Better Man for the Job: Foles or Vick?

November 7th, 2013 by Kyle Lutz | Filed under Eagles, Football, General.


After Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles’ dominant, record-tying performance on Sunday at Oakland, there’s a better understanding, to an extent, among Eagles’ fans- and even NFL fans in general- about who’s the starting quarterback, when healthy, going forward this season, and even beyond that point.

From seeing all the comments pour in and the reactions come about after Philadelphia’s 49-20 win vs. the Raiders, it seems a lot of fans are on the Nick Foles’ bandwagon now, as for who the starting QB should be from here on out.

Michael Vick is currently sidelined indefinitely with a nagging hamstring injury that’s plagued him on and off for the past several weeks. It is unknown when he will return to game action, if he will be the starter at that point, and what his diagnosis, and future with the team is, going forward. Regardless of health, Vick is an average quarterback in my eyes, who isn’t accurate, but has shown to be able to throw the long ball both regularly and effectively, while relying mostly on his legs to gain first downs and points.

Comparing the two statistically, in their careers, even though Foles’ career has been a (much) small(er) sample size than Vick’s, Foles holds the edge in completion percentage with 61.4%, compared to Vick’s 56.2%. Michael Vick has been more accurate in his career with Philadelphia, compared to his first six seasons with Atlanta (he’s played in five seasons with Philadelphia), with a completion percentage of 59.5, as opposed to a 53.8 percentage with the Falcons. Foles has a long ways to go before he reaches the number of career games played by Vick thus far: Vick currently has played in (but not necessarily started in) 127 games, while Foles has only been in 13.

Nick put on a clinic, to say the least, Sunday at Oakland,  tying an NFL record with 7 touchdown passes in the process.

He also chipped in 406 passing yards, on 22 completions (out of 28; a staggering completion percentage of 78.6), with 0 interceptions and 14.5 yards per passing attempt. He ended the day with a rare, yet perfect quarterback rating of 158.3; the highest rating a quarterback can achieve per game, which is especially rare for a 24 year old sophomore.

Vick has never had a perfect quarterback rating in a regular season game: the highest rating he ever achieved was 150.7 with Philadelphia in a 2010 Monday Night Football rout over rival Washington, 59-28. That game he tied a career high with 4 touchdown passes, 3 behind Foles’ mark of 7 this past game; the latter of which is a positive note/sign, to say the least, going forward for Eagles’ fans, management and the coaching staff. On the contrary side of things, if you’re Michael Vick, healthy or injured, you’ve got to feel a level of nervousness that you could ultimately lose your starting job.

Vick, almost two months ago, vs. San Diego, had a career-high 428 passing yards, 22 more yards than Foles, but he had 8 more passing attempts at the same time. If Michael Vick was/is able to match his intensity and consistency week by week, the Eagles are far better off, but the problem lies right there: Vick can’t seem to stay consistent, or at least long enough, for the Eagles to have a chance to win as many games as possible. Now, the verdict isn’t completely in on Foles because he’s still inexperienced and hasn’t played much, but he could ultimately end Vick’s tenure in Philly, be more consistent, and take over the starter’s role.

What Vick has that Foles doesn’t, to many people’s knowledge, is running ability, strong athleticism and legs. He’s built to elude the pocket and run for big yardage; Foles as well? Not so much.

Foles career high in rushing yards in a game was 27 last season at Tampa Bay, on 3 carries with a touchdown run on top of it. On the flip side, Vick in his career has had ten 100+ rushing yard games, and the most rushing yards in a career ever by a quarterback. 

But what the Eagles truly need, in many fans eyes- including myself, is a pocket passer that can complete passes both long and short, be accurate, turn drives into points, and be successful. An added bonus would be a pocket passer who can also run for a first down or significant yardage every once in awhile, which Foles seems to have the ability to do, to a degree.

Despite Foles’ poor game two weeks ago vs. Dallas (11/29, 37.9 completion %, 0 TDs, 46.2 QB rating), I believe he has the knowledge, grit, and accuracy to bounce back early on in his young career after a tough loss. He certainly proved that vs. Oakland. It remains to be seen though whether or not Foles can: 01. Sustain his success and remain consistent week by week and 02. beat the good teams in the NFL, and not just the punching bags in Tampa and Oakland (among other teams).

I believe though, all-in-all, that Foles should remain the starter, even if Vick is healthy and ready to go. He’s proven to be more accurate, less turnover (and injury) prone, and a truer pocket passer, despite, as mentioned, opinions of him only being based on a small sample size in the NFL thus far. We’ll see how he does next week, assuming he starts, vs. a strong, resilient team in Green Bay.

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