The Philadelphia Eagles appeared ready to make Michael Vick and Nick Foles fight to the finish. Instead, the Eagles ended a quarterback battle that could have gone on a few more weeks, by making Vick the opening day starter as expected. Yet after Foles gave Philadelphia a 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 24, not everyone may be convinced that the battle should have ended so soon.
Foles took the Eagles down on a 99-yard late fourth quarter drive to erase a 24-23 deficit. It capped off a night where he finished 10-for-11, as he still only has a handful of incompletions in three preseason games. However, Vick barely had any in his first two as well, which clinched his victory in Chip Kelly’s quarterback competition.
Since Vick was allowed to play the whole first half against the Jaguars, his stats were likely to go down a bit. He only went 15-for-23 with a touchdown and an interception, as the Eagles had to settle for three second quarter field goals as well.
Between that and Foles’ final drive, Kelly would have been flooded with new questions about the future and a Week 1 starter, if he didn’t pick one days earlier. On one hand, Kelly saved himself and the Eagles a lot of extra trouble and debate -- but on the other hand, fickle fans may wonder if they need a longer debate.
In proper context, Foles had his comeback against a slew of backups on one of the worst teams in football. In addition, he is certain to get a lot of playing time in the final preseason game against the New York Jets on Aug. 29, which should bring his stats down like it did for Vick. But if Vick is still as fragile as he ever was and becomes his old inefficient self again in the regular season, Foles will get his chance in the end anyway.
While Kelly and the Eagles claim to have settled the Vick-Foles debate, the comparison will never go away in Philadelphia this season. Whenever Vick stumbles, Foles will be right there in everyone’s mind, even if there aren’t many more 99-yard game winning drives in him.