— Time for the Philadelphia Eagles to stop postponing the inevitable. Time to go with rookie Nick Foles as their starting quarterback.
So many things point to this move being their best and only move right now.
Most telling is that the team has come as far as it can with Michael Vick. Even had the Eagles been on the other side of the 30-17 beating they took from the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, it would have been time. The body of work is just too huge and too revealing.
Then there's this: a Twitter report Monday from Howard Eskin, a radio and TV reporter with privileged access to coach Andy Reid that no other members of the media get. Despite the NovaCare Complex being closed on Monday, Eskin reported that the change will likely happen this week.
Vick had a fabulous initial run after being installed as the permanent starter three weeks into the 2010 season. His refined skills in a system that was a perfect fit for them made him a force that took the NFL by surprise.
Now he is among the easiest quarterbacks in the league to stop, though certainly not all by his own doing.
But going back to 2010, nobody could stop the Eagles' offense with Vick running the controls.
Nobody had the answers as he ran and passed his way toward MVP contention. From the season opener that year, when he was first inserted for the injured Kevin Kolb, through Dec. 19, when they staged a miracle comeback against the New York Giants that was punctuated by a game-ending punt return for a touchdown by DeSean Jackson, Vick played at a level nobody could have imagined.
He completed 208 of 329 passes (63 percent) for 2,755 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was intercepted just five times. Vick also lost just three fumbles all season.
But since that game, in which the Giants hit on a better way to defend Vick — by running faster cornerbacks instead of linebackers on blitzes that force him right and disguising coverages better — he has been no better than ordinary.
Vick lost his next two starts that season, including a 21-16 setback to the Green Bay Packers in a wild-card-round playoff game at home. That was the team's last playoff appearance.
The next season marked a return to mediocrity that was punctuated by a career-high 14 interceptions. He was 253 of 423 for 3,303 yards and 18 TDs.
This year, with a huge assist from an offensive line that's been ravaged by injuries, his turnover problems have only intensified. Vick already has tossed eight interceptions in seven games, putting him on pace to surpass last season's career high. He's already fumbled nine times, losing five, putting him on pace to easily surpass his career highs of 16 and seven, established in 2004.
None of these shortcomings might matter if the Eagles were still winning games. But they're not. Vick is 10-12 as a starter since Miracle in the Meadowlands II, including 3-4 this season.
"Obviously he's thinking about making a change at the quarterback position," Vick said of coach Andy Reid, who's already fouled up the season by creating a disaster on defense with the horrible decision to replace coordinator Juan Castillo with Todd Bowles after six games.
"The thing I do know, and I'll go and watch the film and I'll evaluate myself, is that I'm giving us every opportunity to win. I'm trying my hardest. Some things don't go right when I want them to. Some things do. So if that's a decision that coach wants to make, then I support it."
Vick has tried his hardest, no question there. In his second career with the Eagles, he has become an admirable citizen and true team leader by example.
However, his best, as anyone should be able to conclude by now, is no longer good enough.
This is not to say Foles will be an upgrade. In fact, the offense will probably have to go backward for a bit until he gets his feet under him.
But these last nine games, a good many of them with the Eagles still mathematically alive for the playoffs, should give Reid, or the coaching regime chosen to replace this one next season, a much better idea of whether he is their quarterback of the future or they need to go and draft one in the first round —something they haven't done since 1999.