Michael Vick, a man who conveys a portrait of second chances and change, has some unending skeletons in his closet as the Philadelphia Eagles starting QB is expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a left hamstring injury.
According to Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Vick’s injury he sustained in the second quarter of the Eagles win over division rival New York Giants will be severe enough to miss week six.
For Vick, it’s a constant reminder that despite being one of the most athletically gifted quarterbacks in NFL history, one impactful statistic is the one of completing an entire 16 week NFL schedule. A challenge Vick has completed just once (2006) in his NFL career. After missing a total of nine games over the last two seasons, you can appreciate why Chip Kelly wasn’t going to entertain a trade offer for Nick Foles during the offseason unless it a trade would have included substantial value in return.
Vick’s absence presents an opportunity for backup QB Nick Foles. After stepping in for Vick during Sunday’s matchup against the Giants, Foles sparked a passing attack that was lacking when Michael Vick was in.
Leading up to his injury, Vick struggled to get the passing game throwing for 105 yards and hitting just six of 14 attempts and failed to put points on the board. But that changed as soon as Nick Foles entered the game. Foles went 16 of 25 for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers.
The ongoing argument in Philadelphia that continues to come up is which QB, Michael Vick or Nick Foles, presents the best opportunity to win in the City of Brotherly Love.
Michael Vick is clearly a talented QB. He holds the record for most rushing yards for a QB and he possesses a very strong throwing arm and is generally pretty accurate with his throws. He forces opposing defenses to account for his combined skillset which opens up a ton of offensive opportunities.
But Vick is a turnover machine, he still has difficulties reading a defense accurately, and he is vastly unreliable to be available for a full season. He struggled to get anything of value going against one of the leagues worst defenses on Sunday, although he did not commit any turnovers.
Nick Foles, with the help of a defense that took advantage of opportunities when presented, won this game. If nothing else he beat the New York Giants when it looked like Michael Vick was going to be unsuccessful at doing so. Vick claims he could have returned to the game if Foles would’ve gotten injured and that he understands why Chip Kelly kept Foles in the game.
“Yeah, I would have gone in and just made sure I could sustain for the team,” said Vick. “The coaches understood, why have me in the game when I’m not 100 percent when you have a healthy quarterback on the sideline?”
The one part that is being left out, and of course Vick isn’t going to publically say, is that Nick Foles was doing something Vick wasn’t — putting points on the board. However, a key point to this could easily be the fact that New York did not game plan for Nick Foles, they planned on facing Michael Vick for an entire game. And that sudden change can have a huge impact on any game.
Nick Foles has a challenge in week six. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a struggling 0-4 team. But their woes are primarily on the offense. Tampa Bay ranks 31st in points scored averaging 11 PPG and offensive yards gained averaging 274.8 total offensive yards. They also rank dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game with 174.2.
Tampa Bays offensive focus is their rushing attack led by (RB) Doug Martin who has the Bucs ranked 18th in the NFL averaging 100.5 YPG.
Defensively the Bucs are a little more stoudt due to offseason acquisitions of (S) Dashon Goldson and (CB) Darrelle Revis. But even with those tremendous talents in the Bucs secondary, they still allow 238 YPG which is ranked 15th.
It’s going to be a challenge and I’m sure Nick Foles is up to it, and continue to silence any remaining critics their might be.
As for Michael Vick, he is the Philadelphia Eagles starter and will continue to be for as long as he can remain healthy this season. But following the 2013 season, if Nick Foles can continue to win some games and keep the turnover ratio down, could make Chip Kelly’s decision a bit easier to move on from an aging veteran with a laundry list of injury concerns.