Dead Heat: Vick and Foles Play Well in Eagles Preseason Opener

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick completed 4-of-5 passes for 94 yards including a 47-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson. Photo By Webster Riddick.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick completed 4-of-5 passes for 94 yards including a 47-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson. Photo By Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA–If you’re thinking that the Eagles have settled their quarterback situation after Friday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots, you might want to wait until next week.

While nobody really cares that the Patriots came away with a 31-22 win in front of 69, 144 fans at Lincoln Financial Field, most eyes were on the race for the Eagles starting quarterback.  With the first preseason game in the books, it’s safe to say that both Vick and Foles acquitted themselves well.

“I thought they both did a good job,” Kelly said. “Nick, unfortunately, had that fumble on the second series because of a protection break down. Then he came back and put a pretty good drive together. They both got us in the end zone. I was pleased with how those guys played.  …Both of those guys rose to the occasion.”

If you’re keeping score at home, it was a draw at best. If you gave a slight edge to Vick, you have a sound argument. The same could be said about Foles as well. Based on tonight’s performance, it appears as if the offense was more suited to Vick’s skills than Foles.

“I think so, I’m excited about what this offense can do and how we can produce,” Vick said. “It’s just a matter of us continuing to work together, continuing to understand why we do certain things.”

In two series in the first quarter, Vick completed 4-of-5 passes for 94 yards including a 47-yard touchdown strike to DeSean Jackson on the Birds first series of the game to even the game at 7-7 after the Patriots scored on their initial possession of the game.

“I’m just trying to bring my A-game and I think it’s a testament to hard work,” Vick said. “I’m trying to make a statement everyday.  I promised myself that every snap I take I will try to treat it like it’s my last.”

On the Eagles first touchdown of the game, Vick faked the ball to Chris Polk on the read option play and rolled to his left and found a wide-open Jackson streaking down the sideline for the score.

“I did a good job of holding the coverage,” Vick said “The route concept we had gave us options and DeSean took advantage of the opportunities. …It shows that when you’re on the same page with your teammates and guys who put their time and effort into the game like you, good things are going to happen.”

What made the play effective was good blocking by the offensive line along with the defense having to respect Vick’s mobility.  On all five of his passes, Vick was accurate. His lone incompletion, which was slightly underthrown, at least touched the hands of wide receiver Jason Avant.

After a questionable fumble on his first series, Foles ran the Eagles no-huddle to the Eagles second score. He completed 5-of-6 passes for 43 yards. He als            o ran for 10 yards. It wasn’t necessarily as fast as Vick, but at the very least he showed he can use his legs when he has to do it.

“It was just reaction,” Foles said. “I don’t know how you work on that. It just happened. I just felt like I’m more comfortable. I saw somebody step up, there’s a blitzer right there. I just ran and got what I could and got down. Luckily, I got a slide in there.”

While there may not be a final decision about the who starter will be until possibly the fourth preseason game, Foles said the important thing for him is not force things.

“Of course, I’m a competitor and I want to score touchdowns every time I’m in,” Foles said. “I want to do great things, but I also know that if  you start pressing and doing too much bad things can happen. You will throw a bad ball.  … I think the key to having a great drive is to focus on that one play.”

Matt Barkley, who played in the second and third quarters, struggled to complete some open passes mainly due to the opening jitters normally associated with being a rookie quarterback.

During his time on the field, Barkley completed 11-of-22 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown.

“I thought it started a little slow and then it finished on a great note,” Barkley said after the game. “I got the jitters out and I can move forward from here.”


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