Sunday, November 11, 2012
Halftime thoughts: It's Nick Foles time
By Dan Graziano
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick left Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter with a concussion. He has been replaced by rookie Nick Foles, who is making his NFL debut against the league's fifth-ranked pass offense. This is the headline story of the first half of a game that has so far lived down to its extremely low expectations.
The Cowboys lead the Eagles just 10-7 in spite of the fact that each team scored on its first possession and it looked for a short time as though this game between two of the lowest-scoring offenses in the league might go against form. But each offense quickly settled into sad mediocrity, with the lines crumbling in front of the quarterbacks and neither team able to establish a rhythm.
Dallas has shown a lot in the run game, rolling up 80 yards on 14 carries split mainly between Felix Jones and Lance Dunbar. And a 49-yard bomb from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant set up the tiebreaking field goal. But they haven't taken a lot of chances, and neither have the Eagles. Philadelphia had success on the first drive with short passes, trying to rely on playmakers such as DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy to make plays once they had the ball in their hands. But likely because these teams came into this week tied for second in the NFL in turnovers, each offense seems more worried about making a mistake than trying to break off big chunks of yardage.
It's possible the Eagles will try more with Foles in the second half after they've had a chance to spend halftime regrouping and adjusting the game plan around him. The fans at Lincoln Financial Field cheered when Foles entered the game, as many have been calling for him to replace the struggling Vick even before Vick got injured. Vick's concussion leaves his status for next week's game in Washington in doubt as well, but for now it suffices to say that Foles gets his chance to show the coaches and the fans what he can do for the remaining 30 minutes of this game. If the offense comes to life around him, then even once Vick is recovered there's bound to be a quarterback controversy in Philly.
There's also the little matter of winning the game, and the fresh opportunity that awaits the team that does. The winner of this game will be 4-5, and with the Giants having lost earlier Sunday in Cincinnati to drop to 6-4, that team will remain in contention for the NFC East title.