Signs Of Progress: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles Power Past Carolina
We're going follow the evolution of first-year NFL head coach Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles each week of the 2013 season.
After all, the talented Eagles were the dumbest team in football last year, a fact proven by our measures of team efficiency (or inefficiency in the case of the 2012 Eagles), Scoreability and Bendability.
Critical to Kelly's re-education of the Eagles is improves, more efficient play at the quarterback position.
The Eagles were largely a mess at QB last year: No. 25 in Real Quarterback Rating, with more turnovers out of the position (23) than total touchdowns (20).
That's real bad news in this day and age. Only eight teams were upside down in this department last year, and no coincidence all were bad teams.
So far, it looks like Michael Vick is ready to step up and take charge. In two preseason games, he's now completed 13 of 15 passes for 199 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT (the pick a bad throw into the end zone Thursday night).
Of course, Nick Foles has looked sharp, too. All in all, based on the limited exhibition evidence we have at hand, it looks like the QB position will take big strides forward this year under Kelly. And that's great news for Eagles fans.
Here's the report from Philly's 14-9 win over Carolina Thursday night.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Michael Vick made a strong case to be Philadelphia's starting quarterback on Thursday, completing 9-of-10 passes for 105 yards in the Eagles' 14-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers in preseason action from Lincoln Financial Field.
Vick is in competition for the starting role with second-year signal-caller Nick Foles, who got the start under center against the Panthers.
Foles finished 6-of-8 for 53 yards with an interception, but did rush for a 7- yard score on Philadelphia's second possession of the game.
LeSean McCoy, who missed Philadelphia's loss to New England in the preseason opener, rushed eight times for 47 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
Cam Newton struggled under center for the Panthers, connecting on just 8-of-17 passes for 112 yards. DeAngelo Williams carried the ball 12 times for 39 yards for Carolina, which opened its preseason slate with a win over Chicago.
Foles completed his first six passes on Philadelphia's opening drive, but on 2nd-and-3 from the Carolina 8, Foles fumbled the snap and threw a hurried pass into the back of the end zone that was intercepted by Josh Thomas.
Foles made up for the miscue on the Eagles' next touch, as he followed a shifty 21-yard run from McCoy with a 7-yard touchdown scamper around the left end to make it 7-0.
Graham Gano drilled a 47-yard field goal on Carolina's ensuing possession, and after Chris Polk fumbled on Philadelphia's next touch, Morgan Lineberry buried a 27-yard field goal to pull the Panthers within 7-6.
Vick, who completed his first four passes prior to Polk's fumble, put the finishing touches on an impressive first half by connecting on all four passes and rushing twice for 20 yards on a 7-play, 74-yard drive that McCoy capped with a 1-yard surge around the left end to make it 14-6.
Gano buried a 32-yard field goal on Carolina's opening drive of the second half to account for the final margin.
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