Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles threw a pass for the second straight game on Sunday against the New York Giants.
Except this time it was for real. After starter Michael Vick injured his hamstring on a rushing attempt, head coach Chip Kelly inserted Foles into the game after Vick was visibly hurt.
Foles stepped in seamlessly, throwing for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a little over one half of football.
He also engineered a 93-second drive where he completed seven of eight passes for 68 yards to end the first half with a field goal, extending Philadelphia’s lead by 12 points.
If the Eagles' desire to make a wise switch, it would be to permanently place Nick Foles as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the 2013 season. Foles is statistically more efficient than Vick, especially in the red zone.
Excluding kneel downs, Vick has led the offense to a score 21 out of 53 drives averaging 2.04 points per series. Although Foles has a smaller sample size, he led the team to five scoring drives out of nine with an average of three points per drive.
Converting for touchdowns in the red zone is extremely critical to success in the National Football League. Five of the top six teams in red zone touchdown percentage reached the playoffs in 2012, four of them advancing past the first round.
With that being said, Vick has attempted 19 passes inside the opponent’s 20-yard line but only completed five for 38 yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, Foles has thrown two touchdowns in the red zone this year, completing two out of five passes for 11 yards.
Foles has twice as many red zone passing touchdowns as Vick despite playing essentially three quarters in five games. While Vick is a dangerous threat, big plays have been scarce while Foles has been quietly advancing the ball on most of his series.
Aside from starting the more efficient passer as the starting quarterback, it would behoove the Eagles organization to have Foles start the rest of the way. Although tied for first place, Philadelphia is far from contending.
There is no place for a 33-year-old quarterback to be starting on a rebuilding team. Giving Foles ample playing time in meaningful games would give general manager Howie Roseman and the rest of the decision-making personnel an idea of whether or not Foles is a franchise quarterback.
In this age of the NFL, having a top quarterback is absolutely necessary to win in this league. Everybody knows what Vick is right now but Foles remains to be a question mark for the long-term.
Assessing his play in 2013 would prove to be greatly beneficial come next off-season so the Eagles would have a clearer idea of what to do about their quarterback situation.