The Philadelphia Eagles offense started off with a bang as Michael Vick connected with DeSean Jackson on a first quarter 47-yard touchdown bomb.
On this night, head coach Chip Kelly showed what made him an offensive guru in college as he had defenses off balance and gasping for breath as both Vick and Nick Foles matriculated the ball down the field with ease. While Vick may have had the more highlight reel worthy plays, it was Foles’ efficiency in the no huddle and his resilience after an early turnover that impressed me.
Foles ran the no huddle to perfection on his second series that ended with a Bryce Brown touchdown scamper. Frankly, he looked like he had been doing it for years and Kelly had to be impressed with the pace and effectiveness the offense operated at with Foles under center.
Neither quarterback, even through the first preseason game and a month away from the regular season, has clearly separated themselves from the pack. Kelly is going to have a tough decision to make as both quarterbacks are operating smoothly in this offense.
If I am Kelly, I am thinking of pulling the trigger on Foles. While Vick did wow with some sparkling throws last night, he still is both turnover and injury prone, both no nos on Coach Kelly’s Quarterback check list, as Kelly says the best ability is durability. Foles showed he will play through injury by playing an entire half with a broken hand last year. Foles is also about 10 years younger than Vick and offers more upside in the long term.
All things being equal, a head coach usually chooses the quarterback that is younger with more upside. What is also critical is seeing what the Eagles have at quarterback. Even the biggest Vick supporters will concede at 33 years old, he is not the long-term solution at quarterback. The Eagles really need to determine if the long-term QB is or isn’t on the roster as that impacts whether or not they need to look for the franchise guy in future seasons.
Quarterback battle aside, this was a night of excitement for the Eagles and their fans as the offense was finally unveiled and didn’t fail to impress in putting up points on the scoreboard in timely fashion. Regardless of who the quarterback is, if the Eagles keep doing that, they will win some games in 2013.