Let me repeat: It is time for Foles. It’s time.
Before the season, I was as steadfast a Vick supporter as you would find. I told myself that Michael Vick would improve because he finally had a full off-season within the offense. I told myself that Michael Vick would finally command this offense mentally. I thought this would be the year if finally came together for Michael Vick. Little did I know, this would be the year everything fell apart.
I started having doubts in the pre-season. I knew something wasn’t right, I felt it in my gut. But I ignored my instincts to go along with groupthink. I talked with some fellow Eagles fans and they convinced me: everything would be fine. I had concerns but I forced myself to be hopeful. Week one came and all my worst fears regarding Vick came to fruition and outside of a great performance against a horrible Baltimore defense, it hasn’t been fixed. We’re missing plays that we make in 2010 or 2011. Vick’s accuracy is horrible. His passing against blitzes is subpar. He’s getting the ball out late and holding onto the ball entirely too long. And his pocket skills are as bad as ever, if not worse. He’s completely melted down. Completely.
Let me paint you a picture with some numbers:
- -The Eagles are scoring 17.1 points per game, that’s tied for third worst in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams
- -With Michael Vick leading the offense the team has turned the ball over 17 times in 7 games. The only team with more turnovers is the Dallas Cowboys.
- -Michael Vick has been hit more than any other QB in the entire league thanks in part to the fact that he’s holding the ball longer than anyone else in the league. Both those stats are courtesy of ESPN.
- -Michael Vick has 8 interceptions and 5 lost fumbles. That’s 13 turnovers. That means he’s turned the ball over 3 more times than he’s scored. Only Matt Cassell and Tony Romo have turned the ball over more.
- -With Vick only completing 58.1% of his passes and averaging 6.85 yards per attempt he ranks 25th and 21st in those respective categories.
- -According to ProFootballFocus only 71.5% of Vick’s passes are accurate, a mark that ranks 21st in the NFL and that number drops to 55.3% when he’s under pressure, the 4th worst mark in the NFL.
Bad QB play has led to a completely inept offense. And yes, it is the QB play. DeSean Jackson and company are consistently winning on the outside against coverage but Michael Vick isn’t getting them accurate passes. The offensive line is struggling but when King Dunlap plays the QB is getting enough time to get the ball out.
One of my favorite sites to read is Jimmy Kempski’s Blogging the Beast and his thoughts on the issue perfectly communicate mine as well, I’ve seen enough of Michael Vick. In this particular piece Jimmy sorts through all-22 footage and comes to this conclusion:
Calling for a crucial player to be benched or a coach to be fired is not something I venture into lightly. But after a week of letting the issue swirl around in my head, I’ve come to the conclusion that Michael Vick needs to take a seat on the bench.
And he supports that conclusion with pictures like these:
To me, that last one is the most grievous mistake. The game is on the line. It’s the 4th quarter. DeSean Jackson roasts the coverage. Michael Vick should’ve delivered a ball that would’ve put this game on ice but instead the ball is picked and the Lions get the ball and put points on the board that eventually led to overtime and a loss. Michael Vick just isn’t getting it done. We’re sliding into irrelevancy faster than Kurt Coleman bites on play action.
Do I know if Nick Foles is going to be better? No, that’s impossible but things clearly aren’t working and they don’t look like they’re about to start. If we’ve got a guy on the bench who could potentially get things rolling, why not give him a shot? Because right now, it’d take some seriously bad QB performance to be worse than Vick.
To put things into perspective a little more, Michael Vick is currently graded as the 29th worst QB in the entire NFL by ProFootballFocus. You know who’s been better? Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. All rookies. It can be done, three teams are doing it right now with rookie QBs.
What are the biggest concerns about Nick Foles? The most prevalent concern I’ve seen is his lack of speed. People seem to think that because Foles isn’t the most fleet of foot he’s going to get murdered behind our offensive line. And I hate to be blunt but these people concern me, I wonder if these people watch the game. Foot speed has so little to do with taking hits at the QB spot. Things like a fast release, understanding where the ball is supposed to go when under pressure, the ability to step up and slide around in the pocket, the ability to see the entire field, the ability to call protections and identify a blitz all matter more than foot speed.
That is from Trent Dilfer, former NFL QB and a guy who studies tape, evaluates QBs and coaches high school QBs for ESPN. He made these statements based on Nick Foles’ college film. In the pre-season he showed similar pocket skills, taking only one sack in four games despite 63 passing attempts. In the pre-season his TD:INT ratio was a sweet 3:1 and in college it was a 2:1 TD:INT ratio. In college he completed upwards of 65% of his passes and in the pre-season he completed more than 63% of his passes. Nick Foles would appear to potentially have pocket skills, good decision making and accuracy, all things that this Eagles team really need. Is he an ace in the hole? Absolutely not, but we’re going nowhere fast with Michael Vick. Michael Vick isn’t the answer, that much is abundantly clear, lets see if Nick Foles can be.