Nick Foles Handshake

Is Nick Foles in the MVP race?

In preseason action, Michael Vick was the Philadelphia Eagles’ clear number one choice at quarterback. He had a firm grasp of Chip Kelly’s offense whereas Nick Foles appeared to be out of his comfort zone. Then, injury sidelined Michael Vick, forcing the Eagles to put Foles in the game.

Since then, Foles has taken the Eagles’ offense to the next level, throwing 16 touchdowns on the years to zero interceptions. Foles isn’t just playing the role of a glorified game manager either, he’s actually become an asset for the Eagles that Michael Vick never was. Even if Vick was 100% healthy, there’s little question who the starter would be for the foreseeable future.

With such a white-hot start to Foles’ career as a starter, some are beginning to ask, is Nick Foles forcing himself into the MVP discussion?

Throughout the season, there’s been no doubt that Peyton Manning is the man to beat in the MVP race. Although Foles has certainly been impressive of late, Manning has been pushing the envelope all season long. To date, the 37-year old quarterback has thrown for over 3,200 yards, connected on 33 touchdown passes, and he’s tossed just six passes to the opposing team.

Now, it’s not quite fair to compare the entire season Peyton Manning has had to the limited time Foles has been in action. So for our purposes, let’s compare both quarterbacks since Foles took over full-time.

Quite obviously, both quarterbacks have been performing well above the league’s norm, but in an MVP race, there’s only one winner (okay sometimes co-winners). Foles’ past four games are tough to beat, even considering his struggles against the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, Peyton Manning matches Foles’ numbers of late stride for stride. Sure, Manning may be tossing more interceptions at the moment than Foles, but he’s also more accurate and throwing for insanely high yardage.

Any normal year, Nick Foles may be in the thick of the MVP race, but this has been no ordinary year, even by Peyton Manning’s already high standards. Even though you will see an MVP debate on one of the large networks on television, there’s really no debate to be had. Peyton Manning is the MVP.

If Nick Foles had been playing all season long, maybe we would find a legitimate reason to compare the merits of two of the hottest quarterbacks in football, but that wasn’t the case. If we want to talk about the MVP of the second half of the season, then there’s a debate to be had.

Nick Foles is making the Eagles’ coming separation with Michael Vick far easier for the team to swallow. After all, he’s putting up numbers every bit as solid as the league’s best quarterback. Sure, Foles’ MVP-quality performances of late could be flukes, and he may not be the long-term answer in Philadelphia, but right now, he’s playing on a level equal to Peyton Manning. Is he in the MVP race? No, he was late to the show, but he’s a guy to keep your eye on throughout next season. That’s when he may be able to challenge Manning for the crown.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.

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