The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t have much to do in their preseason finale with the New York Jets on Aug. 29. The main thing the Eagles found out is how Nick Foles would do in a full half, since starter Michael Vick was sitting out. Yet Philadelphia didn’t find out many good things on that end, as Foles had his first preseason stumble in a 27-20 loss.
Foles and Vick had been virtually perfect in the first two preseason games, but they each only played a few series. When Vick got to play a full half against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 24, he had a more iffy performance before Foles led a game winning fourth quarter drive. But in a full first half against the Jets, it was Foles’ turn to come back down to Earth.
When all was said and done, Foles went 6-for-17 for just 63 yards, two sacks and one fumble. The Eagles themselves only scored five points in the half, despite facing a Jets team that doesn’t have the defensive capabilities it used to.
The problems weren’t just with Foles, as Matt Barkley played the entire second half and only went 13-for-27. Meanwhile, although the Jets’ quarterback situation is far messier than the Eagles -- and just about every other team in the NFL -- Matt Simms came from nowhere with a 33-for-44, 285 yard performance in 60 minutes. Compared to Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, Simmns made the best statement for the starting job in New York’s entire preseason.
While the Jets still struggle to find a No. 1 quarterback, the Eagles presumably settled that debate by choosing Vick. Foles’ work in the first three preseason games suggested Philadelphia might be okay with him if Vick loses the job anew, through injury or other circumstance. But the Foles who faced the Jets was barely capable of being a No. 2 quarterback, while Barkley capped off a mixed preseason of his own.
For all of Chip Kelly’s tricks, the Eagles are still fragile without a reliable quarterback to carry them. It looked like they might have at least one in the first half of August, but the second half hasn’t been as strong for either Vick or Foles. Nevertheless, the warm up round is over and the real test is just 10 days away in Washington -- with only Vick slated to take the exam.