Andy Reid kept talking about contemplating the situation regarding his starting quarterback. Michael Vick is or isn’t going to be benched, but all the hints and signs point to the fact that starting rookie Nick Foles isn’t going to save the season for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have bigger problems elsewhere.
Where are they? Reid decided to fire his defensive coordinator Juan Castillo when his defense wasn’t doing that bad. In fact, it looked like the only thing working properly or close to that for the Eagles. Since the change at DC, the Eagles have lost to the Lions in overtime and to the Atlanta Falcons, the only undefeated team in the NFL, giving up 30 points for the first time this season. Both losses were at home, when things quickly turned ugly.
And Vick? He didn’t turn the ball over once against the Falcons. He didn’t get much done (191 yards, 21-35, 1 TD) and was pretty good when he had the chance to run. But with his offensive line, there’s no chance a pocket passer or an enigma guy like Vick can succeed. LeSean McCoy, a unanimous choice for one of the best running backs in the NFL, can’t get things done with this kind of help. And throwing a rookie quarterback with no protection is going to save the day?
It feels more and more like Andy Reid juggling to save his job. Rumors are conflicting regarding Reid’s decision to bench or continue with Vick. Instead of fixing or admitting that plenty of the problems were his own creation, including doing a terrible job with the offensive line and offering protection to his quarterback, he’s just blaming everything around him. The defense was doing pretty well until the last couple of weeks. Vick has his turnover problems, yes, but it has a lot to do with the pressure he feels right after the snap, with an offensive line that doesn’t offer him any time or protection.
Some say Reid is approaching this all wrong. That he’s using the same offensive schemes he’s used for over a decade, while the defenses in the NFL have finally caught up to his way of thinking. A lot of decoys and small plays in order to free up a big one later on in the game just doesn’t seem to work. Worse, he has a quarterback who might not fit his master-plan, and instead of letting that quarterback run this offense, he’s trying to change an older version of Michael Vick, who’ll never be your classic pocket passer. LeSean McCoy? He seems to be forgotten somewhere along the way.
The Eagles have five more NFC East games to play, and a non-division schedule including Carolina, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. While division battles are always impossible to predict, there’s still a chance of making the playoffs, theoretically at least. Practically? It might seem that even Reid, along with everyone else involved with this team, is giving up on that hope.