PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles' offices at the NovaCare Complex were closed Monday due to Hurricane Sandy.

When the team returns, coach Andy Reid will have to deal with another storm.

After an embarrassing, 30-17 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, Michael Vick suggested that he might be benched in favor of rookie Nick Foles, perhaps as soon as next Monday's game at New Orleans.

"If (changing quarterbacks) is a decision that coach wants to make, then I support it," Vick said Sunday. "You know, obviously I think there are a lot of things I can do better. I'm trying to do everything I can to put the ball in the end zone and give my guys every opportunity (to score touchdowns). Despite it all, I still feel like I do a lot of positive things out there.

"The thing I know is that every time I step out there on the field, I give it everything that I have and I try not to leave any stones unturned and I think that is evident. That's all I can ask out of myself. That way I can sleep at night."

The Eagles have seldom been able to get through a season without a quarterback controversy. Two years ago, Reid decided to give Kevin Kolb his job back after he had suffered a concussion in the opener but then reversed field and stuck with Vick. Even last season, he picked Vince Young over Mike Kafka to lead the offense when Vick missed three games with a rib injury.

There wasn't supposed to be any quandary about the quarterbacks this season. Vick was going to remain the starter while Foles, a third-round draft pick out of the University of Arizona, and veteran Trent Edwards would be the backups.

But that was before Vick started to cough up the football. He committed an NFC-high 13 turnovers in the first six games.

He delivered a clean performance against the Falcons, completing 21-of-35 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown and scrambling for 42 yards on seven carries. But the offense was held to less than 20 points for the fifth time in seven games.

"Right now what I'm concerned about is getting ourselves better for New Orleans," Reid said after the game. "That's as far as I'm going."

If Reid decides to go with Foles, he would become the sixth rookie quarterback to start an NFL game this season. Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Robert Griffin III (Washington), Brandon Weeden (Cleveland) and Russell Wilson (Seattle) have been starters since the beginning of the season.

Of the seven quarterbacks drafted in the first seven rounds this year, Foles is the only one who has yet to appear in a regular-season game. Brock Osweiler (second round, Denver) has not attempted a pass but has taken two kneel-downs in relief of Peyton Manning.

Foles, 6-foot-6 and 243 pounds, has not played or taken a practice rep with the first-team offense since the preseason ended. He and Edwards operate the scout team offense during practice, running the plays of the Eagles' upcoming opponent against the first-team defense.

"It's cool to see those other (rookie quarterbacks) doing so well," Foles said last week. "I got to know them during the draft process and they're all good guys. It doesn't make me anxious to get out there, though. I always stay ready, always prepare, always keep my head in the game and make sure I understand the game plan. But I always have Mike's back."

The Eagles' offense isn't the only problem, however. The defense delivered an awful performance in its first game under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns. The Falcons scored three touchdowns and hit three field goals on their first six possessions. Matt Bosher's first punt came with 5 minutes, 35 seconds left in the game, drawing a sarcastic ovation from the few fans who hadn't already left Lincoln Financial Field.

"That was pretty bad, right from the get-go," Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "It's gut-check time for us."

Despite the Eagles' third straight loss, they aren't out of contention. At 3-4, they are tied with Dallas for second place in the NFC East behind the New York Giants (6-2), whom they have already beaten once this season. Green Bay and Minnesota lead the wild-card race with 5-3 records.

But the Eagles have to start playing better - and soon - to entertain any hopes of saving the season.

And Reid's job.

"I just tell my guys to keep fighting," Vick said. "Keep fighting and don't let it spiral out of control. But you can only say so much. You get tired of talking and it's more about your actions speaking louder than words. But it has to come from everybody. No one person can individually win a game."

Extra points: After the game, former Eagle and current Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel lashed out against Reid for not speaking to him Sunday.

"Can you believe that?" Samuel said in an interview televised by Comcast SportsNet. "He didn't speak to me. Like it's my fault. Like what did I do to you? I thought every coach was supposed to have a first-class mentality. I don't think that was first class."

Contact David Weinberg:

609-272-7186