Philadelphia Eagles

Does Loss to Steelers Mean Eagles Should Go with Nick Foles over Michael Vick?

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rips the ball from Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the game on October 7, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Zach KruseSenior Analyst IOctober 7, 2012

All it takes is a simple entry for "Nick Foles" on the Twitter search engine to find a question that remains on the minds of some Philadelphia Eagles fans:

At what point does the Michael Vick era end in Philadelphia and the Foles era start?

Vick completed 20-of-30 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, with the second score giving the Eagles a one-point lead deep in the fourth quarter. The Steelers would eventually win the game, as Ben Roethlisberger completed his own game-winning march once Pittsburgh got the football back. 

But it was two turnovers in the first half that jump-started the questions for Foles to play, as Vick fumbled away the ball on two separate occasions. One came with the Eagles on the goal line.

His lost fumble total is now at five, and combined with six interceptions, Vick has 11 total giveaways in five games this season. 

To put 11 turnovers in perspective, only three NFL teams (Dallas, Kansas City and Buffalo) came into Week 5 with at least 11 turnovers as a team, much less from one player. It's a damning stat for a player who was handed a $100 million contract less than 24 months ago. 

But do the incessant turnovers mean it's time to pull the plug on Vick as the quarterback in Philadelphia?

Don't be ridiculous. 

The Eagles are still 3-2, in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. The division might be the best in football, and the Eagles are leading it. This is still a first-place football team. 

Philadelphia also has wins over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. Some may consider these good football teams. 

And for all the Vick turnovers, the Eagles have been in position to win every game save one. Vick put Philadelphia in a position to beat Pittsburgh Sunday, even after the tough start. The offense has made the plays when absolutely necessary.

Overall, this is no situation to throw a rookie quarterback into. Especially right now. 

Down the road, if the turnovers continue and the Eagles fall out of contention in the NFC East, making the switch to Foles is something to discuss. Philadelphia would have to seriously consider seeing what Foles has if this team is 5-9 and Vick can't stop turning over the football. 

But following a difficult Week 5 loss is not the time to even entertain the idea of making a quarterback switch. 

Vick still gives the Eagles the best chance to win on a weekly basis, whether he's turning the ball over or not. Foles is such an unknown at this point that giving him a start (or any playing time) would be a give-up sign from head coach Andy Reid, who needs to win now, not later. 

Foles isn't a miracle worker for a creaky offensive line or a playcaller who abandons the running game. Vick is a part of the problem, but he isn't the problem. 

Overall, the "Foles for Starter" campaigns should take an election breather.

The start of the Nick Foles era is something to discuss only if the Eagles fall completely out of contention. That may still happen in 2012, but it's far from the case after just five weeks of football. 

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