There is a lot to discuss in the wake of yesterday’s loss, but QB is the hot topic so let’s cover that right here.
What do we make of Michael Vick? His critics say that he’s a turnover machine that isn’t good enough to lead the team to where it wants to go. His defenders say that he’s a playmaker that puts his team in position to win. He does have 3 4th quarter comeback wins this year and even yesterday gave the Eagles the lead late in the game.
So what do I think?
First, let me say this about Vick. I have no emotional investment with him. He’s not like McNabb. Vick came here as a veteran. McNabb was homegrown. He was one of us, through and through. Vick has embraced being an Eagle and has fit in well, but I just don’t have strong feelings for him, one way or the other. If I never see him play another game for us…that’s okay with me. If he’s the QB for the next 3 years, that’s okay with me.
Here’s my thing…I want good Michael Vick. That’s the guy we saw against Baltimore. That’s the guy we saw on Sunday night vs the Giants. That guy is a good QB. He plays like a smart veteran and is capable of winning big games. The problem is that we don’t always get “good Michael Vick”.
Some fans are ready to bench him right now. They are sick of the mistakes. I get that. However, I think these fans have some unreal expectations with Nick Foles. I loved watching Nick Foles play this summer and think the Eagles have a really talented QB for the future. Is he ready for right now? I doubt it.
While Foles looked great this preseason, you have to keep that in perspective. Phillip Hunt was unblockable. Damaris Johnson was a dangerous punt returner. Contrast that with what you’ve seen in the first 5 games. Just because Foles was good in August doesn’t mean he’s ready to run the show in the regular season. Do you honestly think the Eagles could have faced the Ravens, Cardinals, Giants, and Steelers defenses and come out 2-2 in that stretch with Foles? I sure don’t.
The situation really is tricky. Andy Reid is coaching for now. He needs to win this year. The QB who gives him the best chance to do that is Vick, especially when Good Vick shows up. My guess is that Reid will stick with Vick as long as he can. Andy is waiting for Vick to get hot and play at a high level for multiple games.
The argument against sticking with Vick is that right now we’re winning with defense and the running game. The offense isn’t scoring points. We’re currently 31st i the NFL in scoring. We’re behind teams with rookie QBs and crappy QBs.
I know this drives Andy Reid nuts. He loves scoring points even more than he does eating cheeseburgers. Watching this offense is like going on a vegan diet to him. The horror, the horror.
While the offense isn’t scoring enough and the turnovers are killing us, Vick is coming up clutch. He’s played lights out in the 4th quarter. Think back to the 2005-2009 era. How many times did we have a team with great stats, but not enough wins because we weren’t a clutch team?
I’m guessing that Reid sees the situation as this…we’re winning with Vick right now. Reid knows that Vick can get hot and lead the offense to some huge games. With Foles, there is no telling what would happen. He might turn out to be the second coming of Joe Montana or he could play more like Nate Montana.
With Reid’s back against the wall, sticking with the veteran who is winning ugly makes sense. It will drive some people crazy, but there are some Vick haters who are going to dislike him no matter what the results.
Now…if the offense continues to struggle to score and the turnovers continue to come in bunches, that could change things. Reid at that point might decide to roll the dice and go with Foles. I think we’d have to directly lose a game based on turnovers for that to happen. Say we play Detroit on Sunday and they’re just terrible in the game, but get a couple of defensive TDs and we lose 20-17. Or if we play a great game against Atlanta, but lose 23-20 with 2 Red Zone turnovers by Vick, one of them coming on the final drive of the game.
Critics will point to yesterday’s fumbles. Those fumbles definitely hurt the team, but they didn’t directly cost us the game. The 2 fumbles recovered by PIT did not result in points for them. The GL fumble cost us either a TD or FG, but again…you can’t just add 3 or 7 points to the score and assume a win. That was in the 1st quarter. You have to know that those points would have affected the way both teams played. There is no question that in a tight defensive game that fumble proved to be a critical mistake. We definitely needed those 3 points.
Reid won’t bench Vick until he’s convinced that is what’s best for the 2012 season. That’s not the situation right now. Vick has been good enough for us to start off 3-2. Reid has faith in Vick and expects he will get better. Reid did the same thing with McNabb back in 2003 when he and the offense were really struggling. That proved to be the right call. At the time, I wanted McNabb benched in favor of AJ Feeley. I was wrong then, but did learn a lesson. You stick with the starter as long as you can and give him a chance to work his way out of the funk. He is the starter for a reason, after all.
I think timing also works in Vick’s favor. We play Detroit this week and then have the bye. That will give Reid and the coaches a chance to solve some problems. He has a great history of getting the team to respond well after the bye.
The flip side of course is that if Vick has a disastrous game against Detroit, the bye week would be the perfect time for Reid to switch to Foles. Notice I said “disastrous”. I do think it would take something like that.
For now, I think Vick keeps his job. Only time will tell if that’s the right move.
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I’m not telling you guys that you have to love and embrace Vick. Criticize him all you want. I do think that when you frame your argument as “he has to go…”, you are ranting more than anything else. That’s okay. We’re all pissed off after a loss. I was ready to put Vick onto the next vehicle headed to space after the GL fumble yesterday. I was livid.
I find that trying to understand a situation is more interesting that just ranting and raving. This post is my version of thinking out loud in regard to the QB position. Why won’t Reid bench him? Why should Reid bench him? What would happen?
Would I rather be 3-2 with Vick as QB or more likely 2-3 or 1-4 with Foles as QB? I’m taking the winning record. I’m not a huge fan of Vick’s, but I like winning. When we start losing with Vick, then I think we start talking about Foles.
Yeah, we lost yesterday. At Pittsburgh. Big Ben has one home loss to an NFC team in his career. You just don’t go in there and win much. They’re still the Steelers, at least in Pittsburgh. They’re 0-2 on the road. A loss against them isn’t the kind of thing that will send me over the edge for a QB change.