When Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick went down with a concussion this past Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys I'm sure there was a grouping of Redskins fans who let out a cheer. After all, in spite of his dismal play this season (serves him right for declaring the Eagles a dynasty before they had won anything) Vick is still one of those players who can take over a game with his athleticism. And as Cam Newton proved that even the worst team with an athletic quarterback can bewilder the Redskins dismal defense.
So yesterday after Vick left back-up quarterback Nick Foles saunters into the game and put up some pretty decent numbers behind a putrid Eagles offensive line. Foles finished yesterday going 22/32 for 219 with a touchdown pass, interception and a fumble. The fumble wasn't really his fault as the Eagles offensive line forgot the game was still being played and let the entire Dallas front seven through in an effort to murder Foles.
It would appear that Vick quit playing football a few weeks ago and so did most of the starting players on the Eagles roster, but you know who hasn't quit yet, Nick Foles. In the NFL when you're a back-up quarterback you don't get too many chances to show you're starter material. This Sunday at Fed Ex Field Foles will get a chance to show Andy Reid (and presumably whoever the Eagles head coach for next season) that he's starter material.
A lot of folks have already taken to blogs, articles, and Twitter to proclaim that he's only a rookie and that the Redskins should easily handle him especially behind the Eagles line.
Yes, Nick Foles is a rookie, but he's not a rookie like Peyton Manning was a rookie, or Eli, or even our own Robert Griffin III who were all handed the starting job. Andy Reid has already said that Vick is still his starter so it's up to Foles to change his mind. Foles doesn't need to be cautious like some other rookies out of fear of losing the starting job because it isn't his in the first place. He knows if he wants to continue playing he's got to go out there and impress Reid, and that my loyal reader makes him very dangerous.
Look for Foles to possibly channel his inner Brett Favre and take a lot of chances. Of course these chances could lead to opportunity for the Redskins but at the same time they could also lead to plays where the defense is thinking "there's no way he's going to try and make that throw," and Foles makes that throw and the defense is caught watching with their pants down.
Of course I don't actually think the Eagles are going to beat the Redskins but as recent history has shown us we don't do particularly well against rookies making their first start. Jumping to mind is Vince Young and Eli Manning. Both quarterbacks utterly embarrassed the Redskins. Eli is understandable, after all he's Peyton's kid brother and has since won two Super Bowls, but Vince Young? There is no excuse to losing to him in his first start.
I'm picking the Skins to win this game and hopefully it sets them on the right track with the Cowboys and Giants to follow in the next two weeks, but I'd be more confident in our chances is Vick was under center. Look for a few big plays out of the rookie quarterback as he'll probably catch the Redskins napping as they won't expect him to go for the homerun.
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