading in the third quarter and within one point in the fourth.

It was really Foles and the offense pulling away more than the defense closing the door. The Eagles only had 26:14 in time of possession, and that was including a five-minute series where they were simply trying to run out the clock.

This is Nick Foles’ world, we’re all just living in it.

The Eagles’ record moves to 3-3 on the season, and could find themselves in sole possession of first place depending on the outcome of the Sunday night game. Regardless, next week’s tilt with the Dallas Cowboys is setting up as a clash for NFC East supremacy—and Foles should be at the helm.

  1. Mark423 - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Ridiculous. Michael Vick deserves a second chance.

    Reply
    • Brian - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      This season was his second chance.

      Reply
      • Mark423 - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Who are you to deny a man a chance to make a living? He did his time.

    • Andy Schreiber - Oct 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      We have about 2 1/2 years of seeing Vick stink up the joint. We’ve seen enough.

      If you still think he should be a starting QB in this league, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention. He’s incapable of just running the offense. Add to that the fact that he’s a turnover machine, he’s lost a step or three, and that he’s injury prone? No thanks.

      I like Vick. He has turned his life around & I’m happy for him, but having about a half of a good season after Kolb got hurt only buys him so much time in my book. Time to see what Foles can do.

      Reply
    • BenE. - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      Seriously, did NOBODY pick up on Mark’s sarcasm?

      Reply
  2. Capn Jack - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Well he’s not a kid Im pretty sure hes not like 5 call him a rising star.

    Reply
  3. Mike - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    The Vickers think he’s still a 25 yr old kid not getting a fair shake. There is no way to speak logic to them.

    Reply
  4. blandanomics - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    True, the Bucs have a defense better than their record. But notion that Foles “spreads it around” more than Vick is ridiculous because:
    1 – Who cares if he spreads it around? What matters is first downs.
    2 – It’s untrue. Look at the box scores for Vick v Foles. The only difference here is that Cooper took yards that often go to Celek. In fact the most diverse game from an Eagles QB was actually Vick against Denver.

    The real case here for Foles was his ability to throw the deep ball, which takes away one of Michael Vick’s big advantages. Additionally, the Eagles smartly picked up on a Tampa team that went blitz heavy in 2nd quarter and switched their playcalls to be a bunch of screens, at one point throwing 4 in a row. There’s your completion percentage.

    I think you’re right, but the reasons are off.

    Reply
  5. mac - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    mike vick got the starting job due to injury when kolb got hurt. He can lose his starting job due to injury.

    Foles could be the answer. He could not be. We have 8 games to find out. The team is 3-3 and has a shot at a dvision title. Now is the time. If he’s not the answer, so what, the plan stays the same, draft a new QB, at least we know he isn’t the answer. If we start Vick, we know he’s a dead no matter what and we learn nothing more about Foles who has never played in a healthy Eagles offense.

    We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting Foles. We have nothing to gain from starting Vick. It’s that simple.

    Reply
  6. mac - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    *dead end.

    Reply
  7. hitnrun - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Yes and no.

    Foles has not played significantly better than Vick. Moreover, Foles’ opponents are both winless, where Vick struggled against undefeated Denver and undefeated KC.

    However, Foles has a future in the NFL and may be the future quarterback of the Eagles. Vick will not be. The only reason you would play Vick is if you were desperate to win the Superbowl this year (as the Eagles were the last 3 years).

    The Eagles are not going to win the Superbowl this year. They need to lay a foundation for success. Foles is part of that foundation, and if he’s not then Barkley could be, and if they’re not then they need to get a QB. Michael Vick does not have the intelligence or the height to be an “old” QB and his body is almost done. It’s time to move on.

    Reply
    • Frank L. - Oct 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      I say Vick starts next week. Because Foles didn’t throw for 27 TDs. But I don’t think there is an argument that Foles is better than Mike Vick. Vick is the better QB. Foles might have more potential, but Vick really runs this offense because he makes the running game work. Yes, McCoy had 100 yards today, but the last two games have been low in rushing yards. The defense lost the game vs San Diego. But in the 6 games this year, the Eagles have scored more than 30 points 4 times, 2.5 in games started by Vick, 1.5 in games played by Foles. Vick got those 30 point games on teams with wins. Foles has played against teams combined 0-11. The two times the Eagles failed to score 30 were against teams combined 11-0 (will be 12-0 when Payton finishes off Jacksonville). If Maclin wasn’t injured, the Eagles would gain more yards per game than the Broncos, and would be 5-1. The Chiefs would have been unable to stop a Jackson and Maclin offense with one safety. The Chargers game we could have managed 40 points. The Broncos would still have won, but it would have been more like 45-38. The offense will be better under Vick, and I would not like to see Foles vs Dallas

      Reply
      • Matt M - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        Check the defensive rankings of the teams Michael Vick has played, and he still is only completing 53% of his passes.

      • Chip Kelly - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        idk what game tape you have but the offense is 110% more efficient and actually has a machine like rhythm when Foles is under center. Vick is erratic, makes bad reads and decisions, heavily relies on his legs because he does not know how to get the ball out of his hands fast, and has no future with the franchise. Vick is a preseason, flash of greatness here and there phenomenon that never has and never will be able to put it all together for an entire season and playoff run. Vick is nowhere close to being half the QB McNabb was and I highly doubt McNabb would get continued support to be the starter if he had Vicks stat line or game tape for 2+ seasons

  8. Dreday - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Can you imagine if VICK starts (Which I think he will) against DALLAS and throws a pick….

    WOW….This will put so much pressure on VICK to play better

    Reply
  9. VickToJAX - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    It’s amazing how one week changes everyone’s mind. Last week people calling for Foles were getting downvoted here and elsewhere. Now people are admitting the truth about Vick.

    Better late than never.

    Reply
    • sfsu - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      Or, more accurately, they’re seeing the truth about Foles.

      Reply
  10. Mike - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    For the writers of this website, and the readers commenting here….ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING?? Im not saying Vick is the answer, but he certainly makes our offense a lot more dangerous, we were even moving that quick today running our high tempo offense…Vick got us to 2-3 and would have won this game as well. And please everyone, look back to last year and DO NOT make an excuse about the O line… Foles was extremely terrible in every game he played… He showed that he’s tough, but he was very very bad. Vick, starts and beats Dallas next week and all of you fair weather foles fans will jump right back on the Vick bandwagon.

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      In what world was Foles “terrible in every game he played” last season?

      Reply
      • Ron - Oct 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Foles did exactly what he’s supposed to do. Come in and win when the starter is out. He was solid. With that said, Vick hasn’t played himself out of the starting job. These 1.5 games are not enough for me to anoint Foles as the starter.

        The game I was watching, the offense was stagnant for a prolonged period. Something you don’t really see thus far with Vick. And let’s be real. The INT was the key to this game. Props to foles and the O for capitalizing. But this was a scary game and that play lit a fire.

        I don’t believe it’s as hands down as you sir are portraying

      • Andrew Kulp - Oct 13, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        The offense doesn’t go “stagnant for a prolonged period” under Vick? He’s led the offense on four touchdowns in his last three games! How much more stagnant can it get than that?

      • willh888 - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        context is important though.. and 2 of those 3 games were against the two best defenses in football. With a back like McCoy, all the QB has to do is take care of the ball and convert on 3rd down. You can count on Vicks legs getting you out of a jam.. but he wears down, gets impatient, and gives the ball right back. I can see a scenario where Foles is the starter and Vick is used like it’s 2009 again. Keep him fresh, safe from injury and sprinkle him in to run a quick-no-huddle drive to wear down a defense making mccoy/foles even more effective through out the game

      • Andrew Kulp - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        Okay, Kansas City has a top defense, but Denver? Who gave up 48 points to the Cowboys last week, 19 to the Jaguars this week, and were without Von Miller and Champ Bailey. Come on. Michael Vick was outscored by Denver’s special teams in that game. How’s that for context?

      • willh888 - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:54 AM

        I think your dude feelings for Foles makes you think everyone who doesn’t love him the same somehow wants Michael Vick to be the starter forever and ever. I even said Foles took care of the ball and probably should start. The offense stunk against good teams this season. The offense was good against bad ones. I’m not going to pretend Foles was tested even a little so far this season just like I don’t act like Vick is some guru behind center.

  11. dku5 - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    for me it was never pro vick as it was not sold on foles. this was the first game where foles really show me NFL quality quarterback. he still show trouble reading the Blitz, and it was against a very weak team. with that said he did win me over in wanted to see what he can do next week.

    Reply
  12. 2sentz - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Fun debate.

    Then you switch on Red Zone, watch Brees, Brady, Manning, Rodgers and several A+ defenses go at it week after week, get reminded how far away we are from being competitive, and realize how sad the Vick/Foles discussion actually is.

    Please just build for the future, Mr. Kelly.

    Reply
    • Chip Kelly - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Foles had more TDs and fantasy points against TB than Brees and Brady combined when they played TB….

      Reply
  13. TheWildcard - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Thought I’d leave this here.

    And yet Philly fans are soooo despicable…….. AMIRITE?!

    Reply
  14. T boss - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    Two games two winless teams people need to calm down let this think play out

    Reply
  15. Emil - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    NOW, the truth comes out, just like I figured all along. Foles plays well againts a 0-5 team and now he should start although he couldn’t beat Mike out in 5 pre-season games. Go Figure.

    Nick played well and all, and besides an under thrown “deep” ball to Cooper(It’s been seen and proven Foles has a baby arm) and a nice mid range pass to Desean, Foles dinked and donked and screened passed the ball all game, that’s why he averaged a low 8 yards a pass.. But Michael would have shredded that Tampa 2 defense for 5oo yards and averaged probably 12 or 13 yards a pass.

    You Foles lovers are too funny. What has this guys ever done besides win against to winless teams, now he is Tom Brady. You guys can forget him starting cause I can guarantee you Kelly feels exactly the way I juts posted.

    I’ll have the tissues ready for you Kevin Kolb, O I’m sorry Nick Foles fans when Vick starts next week.

    Reply
    • Chip Kelly - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Foles will never show you anything flashy or fancy that catches your imagination like Vick can but Vick will never learn how to read a defense and a make quick decision like Foles can. I take brains over legs all day everyday for my starting QB.

      Reply
    • Boss 21 - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Philly fans always get like this when a qb has a good game remember redskins game already had eagles Super Bowl . Let this season play , Foles is a decent qb (Kevin kolb) 2 winless teams with no offense he was 1 and 5 last yr and look real good against good defenses b careful what u wish for

      Reply
  16. psudrozz - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    hey remember the last time foles played TB and everyone was all like foles should be the starter? what happened then?

    Reply
    • Hiccup - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      How many regular season starts does Foles have under his belt? Can’t we still technically consider him a rookie, an up and coming rookie at that. He’s learning and needs to learn. We know what we have with Vick so lets see what we have with Foles especially against some more challenging opponents. We are in a rebuilding phase so losses shouldn’t matter but learning from experience does so now is the time to let Foles learn in actual games against both challenging and losing teams.

      Reply
      • Ron - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        Losses don’t matter.

        -said no Philadelphia fan ever.

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  18. Ronnie - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    We know what Vick is…..talented player, can run, and has a howitzer for an arm but his lifetime QB Rating is 81 and has a completion percentage of 56.2% (stats from NFL.com). Josh Freeman has a lifetime QB Rating of 78.9 with a completion percentage of 58%. So, please, tell me again why we are supposed to be blindly campaigning for Vick? Sure, when he is on top of his game he is unstoppable….but how frequently can that possibly happen with a lifetime QB Rating of 81? Vick will give you 3-4 games a season where he plays out of his mind, however, in the remainder of the games, he’ll make you lose your mind.

    Why wouldn’t you run with the hot hand? I mean, by everyone’s rationale in the support Vick column, the Patriots should have gone back to Bledsoe in 2001 and not stuck with Brady.

    Reply
  19. CousinVinny75 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Of course you do Andrew. You are obviously biased against Vick for reasons that have nothing to do with his play this year. That’s why on Bleacher Report you gave Vick a B grade for his game vs the Chargers

    Basically insinuating that Vick should have complete 90 or 100% of his passes to have deserved an A grade. Not the same nitpicking for Foles performance.

    That analysis was all one needs to look at to see where you stand.

    And somehow you say Foles isn’t a turnover machine and you wipe the slate clean for him ignoring 2012 when he had more turnovers than TDs. But Vick doesn’t get the same luxury when he is tied for fewest turnovers for a QB with as many snaps as Vick has this season. And his two turnovers came against the best defense in the entire NFL on an undefeated Chiefs team

    I understand if you don’t like Vick but don’t pretend you’re objective about it either.

    .

    Reply
  20. Emil - Oct 16, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Well said cousin Vinny, this guy Kulp is exposing himself as a fraud.

    Reply

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