The first question everyone asked after the Eagles 27-20 loss to the Packers Sunday, was who will be the starting quarterback. Well it’s pretty straightforward, unless physically unable to play, Kevin Kolb is the starter in Philadelphia.
Nothing pretty in Kolb’s first start behind center as the number one guy in town. He completed just five passes good for twenty four yards. A fantasy nightmare to say the least.
However as good as Vick looked and as poor as Kolb looked, Eagles fans need to stay the course here, remain patient. Both were products of how the Packers played each player, be it Kolb in the first half or Vick in the second half.
The Packers threw everything at Kolb early on, they pressured him and took away his number one option in Desean Jackson, hey Mike McGlynn had more receptions than Jackson at halftime. You could see an offensive line that struggled, not playing as a unit throughout the preseason, get beat by delayed blitzes up the middle and from linebackers.
Trust me, I am not justifying Kolb’s performance, but sitting next to three guys who used to play on this team it’s clear to me that the Eagles as a whole were plain awful in the first half. Injuries were also a major issue here, especially the loss of Jamal Jackson. Bottom line is that Kolb will need to take time as the starter to develop and become the player this team hoped he would be.
Enter Michael Vick, here is where it gets tricky. No player on the team had more controversy surrounding his arrival than Vick, and unfortunately that has transferred over to his play, or lack there of, on the field. Vick came in and moved the offense down the field, he threw for a touchdown, and was able to restore some confidence in a battered unit. But once again, the Packers game plan in the second half was a big reason why Vick was able to thrive.
They took the pressure off, sending the occasional linebacker, and basically played a prevent for the majority of the second half. Credit Vick for being able to recognize it and hit underneath balls, for him to take advantage of a light pass rush and get around the corner where he is so dangerous.
He threw some pretty nice passes, showed solid touch at times as we well. He also had the benefit of Green Bay not game planning for him in there as a starter, as a guy who’s feet are more dangerous than his arm. There were some plays though, like with Kolb early on, where he showed rust, or at the least a need for improvement. Ironically the two weren’t as bad or good as their play showed on Sunday. I believe it has to do more with how the Packers played them than anything else.
Should Kolb not have tried to force balls? Did he look flustered in the five balls he didn’t complete? Should Vick have tucked a ball in the corner near the end zone? Should he have gotten that fourth and one based on his ability to run? Yes! These guys are both in need of film study and some work before either can realistically lead a team to a record above 8-8.
So where do we go from here? Well because Kolb suffered a concussion, it’s mandatory he sit out until at least Friday, making him unlikely to play against Detroit. But you don’t have to read between the lines of Andy Reid in his post-game press conference or the one he gave Monday to get that Kolb is there guy.
Here’s why, it’s not nor has it been all off-season about winning now, it’s about the future. It’s about growing with Kolb and seeing how he develops. Aaron Rodgers was 6-10 in his first year taking over for a legend, Birds know it is a process. If it were about winning right now, then Donovan McNabb would have never been traded.