What a mind-numbing mess the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback situation has become. It has gone from a QB controversy to “conundrum” in the span of three weeks as per NFL.com‘s Judy Battista.
Nick Foles looked remarkable when he stepped in for Michael Vick after he suffered a left hamstring injury against the Giants in week 5. Foles again looked solid against the Bucs and notched his second win against them in two seasons. But over the past two weeks at home against very poor Cowboys and Giants defenses Foles’s production was severely limited.
According to a report on CSNPhilly.com, team owner Jeffrey Lurie touched on this very topic indicated that a current QB on the roster must “step up” or the Eagles will have no other option than to invest a high draft pick on one in the draft.
“We need someone to step up, whether it’s an existing young quarterback or somebody we go out and acquire,” Lurie said told CSNPhilly.com. “We know — this is no secret — quarterback is the [ultimate] position and the most important difference-maker.”
“Time will tell. I think it’s really wide open for those that are on the team and it’s wide open for what our strategy might be if we don’t have it. But it’s a No. 1 priority. We’ve got to solidify that position in a really good way.”
On Thursday, Chip Kelly spoke to the media and announced that Vick will again sit out leaving Foles to keep control of the reigns for at least another week. Following two weeks of multiple QB injuries and pathetic play from anyone at the position, Foles is now entering an audition like atmosphere in Philadelphia and has a long road to redemption after doing a complete 180 the past two weeks.
But if Foles is entering an audition like scenario, where does that leave Michael Vick?
Common belief is that Vick has likely played his last meaningful down last week as he has not provided the type of play that was expected from the injection of Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. There is no reason to keep Vick around beyond 2013 and pay an aging veteran whose history of unreliability has superseded any personal accomplishments he has enjoyed during his career. That’s not to say that Vick won’t line up under center in Midnight green again before the season is over. But it will not matter because the likelihood that he doesn’t return in 2014 is becoming extremely clear.
As for Matt Barkley, who knows how he will pan out in the NFL but it is painfully obvious he has a long way to go before he can be in the mix for any starting job in the league.
To get a better understanding of exactly how bad things are lets look at some numbers. Heading into week 9 the Eagles trio of QB’s have mustered some gaudy stats including; 2,124 passing yards, 11 TD’s, 7 INT’s and three lost fumbles. Now here’s a list of the nine individual QB’s who have already surpassed the Eagles three.
Peyton Manning (2,919), Matthew Stafford (2,617), Andy Dalton (2,587), Drew Brees (2,290), Matt Ryan (2,223), Tony Romo (2,216), Aaron Rodgers (2,191), Eli Manning (2,167), and Philip Rivers (2,132)
That’s nine quarterbacks who have been able to accomplish more than three QB’s can do. Unless Nick Foles absolutely blows the socks off the competition he faces through the second half of the season the Eagles No. 1 priority is to put an end to this conundrum. And generally when you’re talking about the “future” at a position it doesn’t entail signing a free agent.
It also doesn’t help either of the three QB’s on the roster when there are two very highly rated players, Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A & M) who will likely enter the 2014 draft — both of whom have ties to Chip Kelly.
So what’s it going to be Philadelphia? Can Nick Foles dominate the second half of the 2013 season or will we be hearing “with the __ pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select QB __”?
Until I see more I’m sold on the latter of the two.