In the final minutes of a close, yet sloppy game, the inexperience and immaturity showed through. The tag team of rookie quarterback Nick Foles and rookie running back Bryce Brown had a very impressive game for the most part, but the absence of Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy proved costly in the end. This issue brings about the question of whether or not the Eagles can really benefit from not having Vick or McCoy on the field. Andy Reid believes so, naming Foles the starter for the rest of the season, but I can not get on board with Reid.
At the end of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, Brown walked off the field with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns. But it was the other stat that causes some concern. As Foles was leading the team down field, Brown lost the football on his way to the ground. The fumble was picked up and returned for a touchdown, ultimately sealing their fate. Fumbling has been a huge fault in this rookie’s short career. In the close Monday night game against Carolina, Brown managed to fumble the ball twice, ending two chances for the Eagles offense to turn things around.
Foles on the other hand has looked pretty good, especially in last night’s game in Dallas. Foles put up a career high 96.6 passer rating, while completing 22 of 34 passes for 251 yard and a touchdown. It is hard to argue about those numbers, especially when he helped keep them in a game where the dreaded Eagles defense could not stop Tony Romo. Unfortunately for Eagles fans actions speak louder than numbers. Despite the veteran like numbers, Foles still made a few obvious rookie mistakes. He overthrew on a deep ball that could have easily been a touchdown, while other times he had a Donovan McNabb like approach, underthrowing his receivers.
The biggest hiccup came after a punt returned for a touchdown by Damaris Johnson. A two point conversion would have put the Eagles within three of the Cowboys. The two point conversion would have made it so that the Eagles only needed a field goal to send the game into overtime, rather than needing a touchdown. Foles took the snap and rolled out to his right. Brown was wide open on the goal line, but Foles had his eyes locked on his target. Foles released the pass, intended for Jason Avant but put a little too much on it and he missed Avant’s outreaching arms. The game would end with the Cowboys winning by five.
Now anyone could make these mistakes, no one is perfect, but as a professional athlete skills like holding onto the ball and hitting the open receiver become expected of you. I lay blame on the fact that these two players are rookies and need more grooming. There is no doubt in my mind that Foles will be a solid NFL quarterback, but there is still work to be done. In high pressure situations such as the two point conversion we need a seasoned veteran. Mike Vick brings that composure and experience to the field. McCoy, although I worry sometimes while he is running in the open field with the ball flailing around, knows when to pull it in. You must have two hands on the ball when pushing through a pile, and that is just something McCoy knows and Brown needs to learn.
I understand that the offense has had its struggles this year with putting points on the board. Brown now has more rushing touchdowns than McCoy and Foles looks good, but for the offense to be able to win close games they need their two top guys in the huddle. Don’t forget that in the beginning of the season it was Vick’s offense that helped win close games against Cleveland, Baltimore, and New York. Foles and Brown may be the future, but right now the Eagles need their current stars back on the field. Despite what people are saying, McCoy is still an elite running back and Vick is still a dynamic quarterback. Too bad we can’t say the same for the Eagles defense.Tags: Bryce Brown, Damaris Johnson, Eagles, Football, LeSean McCoy, McNabb, Michael Vick, NFL, Nick Foles