After a flurry of confusion on Monday, it turns out the Philadelphia Eagles will not be benching quarterback Michael Vick and instead have decided to stick with for at least another week. Sources close to the situation have told numerous media outlets like the Associated Press that when the Eagles facility opens after Hurricane Sandy passes, head coach Andy Reid will announce Vick as the starter for Monday’s night game against the New Orleans Saints.
Many had very good reason to believe that Vick would be benched for Philly’s week 9 matchup with the Saints, as Reid didn’t endorse Vick after a 30-17 thrashing on Sunday at the hands of the Falcons.
Vick himself foresaw a quarterback change and even went as far as to support the move after the game on Sunday. This was combined with the fascination with the backup quarterback and the fact that Philly’s backup in particular had a great preseason back in August, which even then had people saying we might have a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.
But NFL fans have a love affair with the guy on the bench when things go sour, and Philly is no exception. As nice of an idea it is that the backup who looks impressive can come in and fix things, it’s usually not fully the case. Joe Webb is constantly seeing his name called in Minnesota and has been for the last three years, but even with him starting the Vikings don’t win. Nick Foles, a third round pick from Arizona, wowed fans and dazzled writers this preseason, but we’re forgetting the first rule of the preseason: take it with a grain of salt.
Foles looked great, no question. But he was doing it against backups so even though he might be the second coming of Johnny Unitas, his preseason performance alone isn’t enough of a disanalogy to draw the conclusion he’ll be better than Vick.
But the NFL is a game played on hunches, and Andy Reid’s hunch about Foles isn’t the same the fans have. But patience is running out and Vick and everyone surrounding him know this. Vick may be starting this week, but his job is clearly his on a week-to-week basis.