Mike Vick felt the rush, eluded it for a second, then stepped up and chucked a prayer that wasn’t answered. It was probably a novena that never should have been offered up.
By not taking the sack, Vick was exposed and took a shot in the ribs from Jermaine Cunningham. The hit sidelined the Eagles quarterback with 6:01 showing in the first quarter Monday night against the Patriots. X-rays were negative, but Vick didn’t return. After the game, coach Andy Reid said he would most likely keep Vick out of Friday night’s game in Cleveland.
“He’ll have an MRI, CT can [Tuesday]. I chose not to bring him back in there, he was sore,” Reid said. “If he didn’t play again, I think he’d be OK. I’d like to see him play a little more, but if he doesn’t I think he’ll be fine.”
Vick’s ribs were the story, but not the highlight. For the second straight game, rookie Nick Foles made a strong case to be the No. 2 quarterback on Reid’s depth chart. Foles showcased the big arm everyone knew he had, as evidenced on a 40-yard strike to DeSean Jackson, and the mobility no one knew he had, which he displayed on a 24-yard sprint after he correctly diagnosed an all-out blitz.
Foles led the Eagles to a 27-17 victory over New England after relieving an injured Vick. He finished 18-oi-28 for 217 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Foles hooked up with tight end Clay Harbor on 1- and 3-yard touchdown throws.
“Nick Foles, it looked like he did a pretty good job in there,” Reid said. “We’ll take a look at the tape.”
The Eagles out-gained the Patriots 425 to 204 in total yardage after a slow start. As promised, Reid played his starters the entire first half, mostly against New England’s second and third units. Bill Belichick rested 26 players, and all of his starters.
LeSean McCoy carried seven times for 30 yards, including a 1-yard TD run. DeSean Jackson caught four balls for 82 yards, with Clay Harbor hauling in six for 30 yards and two scores. Rookie Bryce Brown was a breakout star rushing nine times for 51 yards.
Big Red gets fired up
The clip sure to be making the internet rounds involves Andy Reid yelling at defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. Early in the first half, after Patriots third-stringer Ryan Mallett carved up the Eagles’ defense, Reid got in Jenkins’ face with some not-so-kind words. Line coach Jim Washburn broke up the melee, but not before receiving a few choice words himself.
Reid described the incident as something that happens in the heat of battle.
“This is an emotional game. He was fired up and I was fired up. Those things happen,” Reid said. “He [Jenkins] is my emotional leader on that defensive line, and I count on him. We talked about it afterward.”
For Reid, it seemed out of character since the 14-year stalwart rarely wears any emotion on his sleeve. But the move seemed to work, with the Eagles stepping up their defensive pressure after the exchange. The defense ended up with two sacks, but swarmed the Patriots the rest of the night.
“I might not have it anymore, but I used to have red hair,” Reid said. “Sometimes, that flares up.”
Even so, one player — new middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans — seemed to take issue with the motivational tactic.
“He [Reid] was getting on us about getting the penalties when we should’ve been off the field,” a smiling Ryans told ESPN’s Lisa Salters. “It was a little … it got a little too rowdy for, you know, preseason. It’s a little too early for that. But we know the importance of it and he’s trying to teach us to be smarter.”