Andy Reid Vindicated in His Decision to Stand Behind Michael Vick

Bryn SwartzSenior Writer IIINovember 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles signals from the line of scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on November 18, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Expectations for rookie Nick Foles were through the roof in preseason, when the third-round draft pick threw for six touchdowns and posted a triple-digit passer rating in four games. Sure, Foles faced just second- and third-team defenses, but he played well enough to earn the No. 2 job on the quarterback depth chart.

Then came the first game of the season, when Vick threw four interceptions and barely escaped with a victory against the lowly Cleveland Browns. It didn't get better for Vick in 2012, as he earned a well-deserved reputation as a turnover machine.

The Eagles started 3-1 thanks to late-game heroics by both the offense and defense, but they've since dropped six in a row, all but sealing head coach Andy Reid's fate in Philadelphia.

Despite Vick's struggles, Reid refused to turn to Foles to turn the season around. Even when the Eagles lost following the bye week, a first in the Reid era, Vick remained the quarterback. And when the Eagles failed to put up even their pathetic season average of 16 points against the New Orleans Saints' historically bad defense, Vick remained the starter.

But Vick was knocked out against the Dallas Cowboys with a concussion and sat out last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. 

The logic was simple. The Eagles had no chance to make it to the Super Bowl, let alone the postseason, so they should use the rest of the season to allow Foles to progress as a quarterback.

It's been just over a game-and-a-half, and Foles has shown limited signs that he is the quarterback of the future. He's thrown one touchdown and three interceptions, and he's fumbled four times. He's been responsible for two defensive touchdowns, while leading the Eagles to just two offensive touchdowns. That's pretty bad for just a game-and-a-half.

A game-and-a-half, by the way, is exactly what it took for 30-year-old Vick to steal the starting quarterback job away from Kevin Kolb early in the 2010 season. Let's just say that won't be happening with Foles and Vick.

Reid has already stated that Vick is the starting quarterback when he returns to full health (per the Eagles' official website), and reports indicate that Vick could make a speedy recovery (per Pro Football Talk) in time for the team's Monday Night Football showdown against the Carolina Panthers, another poor team with a big-name quarterback who is struggling this year.

The cold hard reality about the National Football League is that it's almost impossible for a team to win a Super Bowl without a great quarterback. For the Eagles, it really doesn't matter who the quarterback is, because the Eagles can't win with either.

However, with Foles' struggles, it's become clear that Vick is the quarterback who gives the Eagles the best chance to win games.