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Chip Kelly: Eagles Starting QB Still Based on Health

Nick Foles played extremely well against the Raiders, but Eagles coach Chip Kelly wouldn't commit to him as the official starter just yet.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Foles had a performance for the ages in the Philadelphia Eagles' 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. It was perhaps the best performance by an NFL quarterback ever: 406 yards (79% completion) and 7 TD. So, Foles is the Eagles starting quarterback moving forward, right? Well, not so fast. Despite the brilliant performance, Kelly wouldn't officially commit to a starter, claiming that the starting quarterback decision is still "based on health".

There's no need for Kelly to verbally commit to a starter immediately after the game, so it's no surprise he chose to be non-committal. After all, it's exactly what he's been saying all season, and even earlier this week. That said, set the face value of that comment aside. It's hard to believe Kelly wouldn't stick with Foles for the time being if he's playing as well as he did today. Kelly had high praise for the second year QB after the game, saying he played "really, really well." (Duh!)

Sunday wasn't the only good outing for Foles this year. He played well in relief of Michael Vick in the first Giants game, and then again when he started against the Buccaneers. Foles came back down to Earth and looked terrible against the Cowboys. After today's game, Chip made sure to call the Cowboys game "the exception, not the rule". He coined Foles' brilliant day against Oakland as "expected". While it's hard to see how Kelly could have anticipated Foles throwing for seven touchdowns, it's clear the coach has confidence in him.

Michael Vick's status is still uncertain after suffering re-injury on his hamstring against the Giants. Kelly wasn't able to give much of an update on Vick after the game, but it was clear Vick couldn't have played today. He wasn't healthy enough to be on the active game day roster.

Some questioned Kelly's decision to not leave Foles in the game to break the TD record. Foles needed one more touchdown pass, which would have been his eighth, to get it. Kelly decided against leaving him in though and pulled him from the game early in the fourth quarter. Greediness aside, it was the right decision. Risking injury wouldn't be worth it, especially considering Matt Barkley is the backup QB. Chip stated, "this isnt about records, this is about going out to get a win."

And that's exactly what the Eagles did today. Win.

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