Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) and quarterback Michael Vick (7) during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 27 - 6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Ugly Preseason Finale Should Put Foles vs. Vick Debate to Rest

 

 

The QB competition between Michael Vick and Nick Foles ended a few weeks ago, but the debate amongst fans and media has raged on since then. But after Foles’ performance last night, I think it’s safe to squash this debate once and for all. Foles went an abysmal 6 for 17 with a 63 yards passing. He was sacked twice, and fumbled on one of them which was recovered by the Jets.

Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Ricky Sapp (55) bats down a pass by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) during the first half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get a few things out of the way early. First off, the bad o-line excuse: Foles definitely didn’t get any help from his line, but this shouldn’t be anything new to him. He played most of last season with a line of similar lacking talent. It’s not like they were playing the Broncos first team defense either. Matt Simms had no trouble moving the ball behind his 2nd team o-line. Second off, I consider the fact that he wasn’t playing with starters a moot point because all units in this game were 2nd team, including the Jets defense. And lastly, I have no horse in this race. There is no Team Foles or Team Vick – there is only Team Eagles.

It was evident the pass rush had Foles rattled early. He had happy feet all night long. Last year Foles was able to work with the pass rush in his face by climbing the pocket and keeping his eyes down field, but I felt as thought Foles digressed in this aspect last night. His scrambling was bad and he wasn’t making good decisions when he was on the move. Much like Vick it seems as though Foles feels the need to make too much happen on a play that has no hope. Vick has a better chance of doing something with his legs. Foles needs to learn to take a sack. One play Foles threw the ball forward for no reason while going to the ground on a sack. You simply can’t do this and it’s been a regular problem. Take the sack, get back to the line and live to fight another day.

Vick drew some criticism for holding on to the ball too long last week and that Foles does it better. It wasn’t the case Thursday at all. Foles looked to have held the ball as long or longer, and was still unable to make any plays. If Foles wants to make it known he can run Chip’s offense, then his quick decision making is the biggest thing he can turn to, because he certainly doesn’t have the legs to make any plays.

I have my doubts in Foles ability to play from behind as well. With a double digit lead a team will be able to tee off onFoles and send the blitz. He didn’t make good choices when the blitz was in his face. Also, when you’re playing from behind, you need to move the ball faster and in larger chunks, especially if you’re down by 2 scores. Foles hasn’t shown the ability to do that yet. The system doesn’t help much for Foles either. While I think he can be serviceable, it’s definitely not the best case scenario for a 6’6 lead-footed pocket passer.

Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick looks on before a pre-season game against the New York Jets at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t to say Foles is completely flawed while Vick is perfect. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Both guys have good qualities and bad. The difference is that Vick’s good qualities are better than Foles. When Vick is on, he’s really on. Even when Foles is playing well, it’s never anything that will blow you away. He can move the ball but he can’t stretch the field. They err in similar fashions as well. Both aren’t releasing the ball as fast as Chip would like. Both are showing happy feet at times and are trying to make too much happen.

If both players are doing similar things wrong, you go with the guy who is doing the right things better… and right now that’s Michael Vick. 63 yards passing, against a 1st team or 4th team defense, is just unacceptable. While Vick isn’t the long term answer, the more we see of Foles in Kelly’s system the less I think he is either.

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