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Monday, September 21, 2009

Eagles Thumped; Kolb Decent

I don’t consider myself an expert at finding information on the internet, but I certainly think I’m more than proficient at it. Yet, it took reading a recap of Ashley Fox’s in-game blog in the Inquirer to find Kevin Kolb’s first half statistics.

He was 14 of 22 in passing attempts for 196 yards in the first half when the game was still undecided. This was the guy’s first start in the NFL against a team most expect to make the playoffs. Ok, he didn’t have any touchdowns, and threw one critical interception early in the second half when the game’s outcome was still in doubt. Yet, I’ve already had the “knowledgeable” Philadelphia Eagles fans ask me what game I was watching because I’m not going on and on about how Kolb “sucks.”

Why isn’t Kolb getting more attention for his first half performance? (By the way, he ended up throwing for 391 yards and 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions, so I’m not ignoring the second half. I just think it was extended garbage time.) Without a doubt the Eagles defense and special teams lost this game. Kolb had to play in catch-up mode, which is the last thing any team wants with a quarterback in his first start.

But the Eagles lost, the general perception before the game was that Kolb stinks, so that’s what a lot of “fans” are still spouting.

Kolb had a solid first start. He threw some balls behind guys, but Donovan McNabb is still doing that 10 years later. Like it or not, this team stinks, and I’d still be more interested in seeing what Kolb’s all about than a possible playoff run with McNabb. I’ve seen how that movie ends, and it’s never pretty.

This game got out of hand mostly because of the defense and special teams. The game was tied with 2:42 left in the first half after an Eagles field goal. The defense then gave up a touchdown with 50 seconds left.

Kolb still managed to cut the effect of that in half with a field-goal drive to end the half.

A fumble on the opening second half kickoff by the Eagles led to another New Orleans touchdown. A Kolb interception on the next drive lead to another touchdown for the Saints, and everything after that was fairly meaningless.

I’m a little concerned that New Orleans adjusted to Kolb in the second half, but it’s hard to tell because the game was out of hand early in the half.

Of course, all of the usual complaints about Andy Reid are still relevant. Twenty-two pass attempts in the first half with a quarterback starting for the first time is just stupid. I’ve heard various totals for the number of “Wildcat” plays between 9 and 12, and it seemed like a hell of a lot more. That just doesn’t make much sense to me.

The quarterback position always sparks the most conversation, but the defense might be a bigger problem. It’s tough to say that a week after they pretty much shutdown Carolina, and New Orleans is one of the best offenses in the league, but giving up 48 points is giving up 48 points.

I’m not saying Kolb should be put on the bus to Canton, but the Super Bowl window is CLOSED with McNabb. Let’s see what he’s got, because the reality that it’s time to finally rebuild may not be far off. (I think it’s actually here, but I don’t want to see Eagles fans lining up on the Walt Whitman Bridge.)

Monday night pick. I can’t get any worse than winless, so I’ll take the Colts -3.5. Jump on Miami!

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