If the Philadelphia Eagles want to compete for the Super Bowl in 2012, Michael Vick should be behind center for all 16 games.
But he won't, for two reasons:
He's not going to make it through the season alive. Vick's been sacked nine times in three games. According to Sheil Kapadia, he ended up on the ground 19 times on Sunday. There's no way he can hold up to that kind of punishment, not for three more months.
Vick already looks shaky. He's holding onto the ball too long, trying to force plays that aren't there. He's not sensing pressure and acting accordingly. He might be hurt already, or he's just trying too hard to be the kind of pocket passer that wins championships.
To me, he's overthinking things. Vick is known for making mistakes when he lets the game come naturally, but at least those errors go hand-in-hand with dazzling runs and monster throws. Lately his boners are of the backbreaking, unnecessary variety, and more often than not they're putting him on his ass.
The sad thing is, with no Jason Peters and Jason Kelce, things aren't getting any easier for whoever plays quarterback. At some point, I expect Vick to take a hit and not get up. Then it's Nick Foles time.
Andy Reid's job is on the line. 8-8 is unacceptable. That's what Jeffrey Lurie said before the season even started. And at this point, the Eagles will be lucky to hit midseason at anything better than 4-4.
That's not a slight on them; it's a tough early schedule. But if the Cowboys or the Giants are sitting in first place at 6-2, there will be plenty of negative chatter. In this very possible scenario, Reid's seat might be scorching.
And if Vick's play remains shaky at best? Enter the young savior, now with half-a-year's seasoning under his belt.
My dad's response to this theory was "A rookie QB is not typically a job saver," and he's right. But if the Eagles are floundering, why not? I know Reid loves Vick, but it's looking increasingly likely that what we saw in 2010 was an aberration. Vick may only be a flashy, occasionally competent quarterback, and Reid needs more than that to survive.
At that point, the Nick Foles lottery ticket may be his best bet.
Again, I hope Vick gets his mojo back and starts all 16 games. I don't think the team has a prayer without him.
But after three games, all of them shaky and one downright gross, it's looking more and more like the Nick Foles era will begin sooner than we expected.