Thoughts From Eagles-CowboysBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Sunday, November 11th, 2012
Sunday’s game against the Cowboys took an interesting turn when starting quarterback Michael Vick left the game with a concussion and rookie quarterback Nick Foles was placed into his first real NFL action.
I thought Foles was up and down in relief of Vick.
Foles started out strong, but struggled more as the game went on. During his first couple of drives, the rookie played well. He looked poised in the pocket, and delivered a number of passes that hit his receivers in stride.
As the game went on, the Cowboys began to adjust to Foles and made life much more difficult for the third-round pick. They took advantage of the pathetic Philadelphia offensive line and sent pressure at Foles. When the pressure began to get to him, the Arizona product began to lose some of his poise and began to make mistakes.
Foles was a little careless with the football at times, and the Cowboys had opportunities for at least three interceptions. He finished the game completing 22 of his 32 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His interception came in the second half on a pass intended for DeSean Jackson. The pass was thrown behind Jackson, and was tipped into the hands of Brandon Carr, who ran it back for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
The bottom line on Foles today was that he showed some glimpses of promise, but also made a good number of mistakes. I think you have to give him credit for being prepared enough to step in and keep the team competitive. Backup quarterbacks typically don’t receive any reps with the first team during Andy Reid’s practices, so for Foles to step right in and provide a spark for the offense was impressive.
Moving forward he has to cut down on his mistakes, and do a better job at adjusting to what the defense does to adjust to him.
This Is Just A Bad Football Team
The performance of Nick Foles made Sunday’s game interesting to watch, but while most of the attention is focused on his play we can’t ignore that once again the rest of this roster showed just how bad they are.
Defensively, the Eagles offered little resistance to Tony Romo and the Dallas offense. While the pass rush was able to generate a decent amount of pressure on Romo, the defense wasn’t able to come up with any turnovers against an offense that doesn’t do a good job at protecting the football.
Felix Jones picked up 93 total yards on 19 touches, and had little trouble evading tacklers. On Jones’ touchdown in the first quarter, he ran right through the arms of Nate Allen, Nnamdi Asomugha, Darryl Tapp, Brandon Graham, and Kurt Coleman. Dez Bryant only caught three passes, but he made them all count. He had a 49-yard reception, and also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
Special teams also cost the Eagles this week. The coverage unit allowed Dwayne Harris to return a punt 78-yards for a touchdown that changed the momentum in the game.
These players just aren’t winners. They’ve developed a losing mentality over the last year and a half, and they find new ways to sink lower and lower with each game. This team needs a major culture change in the coming off-season.
- I thought Michael Vick played pretty well in his limited action. Vick finished his day completing six of his nine passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback led the Eagles to a touchdown on their opening drive, capped off with a fade pass to Riley Cooper.
- The only criticism I have of Vick this week has to do with his running style. Vick has drawn criticism for the way he dives head first instead of sliding. He’s managed to stay healthy nine games into the season, but it only takes one play like that for a defender to get a good shot in on him that knock him out of the game. That’s what happened to Vick today.
- Speaking of the fade pass, how refreshing was it to see this team call an quality red zone play?
- Why didn’t the Eagles try to run a two-minute drill before the end of the first half? The defense managed to force Dallas into a punting situation, but Andy Reid chose not to stop the clock with a timeout. Nick Foles and the offense could have gotten to the ball with a minute and a half to try and at least get into field goal range. Instead the Eagles let the first half expire without even trying.
- Dennis Kelly missed a block on former Eagle Ernie Sims in the second quarter that helped kill an Eagles drive. Kelly let Sims run right by him for a shot at Michael Vick. Vick had to get rid of the ball quickly, and just missed a wide open LeSean McCoy.
- Speaking of Ernie Sims, how frustrating is it to see him make plays for the Cowboys after giving the Eagles next to nothing during the 2010 season?
- Nice to see Mychal Kendricks pick up his first NFL sack. I thought the blitz was used a little more effectively this week by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
At 3-6, the Eagles are still mathematically alive. The New York Giants continue to lose, and as bad as this team has been there’s still a bit of hope left that they could still get hot and get on a run.
But that line of thinking only comes from the most optimistic followers of the team. Realistically, the Eagles just haven’t shown any reasons to inspire confidence that they’re even capable of winning a game right now.
The dream of making a playoff run in 2012 is all but over. The Eagles now need to use the remaining seven games to evaluate for their future. They need to take a long, hard look at their roster and figure out how many guys on the current 53-man roster are worth keeping around in the future. Which players are going to show heart and fight to the bitter end? Which players are going to pack it in and check out mentally?
But most importantly, the Eagles now need to decide what the future of the quarterback position is. At the rate that they’re going right now, they could be looking at a top-15 draft pick, and they need to determine whether or not they’ll need to seriously consider using that pick on a quarterback.
It’s time to pull the plug on Michael Vick, and dedicate the final seven games to determining whether or not they have something worth building around in Nick Foles. Vick’s time has come and gone. He hasn’t performed at a high level this season, and while he’s not the most guilty party for the team’s poor record, he’s done enough to show that he’s not the future of this team. I would even go as far as to argue that Vick has done a better job protecting the football and has been more stable in the last four games than he was during the first month of the season. But the fact is that the team has nothing to gain by playing the former Falcon anymore.
Even if Michael Vick is cleared to play, now is the time to turn things over to Foles and see what he’s got. Next week, the Eagles face a Redskins team that has one of the worst secondaries in football. It would be a perfect opponent to start off the evaluation of your rookie quarterback with.
Do the right thing, Andy. The cause you’ve been fighting for is a lost one. Do the organization (and the fans) a favor, and play the kid to help determine the direction of this franchise’s future. It’s the least you could do after subjecting this city to mediocre football since 2005.
Denny Basens is the editor of GCobb.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter.
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