The Philadelphia Eagles are facing a must win on Monday Night Football when they face the New Orleans Saints. It is that simple. Since they already fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, the Eagles are running out of people to blame for the mess once again in Philadelphia. In fact, the center of the blame shifts between Andy Reid and Michael Vick. One could bench the other and see what results come from the move, although that person seems to be resisting making such a move.
It may be most surprising, as the person who should be benched has almost begged for the move to happen.
It is no secret that Reid has not exactly been enamored by the play this season of his quarterback, and Vick has admitted as much. He said he has played poorly and would stand behind whatever decision Reid made. It almost sounds as if he is asking to be benched, knowing that he just can’t get the job done any more.
At least, not this season.
As much as I loathe to even type the following sentence, I will admit that the Eagles’ struggles are not all the fault of Vick. Perhaps, Reid deserves even more of the blame. Whether it is Reid or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg calling the majority of the plays on offense, the fact that they continue to fail to give running back Lesean McCoy enough carries remains a mystery. They have one of the most talented running backs in the game, yet he does not receive nearly as many touches as the rest of the elite backs in the NFL.
You can’t blame that one on Vick, as much as I would like to do so, given my personal feelings toward the Eagles’ quarterback.
But that one is on Reid.
If you listen to the postgame press conference, it sounded as if Vick had resigned himself to a potential benching. He said he knew that Reid was considering making such a move, and that he would support his decision. While I am for this move taking place, I do not believe that it will take place this week.
Rookie Nick Foles would be the man who would get the chance to succeed Vick under center in Philadelphia. But putting him in on a Monday Night Football game in a hostile road environment against the Saints is not the best way to give him his NFL debut opportunity. While there is no ideal situation, especially during the season, it is far more likely that if Vick struggles on Monday, or at least if the Eagles lose, Foles could get the start the following Sunday at home against the Dallas Cowboys.
If Philadelphia resolves themselves to the fact that they are not a playoff team in 2012, they may choose to save Foles for the November 18 game against the Washington redskins, who are quite porous on defense especially against the pass. It may be an easier matchup for him to begin his professional career.
Either way, I find it hard pressed to see Vick finishing the season as Philadelphia’s starter. I am honestly surprised that an injury has not forced him out at this point already, but the team’s record and Vick’s overall numbers and demeanor may eventually lead to what ends up putting him on the sidelines.
It may also finally lead to Reid’s firing at the end of this season.