The first preseason game was supposed to help to put some division between the two candidates at the forefront of the quarterback competition for the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately for Chip Kelly, in his debut as head coach, his decision on who will take the snaps behind center got more complicated. Although each only played two series, both Michael Vick and Nick Foles had smooth, starting quarterback-type nights.
Vick, who started the game, and without all-pro running back LeSean McCoy by his side, managed to lead the Eagles down the field in just five plays to score a touchdown. It included just two passes and was a true indication of just how fast the Kelly offense can be. He threw just one incompletion and did not turn the ball over during his two series, a stark difference to the problems of a year ago. Although Vick didn’t have the opportunity to carry the ball, the holes opening up around the field, as seen when his counterpart took his turn, begs the question about just how lethal Vick could be when he’s given the opportunity to innovate with the ball in his hands.
Foles picked up right where Vick left off keeping the tempo high and finding open receivers around the field. He did have a hiccup, losing a fumble on a ball he was attempting to throw, but other than that looked stellar. Although he didn’t throw a touchdown, like Vick, he was able to move the team downfield quickly for a score and even run himself, answering critics of his mobility. Foles should get the start in the second preseason game, keeping things even between the two.
Going forward, their play coupled with the fact that each has experience under his belt is making the decision very hard for Kelly. Mistakes will continue to be watched closely, and look for things to get a little more serious as preseason games fly by. Kelly will need to make a decision sooner rather than later to allow the starter to find more reps as it gets closer to opening week. The neck and neck race at quarterback continues and it looks as though neither of the front runners is willing to give the other any free opportunities.