Earlier this week I said that regardless of Michael Vick‘s health, the Eagles should ride with Nick Foles, through the ups and downs, because if any quarterback currently on the Eagles roster was going to be the Birds long-term quarterback, it was Foles. But I even I didn’t see this coming.
All Foles did two weeks after throwing for only 80 yards against the Dallas Cowboys and leaving the game with a concussion, was tie the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in one game, while throwing for over 400 yards en route to an Eagles 49-20 beatdown over the the Oakland Raiders and their formerly top 10 defense. Not bad huh?
I think the key now is not to overreact. If Chip Kelly listened to all of Philadelphia’s reaction after Foles abysmal performance against Dallas, Foles probably never would have started a game in an Eagles uniform again. I said then, that we couldn’t take Foles out of the quarterback discussion because of one game, and look what happened. Likewise, if we expect Foles to turn in Peyton Manning now, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Not that we don’t know how to deal with disappointment as Eagles fans, or Philadelphia sports fans in general, but we need to remember that as good as Foles played today it was just one game.
What today’s game showed me and the rest of the NFL landscape is that Chip Kelly needs to ride with Nick Foles as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Not because Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to win the weak NFC East, although after today it would be hard to argue that he doesn’t, but because he could be the franchise quarterback.
I like Michael Vick, but is a 33 year-old who can’t stay healthy and is in the last year of his contract really going to be the franchise quarterback? Probably not, so what do you gain by playing Vick at all the rest of the season, especially given that Foles has played just as well, if not better, than Vick in 2013? And Matt Barkley isn’t even in the discussion.
It isn’t even unfair to me to argue that Foles appears to have better chemistry with the Eagles receiving core than Michael Vick. Riley Cooper has had two 100 yard games in his NFL career and both have come with Foles at the helm, including a 139 yard, 3 touchdown performance today. Cooper has played with Vick since 2010 and never had a 100 yard game. And as much as DeSean Jackson appears to be tied at the hip with Michael Vick, he looked pretty damn good today, going for five catches, 150 yards, and 1 touchdown. Oh, and Foles even got the tight-ends involved, tossing touchdowns to both Brent Celek and Zach Ertz today, who both have been pretty quiet this season.
I don’t know if Nick Foles is the Eagles franchise quarterback or not. Maybe today was just a fluke, and Foles goes on to prove the rest of the season that he isn’t the franchise quarterback. That’s entirely possible, but then the Eagles can move forward and draft a quarterback. Michael Vick has had since 2010 to prove that he is the franchise quarterback and hasn’t displayed the consistency or ability to stay healthy that would give the Eagles any indication that he could put them on a parade float. I still question whether Nick Foles is good enough to lead the Eagles to a Superbowl, but damn now is the time to find out.