I decided to make my return to Bleacher Report because I became inspired to write an article defending Andy Reid. I have been listening to sports radio and many fans believe Michael Vick should be replaced by Nick Foles and Andy Reid should be fired.
The way people are talking, I would think the Eagles were 0-6. In fact, they are 3-3: the exact same record as the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. This team is far from out of the playoff race.
So why have faith in Reid and Vick after a couple of tough losses? Well, there are many reasons.
Let's start with Vick. First, Vick gives the Eagles their best chance to win right now and despite all the turnovers, Vick has given his team the lead late in the fourth quarter in five out of the six games. That shows something about his ability to perform in the clutch.
Look, he turns the ball over a lot, he has done that his whole career, but he is also a dynamic player who can move the football. He held onto the ball well against Detroit, as his only fumble was on a snap issue with the center. His two interceptions were both on deep passes, which happens in the NFL. I believe Vick will get better, but even if the turnovers continue, the Eagles cannot go to Foles until they are out of the playoff hunt.
Besides, Vick gets hit more than any QB in the league so it almost makes sense he fumbles more often. If he gets hit the most, logically, he should fumble the most, as the law of averages comes into play.
The bottom line is while Vick may not be a top-five QB in the league, or even top-10, he is by far the Eagles' best option. A good preseason from Nick Foles does not mean he can translate that to the regular season—not to mention, the Eagles offensive line is terrible. Putting Foles back there could ruin him permanently, like it did Bobby Hoying, David Carr and many other young QBs who got battered behind bad offensive lines.
Now, let's look at Reid—who, by the way, is still the best coach in Eagles history (he has the most wins and the best winning percentage).
Was hiring Juan Castillo as the coordinator in 2011 a smart move? No, it was ridiculously stupid and Reid acknowledged that by firing him earlier this week, a move that felt like Christmas in October for Eagles fans.
Reid's biggest downfall is loyalty to his assistants, as Bobby April should be canned as well. I would also be on board with Mudd, Washburn and Mornhinweg going, but it is hard to find quality people to step in during the middle of the season.
I would like to see Reid takeover the play-calling from Mornhinweg so that his fate can be in his own hands. Reid is a good offensive coach and a great game-planner. He also knows how to win games.
The Eagles are coming off a bye next week when they play the Falcons, a team they are 8-2 against under Reid and 6-0 against at home. They also are 13-0 coming off the bye under Reid.
So they beat undefeated Atlanta next Sunday and they are 4-3 and right in the thick of the playoff race. The Eagles have never missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons under Reid, and I do not believe it will happen this year either.
The Eagles may have played the hardest part of their schedule already, playing the Super Bowl champions, plus three other teams who made it to the postseason last year. They went 3-3 in that stretch. Their next eight games include Tampa Bay, Carolina, Cincinnati, Washington, New Orleans, Dallas twice and Atlanta. Only one of those teams currently has a winning record.
Realistically, the Eagles could easily go 6-2 in that stretch and be sitting at 9-5 heading into the last two games.
It is not time to panic yet; it is time to trust a coach with a great track record and see how things play out in the next month. My prediction is the Eagles finish the season 11-5 or 10-6. Why do I believe that? Because I believe in Reid and Vick and their ability to get it done in Philadelphia.