It was one preseason game and only one quarter of play for each quarterback, but Nick Foles had a stronger 2012 debut than Mike Kafka.
Kafka was facing the Steelers' second team defense and Foles their third stringers, so the compare the two reserve quarterbacks may not be an entirely fair enterprise. But, again, Foles looked stronger than Kafka, who could have a tenuous grip on the backup job to Michael Vick.
"Everything's open," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, repeating a mantra he's said many times before. "I keep it wide open at all positions. Whoever's playing the best is going to play. Keep it nice and simple that way."
Kafka completed 5 of 9 passes for 31 yards in a little less than a quarter of play. He tossed one dreadful interception when a pass rusher forced him to throw right into the arms of Steelers defensive end Al Woods, who ran 53 yards the other way.
"I've got to look at the tape and we'll see what we can do there for him," Reid said. "See where the mistakes were."
Kafka, entering his third season, opened training camp as the No. 2 quarterback. He may get bumped up briefly to the top spot after Michael Vick suffered a thumb contusion in the second quarter. Vick underwent an X-ray on the thumb but it came back negative, the Eagles said. Reid said that Vick could hold a football by the end of the game and the quarterback said he would be back by Saturday.
If not, Kafka could be running with the first team when the Eagles resume camp at Lehigh.
Eagles fans already took to Twitter to suggest that Foles supplant Kafka. The rookie out of Arizona had a fine debut. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 144 yard and threw two touchdown passes -- a 70-yarder to Damaris Johnson and a 44-yarder to Mardy Gilyard.
"I thought he did a pretty good job," Reid said. "The first couple of throws he got them out a little bit slow. He was a little bit hesitant. And then he picked it up and just went from there."
On the touchdown pass to Johnson, Foles bought time and found the receiver alone downfield.
"Keeping his eyes down the field on the one to Damaris -- that was a big-time play there," Reid said. "He got flushed to right and maintained his eyes downfield. That's something you're always trying to teach quarterbacks to do. Looked like it was very natural to him."
Trent Edwards, who took over for Foles in the fourth quarter, led the Eagles to their 24-23 comeback victory. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 106 yards and a score. Edwards, though, could be released soon with practice and game repetitions shrinking with each day.