Stick With Vick

I want to preface this by saying that I am in no way a Nick Foles hater or an adamant, stalwart Vick supporter, I’m a supporter of whoever is going to lead the team to wins, and at this point I’m happy and confident with either Michael Vick or Nick Foles starting at quarterback. That being said, with everybody making cases for why Nick Foles should continue starting after his performances the last two weeks, I just wanted to tell the other side of the story as to why the Eagles should stick with Vick.

First off, I’ve loved the way Nick Foles has played the past couple weeks. He’s looked poised in the pocket, he’s shown great ability to get everyone involved in the passing game, and he’s shown that he can connect with Desean Jackson deep just like McNabb and Vick could. Hell, he’s even shown that he can score touchdowns on the ground. That being said, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. While his stats look much better than Vick’s on paper right now, Foles has a very small sample size; 61 attempts. What would happen if we looked at Vick’s first 61 attempts of the season? It just so happens that Vick’s first two games of the season he threw for exactly 61 attempts, so let’s take a look at the stats from those two games. In the first game of the seasons against the Redskins, Vick threw for 203 yards on 25 attempts, 2 TDs, no INTs, and completion percentage of 60%. Facing the Chargers in the second game of the season, Vick went 23 of 36 for a completion percentage of 63.9%, while throwing for 428 yards and 2 TDs, no INTs. Add these together and for Vick’s first 61 passing attempts of the season, you get 631 yards, 62.3% completion, 4 TDs and 0 INTs. Meanwhile, in Foles’ 61 attempts this season, he’s thrown for 542 yards, 67.2%, 6 TDs and 0 INTs.



Completion %


Michael Vick





Nick Foles





So by narrowing down Michael Vick’s sample size to the same number of attempts that Foles has had this season, the numbers are extremely close. Foles has the edge in TDs and completion percentage, but Vick has him beat by almost 100 yards. Has Michael Vick kept up the pace of those numbers? Absolutely not, but are any of us really expecting Vick to throw for an average of 315 yards a game? Vick hasn’t played poorly at all, after those first two games he faced two undefeated teams in the Broncos and Chiefs, one of which has the best defense in football. So while those first 61 attempts looked great, it wasn’t realistic to think that Vick could keep that pace of offensive production up. And what’s to say the same thing won’t happen with Foles? We’re judging him off of a mere 61 attempts. It’s harder to be much better than the 61 attempts he has so far this season; he’s put up points, gotten wins, and hasn’t turned the ball over. But that’s the thing, it’s harder to get much better than that. I’d say it’s much more likely Foles underperforms compared to these two weeks than the odds that he keeps up this pace of production or overachieves it.

Which leads me to my second point. Vick didn’t keep up the pace of the offensive production that he put up in the first two games. He didn’t throw the ball nearly as well against Kansas City or Denver, granted no one has thrown the ball too well against Kansas City this year. And in his action against the New York Giants, it seemed like it was difficult for him to get anything going. It happens to all quarterbacks, there are some days where it seems like nothing will go right, the ball isn’t coming out as crisp, reads aren’t happening as quick as they usually are, the receivers aren’t getting much separation, etc. Chalk it up to good gameplanning by a good defense, or just an off day, either way, it happens. So what happens when Foles has an off day? I can tell you what happens when Vick has an off day; 99 yards rushing, 41 yards rushing, 79 yards rushing. Those are his rushing totals in the three games that he’s ‘underperformed’ compared to his first two games of the seasons. When Vick is having an off day, he can bail himself out with his legs. And it’s something that benefits the whole team, defenses have to respect his running ability, opening up the read option game for Shady and even opening up downfield more if teams decide to spy on Vick. Defenses have to be honest, because on a 3rd and 10, Vick can consistently take off and pick up much more than he needs. So how does Foles bail himself out if he’s having an off day? Sure, he can hand the ball off to Shady and hopefully he can rack up yards, but Foles doesn’t have that second dimension that Vick has. Yes, he ran for a touchdown on Sunday, but total, he ran for 2 yards on 3 attempts. He just doesn’t have that jaw dropping, electrifying athletic ability that Vick has, and when Vick is in the game, I’m confident that we can convert a first down from anywhere, doesn’t matter the distance. And that’s not a knock on Foles, it’s just that Vick has an ability to counter himself in the instance that he’s having a bad day, and with Foles I don’t think that’s the case.

It’s looking more and more like Foles is going to start this weekend, as Vick still isn’t at 100%, and I’m okay with that. I think it’s much better to wait until Vick is 100% and deal with the issue of the quarterback controversy then than to force him out there and risk injury again. And this weekend will give Foles another chance to show what he brings to the table. If he goes out and performs like he has been against a good looking Cowboys team, then I think the discussion of the quarterback controversy will become even more muddled, but I think it will also lend some credibility towards Foles that he can keep putting up good numbers past 61 attempts. I’m happy with either quarterback piloting this team as long as how they’re playing leads to wins. Vick or Foles, it doesn’t matter, I just don’t think Vick should be discounted so quickly.

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