Eagles vs. Buccaneers: Nick Foles Is Making His Case to Start in 2013

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive year, the Philadelphia Eagles are getting hot when it's far too late. Philadelphia won for the first time since September on Sunday, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with their second solid performance this December. You'll recall that they also finished on a hot streak at the end of last season, and that saved a lot of jobs.

This year, we can only hope that Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman don't gain a false sense that this team is ready to compete based on another late surge. Andy Reid should still be out, as should a slew of veterans who have under-performed for far too long. 

But if one man deserves full credit for a great late run as he auditions for a role in 2013, it's rookie quarterback Nick Foles, who led the Eagles on two fourth quarter touchdown drives in Sunday's victory over the Bucs. 

Foles finished with a career-high 381 passing yards and a 98.6 passer rating. He looks and feels comfortable and confident despite the lack of talent that surrounds him, and he's become progressively better every week since taking over for Michael Vick nearly a month ago.

That he's playing better now than Michael Vick should put to bed any notions that Vick has a chance to stick around beyond this season. He'll never take another snap in Philadelphia, and that's the way it should be. Fole's is outperforming the veteran despite not having Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans on the offensive line, DeSean Jackson in the receiving corps and LeSean McCoy in the backfield. 

McCoy's replacement, Bryce Brown, wasn't a factor at all Sunday. As a result, Foles led the offense with 27 rushing yards and made a slew of big throws despite being under constant duress. He did what franchise quarterbacks do.

I'm excited to see what Foles might be capable of doing with this offense after a full offseason and a healthy roster. 

There's no telling what a new regime and/or coaching staff might want to do, but good quarterbacks are just too damn hard to find in this league. This kind of play from a rookie third-round pick deserves some attention and consideration from whoever coaches this team in 2013.