Category Archives: Kevin Kolb

Colts win prepares Birds for NFC rematch

The Eagles got their swagger back with the return of Jackson, who's 109 yards and touchdown sparked a huge win over Indy. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 26; Colts 24
Eagles best number: 12-0 – Andy Reid’s record after the bye week.
Eagles worst number: 125 – penalty yards.

Three stars
D. Jackson (PHI) – 7 catches, 109 yards, TD.
A. Samuel (PHI) – 2 Interceptions.
J. Tamme (IND) – 11 catches, 108 yards, TD.

Breaking down the game

THEY’RE BACK! — DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick made it known that they have returned to full form on last Sunday’s win. Jackson was as dynamic as usual, racking up 109 yards over seven catches and a touchdown. In Vick’s return, he went 17/29 for 218 yards and a touchdown.

The likes of Kevin Kolb and Brent Celek did not rejoice. Kolb sat the side lines as the back-up quarterback, a familiar and frustrating role he’s been a part of for the past few seasons. Celek didn’t record a catch in the game and was targeted very little as Vick favors his dynamic receivers over his tight end.

RATTLING MANNING — In order to beat Peyton Manning, you have to rattle him. Manning had a very poor game, especially compared to the MVP-like stats he’s produced in the first half of the season.

Manning was sacked three times and picked off twice by Asante Samuel. He was rushed in his passes multiple times and many of the first downs Indy picked up were due to penalties. Manning was forced to throw 51 times and only got one touchdown out of it.

___

Eagles vs. Redskins: MNF

PHI: 5-3, 2nd in NFC East
WAS: 4-4, 3rd in NFC East
Spread: Eagles by 3.
Where: Fed Ex Field (Landover, MD).
When: Monday, 8:30 on ESPN.
Last time met: Week 4 – Washington’s defense was too good for the Eagles, knocking Vick out of the game and for the next few weeks and keeping Kolb in check. Washington’s run game led them to a 17-12 win.
Last Week: The Eagles beat Indy, 26-24. Washington was on a bye.

Watching from the sidelines, McNabb was benched in favor of Grossman two weeks ago. He will get his second chance this Monday vs the Eagles. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

SECOND CHANCES — McNabb is going to be the player to watch in this one again. For starters, head coach Mike Shanahan made a big deal about McNabb’s start last time around, giving him the game ball for virtually not giving the game away.

McNabb was benched two weeks ago for the two-minute drill in favor of Rex Grossman. On Grossman’s first play to lead his team to glory, he was sacked and fumbled. Shanahan explained that McNabb was not in shape nor had good numbers in the clutch situation, a slap to the face of the former Eagle.

McNabb isn’t having a lucrative season either in Washington. He’s completed 57% of his passes for 1,971 yards and only seven touchdowns while being picked-off eight times. Another poor outing against the Birds and McNabb’s season could be in jeopardy to a permanent benching to Grossman.

Roose’s prediction (4-4): Vick gets his vengeance on the Skins in a conference blow-out, 31-13.

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A Look Into the Bye

Thank God it’s here. After Sunday’s heartless drubbing to the Tennessee Titans, 37-19, the Eagles head into this week’s bye with some questions to be answered.

For starters, Kevin Kolb’s performance did not convince me just yet that he should cough up the starting position despite Michael Vick expected to be near 100% by the following Sunday home against Indianapolis. And with DeSean Jackson expected to be back, the Eagles offense could go toe-to-toe with the Colts.

The Eagles have a big question to answer this bye week: Kolb (shown) or Vick? (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

 

VICK OR KOLB? — I think the answer should be very easy, at least for me. At the starter of the season, Kolb was named the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He lost his job to Vick when he suffered a concussion against the Packers in their week one 27-20 loss.

Vick started the next string of games before a rib injury forced him out of the starters role in week four against the Redskins. Kolb resumed his role as starter and performed very well before a miserable performance against the Titans.

But as I stated, Kolb was named the starting quarterback at the beginning of the season. He should continue that role heading into week nine against Indy.

For starters, he did nothing to merit losing the job in last week’s loss. Granted he didn’t play well but neither does a lot of starting quarterbacks in a team losing effort like the one Philly had.

Kolb has actually done very well so far this season, completing 97-of-153 (63.4%) of his passes for 1,035 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. Two of his picks came last week on errant throws, signs of a lack of focus in a game that was out of reach.

Other than the picks, Kolb has been very accurate downfield, hitting Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek for some long passes in the past few weeks. Kolb can and will get better as the season goes on.

A healthy DeSean Jackson is the type of boost Philly need as they head into the tough part of their schedule, starting with Indy. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

 

RETURN OF JACKSON — Another piece that will make Kolb much stronger in the Eagles return week nine is Jackson’s recovery from a sever concussion he sustained in week six against Atlanta.

Jackson said the hit “felt like a car accident,” and was knocked out of the game. He said he feels a lot better this week and is eyeing a week nine return.

The return of Jackson will give Kolb, or if the Eagles opt with Vick, their biggest play-maker back. Jackson has 19 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns. He also has one rushing touchdown.

Jackson’s return will also knock Jorrick Calvin from the punt returner’s role. Calvin made a key fumble in the Eagles loss to Tennessee last Sunday. Granted Andy Reid won’t want Jackson to be taking any unnecessary hits, Calvin may still get to hold onto the returners spot another week.

Birds Cough-Up Game

Titans WR Kenny Britt catches the third of his three touchdowns on Sunday's 37-19 win. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

Final Score: Eagles 19; Titans 37
Eagles best number: 0:00 – the end of the game.
Eagles worst number: 18 – the number Kenny Britt wore seeing. They saw the back of his jersey a lot on Sunday.
Eagles best play:
Eagles worst play: With the game still in reach as the Eagles trailed by eight, Jorrick Calvin fumbled a punt with little over three minutes left, giving the Titans the ball in field goal territory and letting them put the game away.

Three stars
K. Britt (TEN): 7 catches, 225 yards, 3 TD’s
K. Collins (TEN): 17-for-31, 276 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT, 90.3 rating.
C. Finnegan (TEN): 8 tackles, interception returned for TD.

Breaking down the game

MELTDOWN — The Eagles put fourth one of the most embarrassing fourth quarters in recent memory. Leading 16-7 with under five minutes left in the third, LeSean McCoy fumbled the ball on the 7-yard line to stall a would-be Eagles touchdown drive.

After that, the Titans marched downfield and kicked a field goal to make it 16-10. After a David Akers field goal to make it 19-10, the Titans scored 27 unanswered points in the fourth.

Eagles PR Jorrick Calvin fumbles away the Eagles' last hopes of mounting a come-back against the Titans. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

It all started with Kerry Collins hitting Britt for an 80-yard touchdown catch to make it 19-17. After a 3-and-out, the Titans took the lead with a field goal with 9:31 left.

Another 3-and-out for the Eagles and the Titans scored once again, a 16-yard touchdown pass to Britt to give the Titans the eight-point advantage with little over five minutes left.

After each team traded 3-and-outs and the Eagles were left with no time outs, the Titans punted. But Calvin bobbled and then fumbled the punt to give the Titans the ball on the Eagles 33.

But it got worse. The Titans converted on a should-be stop, kicked a field goal to make it a two-score game, and then Cortland Finnegan picked-off Kevin Kolb and returned it to the house for the last play of the game.

SICK OF SAMUEL — Looking at a 3rd-and-7 on the Eagles 30. With Philadelphia only trailing by eight and there still being a chance of the Eagles to force K Rod Bironas to make a long field goal attempt, all they needed was a stop.

They had shut down Titans running back Chris Johnson all game. The second leading rusher in the NFL was held to only 66 yards on 22 carries so a stop in that situation looked plausible.

Johnson took the hand-off, bounced out to the left and made Asante Samuel look stupid to pick up the first down. One-on-one, Johnson is hard to tackle. One-on-one with Samuel, though, everyone knew what the outcome would have been.

Lowering his head like the typical defensive back does today is what Samuel did. It’s hard to tackle anyone, especially with Johnson’s skill set, when you’re staring into the dirt and you don’t wrap your arms around the ball carrier.

Week in and week out we have to watch Samuel make horrible attempts at should-be tackles. He’ll get his token interception to allow people to forget about his inability to do the simple tasks asked of a football player.

I’m sick of watching it, Asante. Just sick. But at least you’re still better than that wasted of space Ellis Hobbs.

HEADING INTO THE BYE — The Eagles will be heading into the bye week this week. Instead of writing about it here, I will touch on a few things regarding the Kolb/Michael Vick situation and the possible return of DeSean Jackson.

It’s going to be a fun two weeks. Hopefully someone teaches Samuel how to tackle.

NFL Week 6: Eagles vs. Falcons

PHI: 3-2, t2nd in NFC East
ATL: 4-1, 1st in NFC South
Spread: Eagles by 2.5
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Sunday, 1:00 PM on FOX
Last time met: Dec. 6, 2009 – The Eagles destroyed Atlanta, 34-7. FB Leonard Weaver gained over 100 yards from scrimmage and scored a TD. Even though Donovan McNabb was the starter, Vick threw TD pass and ran for another in front of his former home crowd in Atlanta.
Last Week: The Eagles beat the Niners, 27-24. Atlanta rolled over Cleveland, 20-10.

Best case scenario: Kevin Kolb continues to play well, having another great day with over 250 yards in the air and a couple TDs to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek. Celek finally has the breakout game the Eagles are waiting for. LeSean McCoy has another 100+ yards from scrimmage.

Worst case scenario: Matt Ryan and Roddy White hook up for a pair of touchdowns while Michael Turner rushes for over 150 yards and two scores of his own. Kolb sputters against the Falcons defense, reassuring faith in Michael Vick to take the reigns.

Falcons WR Roddy White makes a catch last week in Cleveland. He's one of the best kept secrets in the NFL. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Opposing player to watch – WR Roddy White: He’s just a smart football player. White is one of the most dangerous players in the league that nobody talks about and unrightfully so. White has 37 castches for 463 yards and three TDs in five games so far this year. He has the ability to go off every game. If the Eagles secondary has a similar showing like last week, White could have a field day on the Eagles secondary.

Offenses: Kolb is riding a very good performance against San Francisco and will look to keep it up against a solid Falcons defense. As a whole, the Eagles are in the top 10 in most offensive categories but could be higher if they haven’t been swapping back and forth with Kolb and Vick due to injuries. Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Celek are all dangerous weapons but have all been inconsistent this season.

Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s matured greatly as a passer and that helps when you have a top-tier running back in Turner and wide receiver in White. Don’t discount TE Tony Gonzalez, who may be aging but is still considered a top-5 tight end. Jason Snelling has been a very good back-up running back and is a change of pace from the bruising Turner.

Advantage: Atlanta’s offense is clicking while Philly’s still isn’t. Advantage, Atlanta.

Defenses: The run defense for Philalphia had a much better showing last week against San Francisco and Frank Gore but that’s partly due to how bad the Niners offensive line is. Atlanta is very different. With two running backs who can exploit all the weaknesses in the front seven, the Eagles run defense could have problems especially without Broderick Bunkley, who injured his elbow and is out indefinitely. Asante Samuel will be back, a boost the secondary needed after Alex Smith exploited them last week. Rookie S Nate Allen leads the Birds with three picks and Juqua Parker leads with four sacks.

Atlanta has a top-10 defense right now. DE John Abraham lined up against Eagles T King Dunlap is scary. He leads their defense with four sacks and may rack up a few more. You can’t discount LB Curtis Lofton, who leads the team with 37 tackles and has also reached the quarterback twice. Atlanta’s 10 interceptions are tops in the NFL, led by S William Moore’s two with the rest spread around to eight other players.

Advantage: Both units have their strength’s and weaknesses. Push.

Injury Report
Eagles
: Out: B. Bunkley (elbow), J. Peters (knee). Questionable: R. Cooper (concussion), M. Vick (rib).
Falconss: Questionable: J. Abraham (back). Probable: B. Finneran (knee), C. Lofton (knee).

Roose’s Prediction (4-1): The Falcons offense will be too much for the Eagles defense as Atlanta wins in a high-scoring game, 34-30.

Birds Keep Niners Winless

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy runs against the 49ers on Sunday. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 27; Niners 24
Eagles best number: 138 – LeSean McCoy’s total yards from scrimmage despite playing with a broken rib.
Eagles worst number: 25% – The Eagles 3rd-down conversion efficiency.
Eagles best play: Kevin Kolb avoided the 49ers pass rush while rolling right and buying time to find TE Brent Celek for an 8-yard TD pass to tie the game up in the first quarter.
Eagles worst play: At the end of the first half, Kolb was sacked by Niners LB Manny Lawson and lost the ball. It was recovered by the Niners but they failed on a last-second field goal before the half’s end.

Three stars
L. McCoy (PHI): 18 carries, 92 yards (5.1 YPC), TD. 5 catches, 47 yards… with a broken rib.
K. Kolb (PHI): 21/31, 253 yards, TD.
M. Crabtree (SF): 9 catches, 105 yards, TD.

Breaking down the game

Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb rolls out against the Niners. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

KOLB LOOKED STRONG — If Kevin Kolb really wants to be the future of the Eagles franchise, he will need to have more games that resembled Sunday night. Kolb completed 68% of his passes for 253 yards and a touchdown pass to TE Brent Celek.

The opening drive was probably Kolb’s best. Following a quick score by San Francisco, Kolb began the drive. His second pass was a 32-yard strike to Celek, who was wide open thanks to Kolb buying him time with his legs. Kolb went on to complete all six of his passes for 64 yards and capped it off with a touchdown to Celek to finish the 79-yard drive.

There were still mistakes made by Kolb but his efficient passing, composure in the pocket, and even some athletic plays to buy himself and his receivers time were all positives and that will be the key to his maturation as an NFL quarterback.

SHADY TOUGH — Shady McCoy is one tough SOB. I don’t care if he’s a professional. He had himself one helluva game despite playing on a broken rib. That is mental toughness. 138 yards from scrimmage which was highlighted by a 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made it a 17-7 game.

POOR SECONDARY — The defense had another mental breakdown, this time in the secondary. Despite picking off Alex Smith twice, he burned a secondary missing their best player, Asante Samuel. Smith lit up the third level for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

Crabtree also had a great game, catching nine balls for 105 yards a touchdown. Also Vernon Davis caught five balls for 105 yards and a touchdown.

STOPPING THE RUN — The run defense was much better this time around, holding Frank Gore to only 52 yards on 18 carries, less than three yards a carry. The only other carry by a Niner running back was ex-Eagle Brian Westbrook, who only had one carry for six yards. It was a much better outing than last week when they were run over by a poor Washington running attack.

Eagles Mistakes Costly

Final Score: Eagles 12; Redskins 17
Eagles best number: 124 (yards passing they held Redskins QB Donovan McNabb to).
Eagles worst number: 169 (yards rushing Washington had).
Eagles best play: S Nate Allen picked-off McNabb inside the 5-yard line.
Eagles worst play: McNabb connected with TE Chris Cooley, who was wide open, for a 31-yard touchdown to make it a 14-0 game.

Three stars
L. McCoy (PHI): 16 carries, 64 yards rushing. 12 catches, 110 yards receiving.
L. Fletcher (WAS): 10 tackles, two assists.
E. Sims (PHI): 5 tackles, assist, sack.

Breaking down the game

Eagles QB Michael Vick is in pain after being crunched by two Redskins defenders down at the goaline. The ply was ruled dead due to holding and Vick left the game with a rbi injury. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

INJURIES — The Eagles offense suffered a huge blow with rib injuries to QB Michael Vick and RB LeSean McCoy. Vick suffered an injury to his rib cartilage, something that will be week-to-week and bother the athletic quarterback for the remainder of the season.

Vick scrambled for 17 yards on the play, taking the ball down to the goal line. But Vick was sandwiched in between two Redskins. Making the play even worse, Jason Peters got called for a hold, negating the huge gainer as Vick was hurt for nothing.

McCoy suffered a broken rib in the fourth quarter of the Eagles loss to Washington. His status is uncertain. It’s a huge blow to their already lacking running game. McCoy is Kolb’s favorite target and is a very important part in their run and passing game.

BAD PENALTIES — Penalties killed the Eagles the entire game against Washington. On the defensive side of the ball, they prolonged drives for the Redskins and holding calls by an offensive line in shambles halted drives their own completely. Overall, the Birds racked-up 80 yards on eight penalties.

Ernie Sims got hit for a roughing the passer on McNabb early in the game (though replays showed it was a weak call) which prolonged a drive. McNabb was picked-off later in the drive.

Max-Jean Gilles, Jason Peters (twice), and Todd Herremans all got called for holding, a coaches ultimate pet peeve and pure example of a lineman getting beat.

JACKSON’S DISAPPEARING ACT — It’s been made very clear that Kevin Kolb and DeSean Jackson are not on the same page. It’s not about being bad teammates or favoritism. It solely relies on Kolb’s lack of athletic ability and the offensive line’s inability to allow Jackson or Jeremy Maclin to get open.

The reason Jackson and Maclin exploded the past couple weeks was because Vick has the ability to avoid the pass rush, extend plays, and let the two speed demons wear down the secondary to get open for big gainers.

Kolb can’t do that. When the line breaks down, Kolb is put on his back or is forced to make a bad throw or forced to dump it off to McCoy, who made 12 catches before getting hurt Sunday. Even last year with McNabb’s athletic ability to avoid the rush and let Jackson and Maclin get open, it shows that the lack of time in the pocket is the reason Jackson has disappeared again and will continue to disappear in the upcoming weeks Vick is not out there.

Redskins QB Donovan McNabb celebrates after throwing a 31-yard touchdown to TE Chris Cooley in the first quarter Sunday. McNabb beat his former team 17-12. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

MCNABB A NON-FACTOR — McNabb started out with decimating the Eagles defense. But it was to the help of his running game, which has been dead all season. Roland Torrain and Clinton Portis combined for 125 yards on the ground as Washington racked up 169 rushing yards.

McNabb disappeared after his 31-yard touchdown strike to Cooley in the second. He finished the game 8-for-19 with 125 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. His only other good pass came when WR Anthony Armstrong burned the secondary for a rolling 59-yard catch.

But the most damage McNabb did was after the game when he announced that, “everyone makes mistakes in their lives and (the Eagles) made one last year.” McNabb said this after the game when Mike Shannahan undeservedly gave McNabb the game ball.

Mr. Shannahan, McNabb did nothing to warrant the game ball. I would have cut the ball in half and give it to Torrain and Portis. McNabb’s 125 yards and 42% completion percentage was awful. Unless you’re just satisfied he didn’t puke on the field, McNabb was not your star.

Vick the Starter

Andy Reid feels that the Eagles could win this year and he’s going with the guy who may be the answer. No not Kevin Kolb but Michael Vick. Reid announced today that Vick will be the starter this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Why Reid made the switch? Who knows. But he will give the reason at 6:30 ET on CSN.

This is shocking news indeed. Donovan McNabb was traded away over the summer for Kolb to be the starter, not Vick. But with Kolb’s concussion still on Reid’s mind (probably as an excuse), Vick will get the opportunity to really add to his argument to be the number one guy, not just with the Eagles, but to anyone after this season.

Vick threw for 175 yards and one touchdown and ran for 103 yards during a 27-20 loss to Green Bay. He then shined the following week, throwing for 284 passing yards and two TDs in a 35-32 victory at Detroit.

It’s going to hurt Kolb’s development by keeping him on the back burner. But then again, it could help the Eagles if they truly think this year could be a winning year.

Let the controversy continue.

Eagles Get Banged Up in First Game

Eagles QB Michael Vick scrambles during their 27-20 loss to the Packers. Vick rushed for 103 yards on 11 carries. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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.

Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (preseason)

Records: Eagles (1-1); Chiefs (0-2)
Where: Arrowhead Stadium (K.C.)
When: Friday; 8:00.
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

What to Expect: This will likely be the starters final shot at getting into the end zone in the preseason as Andy Reid doesn’t have them play in the final preseason game. Kevin Kolb and the rest of the Eagles offense will see three quarters of play and you should expect a heavy rotation throughout the first three quarters on defense.

Players to Watch

Kevin Kolb – He hasn’t reached the end zone yet, something fans shouldn’t worry about but should keep on their minds. It’s shocking because of the weapons he has to throw to. These three quarters will be his final chance to quell some of the worries fans have heading into the season. Hopefully, he shuts up the McNabb faithful.

Brandon Graham/Juqua Parker – This will be Graham’s first game as the listed starter at left end over Juqua Parker. If he shines, he will get the lion’s share of reps until he slips up. This doesn’t mean Parker will fall under the radar. Parker is a very fast pass rusher who has shown Graham his techniques of knocking the blocker off balance to shoot around him. Add them with Trent Cole, Broderick Bunkley, and Mike Patterson and expect the Eagles to rack up a ton of sacks this year. QB’s beware!

Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals (preseason)

Records: Eagles (1-0); Bengals (1-1)
Where: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincy)
When: Friday; 8:00; FOX
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

What to Expect: Starters will be getting much more playing time this time around. If I’m not mistaken, starters will play at least the first quarter and some of the second. This is when you’ll get to see Kevin Kolb try to gel with his new starting team mates and hopefully develop a rapport that will carry over into the regular season… Heeeee’s Back! Terrell Owens isn’t thankfully coming back to Philly because he wouldn’t make it out alive but we will get to see him on TV playing against one of his uglier divorces. Owens and Chad Ochocinco, together on one team, is going to be a huge circus act and I can’t wait until the big top collapses, leaving Carson Palmer wondering what the hell to do with two spoiled cry babies…

Players to Watch

Kevin Kolb – He’s the man in Philly now. Like I said in the previous section, he is going to try and develop some kind of relationship with his receivers in an actual game-day scenario. It would be nice to see him get more playing time for a change and really give us a taste of what he can do this year.

LeSean McCoy – It’s going to be nice to Shady get a fair share of carries this time around and attempt to get on a roll. Shady is the number one man now in Philly without Brian Westbrook. He will also hopefully have something Westbrook hasn’t had in most of his career, a reliable number two to keep him healthy in Mike Bell. McCoy is like a clone of Westbrook in that he is small in size but very speedy. He has great hands and can get lost behind the line man. Once he pops out into sight, it can be too late to get into position to make a tackle on him.

Riley Cooper – Cooper had himself a nice little showing in the second quarter last week. He made some nice catches and showed that he should get some touches in the regular season. He’s battling Hank Baskett for the fourth WR spot and right now he has an early lead.

Michael Vick – Vick looked pretty sharp last week. It appeared he was forcing himself into more of a passers role by staying in the pocket. His discomfort showed as he fumbled a couple snaps, losing the ball once, and throwing an interception. Vick did look good on the other plays and even showed off some of the vintage speed on his rushing touch down. Look for Vick to continue to work on being a true quarterback and continue to get better and show flashes of his old brilliance. Maybe this time around he can be a weapon on the field.