Starting Michael Vick over Nick Foles Right Move with Eagles Protection Issues

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 8, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to throw a pass against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 5, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Michael Vick has to start.

Throwing Nick Foles into the fray right now is a risk the Philadelphia Eagles can't take—not with the team's offensive line playing as bad as it is. 

Vick has been sacked 13 times in the past three games, and 27 times through eight games. 

The last contest against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football was one of the most embarrassing displays we've seen from any offensive line all year long. And if not for Vick's incredible mobility and escapability, the Saints would have come up with far more than seven sacks. 

No, the only thing the Eagles can do at this point is hope that Vick can give himself enough time with his feet to allow DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin a chance to get open.

Too often this season, Vick has faced pressure within the first second or two of receiving the ball, and he's avoided at least as many sacks as the team has allowed just by nature of his elite athleticism—something Foles doesn't possess.

For an illustration of what might happen to Foles if he were suddenly forced into the starting lineup, look no further than last year, when Blaine Gabbert was thrust into a starting role on a team with no pass-protection.

Gabbert was horrible, and he developed a reputation for getting rattled early in games if he was pressured (which he always was). 

Let me make one thing clear, though: I'm not a big Vick fan. In fact, it bothers me that he still doesn't know when to slide properly or when to throw the ball away, and I hate the fact that he still carries the ball like a loaf of bread by his side instead of cradling it like he's supposed to do. 

That said, at least he's a veteran who isn't going to have his career ruined before it ever got started the way Foles might, should he be pressed into duty under the team's current circumstances. 

Vick is the only quarterback on the roster that might turn things around, given the sad state of affairs on the offensive line. 


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