Nick Foles: Why Andy Reid Has No Choice But to Start Rookie QB

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IOctober 29, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Eagles 27-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles have reached the point where pulling the plug on Michael Vick and giving rookie quarterback Nick Foles a chance is really the last remaining option. 

With losses and turnovers piling up, and Reid's tenure as the Eagles head coach approaching a breaking point, Foles represents a chance at a new start without the season being completely lost. 

The winds of change are in the air. 

Already Monday, conflicting reports have come out of Philadelphia on Vick's status as the starter. Complicating matters is Hurricane Sandy, which has shut down all NFL operations in the northeastern part of the country.

However, at least two reporters have gotten word about the Eagles' plans at quarterback. 

Howard Eskin of FOX29 in Philadelphia initially reported late Sunday night that a decision had likely been made to make the switch to Foles, citing audible mistakes and the same problems not being fixed. 

Monday, Rueben Frank of CSN Philadelphia, through a source with knowledge of the situation, reported that no decision had been made regarding Vick and that he was still the starting quarterback. 

Moving on to Foles is a rational decision for Reid to make given Vick's struggles in 2012. 

Despite zero in Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Vick still leads the NFL in turnovers, and the Eagles are minus-9 in the category. Even good teams on paper cannot overcome that kind of discrepancy in turning the football over. 

The yards-to-points ratio just doesn't add up, either. 

The Eagles are currently averaging over 360 yards a game, but Philadelphia is tied for second-to-last in the NFL in points scored at 17.1. Yards often result in points, but that hasn't been the case for Vick's offense so far this season. 

Philadelphia is far too talented on offense to averaged just 17.1 points. 

Vick sounded postgame Sunday as if he was readying himself for the change, via the Washington Post

Obviously, he’s thinking about making a change at the quarterback position. The thing I do know is that I’m giving us every opportunity to win. I’m trying my hardest. Some things don’t go right when I want them to. Some things do. So if that’s the decision that (Reid) wants to make, then I support it.

Plugging in Foles would make things less complicated for an offense that is otherwise loaded with playmakers. 

Instead of having the entire offense run through Vick, Reid could have Foles hand it off 20-25 times a contest to LeSean McCoy, arguably the most undervalued running back in football. The Eagles could run screens, draws—anything to make McCoy the centerpiece of the offense.

Far too often, McCoy is overlooked and underused. The offense's best player, mostly wasted. 

There are also receiving targets that could benefit from a simpler offense.

Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are both quick, athletic receivers that do well in space. Shortening the offense and letting Maclin and Jackson get their production after the catch might be the medicine this passing offense needs. 

Tight end Brent Celek offers a security blanket for a young quarterback, too. 

And the best part for Reid? The change at quarterback could still recharge a team that isn't completely out of the playoff picture. 

At 3-4, the Eagles are just three games back in the win column of the NFC East leading New York Giants, who Philadelphia already beat once this season. A win in New Orleans and at home against Dallas would put the Eagles right back into the playoff discussion. 

Could Vick beat those teams? Sure. Could he lose them just as easily and sink the Eagles season (and Reid's job) for good? Absolutely. 

The change will be polarizing, but it's one that Reid needs to make. He's running out of options to save a job he's held in Philadelphia for the last 14 years.