Eagles Get Banged Up in First Game
Final Score: Packers 27; Eagles 21
Eagles best number: 103 (rushing yards by Michael Vick).
Eagles worst number: 24 (passing yards by Kevin Kolb before he got knocked out in the 2nd quarter).
Eagles best play: In the third quarter, Vick avoided some tackles and ran down the left sideline before being knocked out at the 2-yard line, a gain of 31.
Eagles worst play: Earlier in the third, Vick threw a pass to RB Eldra Buckley, who ran 1o yards before fumbling the ball at mid-field. Green Bay scored their next possession.
Breaking down the game
QB CONTROVERSY? — Kolb was plain bad before getting knocked out of the game. Vick, on the other hand, was not. Vick almost led the Eagle to a come-from-behind win. He went 16-for-24 with 175 yards passing and a TD. He also rushed for 103 yards on 11 attempts, his longest run being 31 yards to set up a LeSean McCoy score.
Before Kolb was knocked out, he went 5-for-10 with 24 yards passing. He was apparently nervous and had a terrible time locating his receivers. This is not the quarterback the Eagles intended to be the heir to Donovan McNabb’s throne.
In fact, Vick played more like a quarterback who can lead a team, which he has done in the past. In one game, Vick has already shown he is smarter, faster, and a better weapon than he was last year. Vick is very close, if not back to his original form before his two-year hiatus.
Overall, I won’t be surprised if Kolb gets the start next week against the Lions but if he falters in that start, Vick may be back out on the field to work his magic.
CONCUSSIONS –Both Stewart Bradley and Kolb had to leave the game with a concussion in the second quarter. Kolb rolled out the left on third down and was chased down by Packers LB Clay Matthews. Kolb had his head driven into the ground, injuring his jaw and scrambling his brain. Kolb was throwing on the side lines and re-entered. But he could not focus, allowing Vick to go in and out shine Kolb.
Bradley’s concussion was a little different. Bradley went in for a huge hit on one of the Packers’ ball carriers and instead drove his helmet into the thigh of LB Ernie Sims. Bradley appeared to be shaken up, staggered to his feet, and then fell right back down. It was a scary sight to watch. Two plays later, he was back on the field.
Why did both of these guys go back onto the field? They passed some stupid little test. Technically, by being concious and passing that stupid little test, they were cleared to go back in. Thankfully after a few plays each, Andy Reid woke up and pulled them for the game.
I can understand putting Kolb back in. He wasn’t clear that he had a concussion seeing as he was holding his jaw and told the medical staff on the side that is what was hurting. But when the leader of your defense, the anchor to your line backing corps, and arguably your best run stopper gets up for two seconds and falls back down like a tranquilized rhino, you take him out of the game and monitor that!
Brian Westbrook was right: the NFL sacrifices players for wins and it’s a bull shit thing to do.
OTHER INJURIES — The Eagles took two huge blows to their offense injury-wise. Pro Bowl FB Leonard Weaver is out for the season with a torn ACL. He was a big part to the Eagles passing game last year out of the back field and is also a great blocker. The hunt for a new full back has started.
On the offensive line, C Jamaal Jackson tore his triceps and is also going to be out for the remainder of the season. He was the anchor of the offensive line and a huge part in their shot gun offense. Mike McGlynn filled in for him for the remainder of the game, doing a solid job.
DEFENSE — The defense was pretty good in the first half, holding the Packers to a touch down and two field goals. They knocked Ryan Grant out of the game (scary to me for fantasy football reasons), put pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers the entire time, and picked him off twice.
But the run defense was absent, especially up the middle without the presence of Bradley. Grant and back-up Brandon Jackson rushed for a combined 108 yards on 16 carries. FB John Kuhn had two carries for 15 yards and touchdown, both runs up the middle.
NEXT WEEK — The Eagles play the Lions in Detroit. Expect Kolb to get the start and try and right himself with Andy Reid. Going up against a very weak Lions defense, Kolb will need to have a game similar to his start against the Chiefs last season to give the Eagles confidence in him. If he struggles and Vick has to come in and shine again, the Philly faithful will be calling for Vick as the starter.