NCAA Week Eleven: Penn State vs. Ohio State

The running game has to wear down the Buckeye defense. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

PSU: 2010 record – 6-3
OSU: 2010 record – 8-1
Spread: Ohio State by 18
Where: Ohio Stadium
When: Saturday, 3:30 PM on ABC/ESPN
Last time met: Nov. 7, 2009 – Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown as the Buckeyes rolled 24-7. Graham Zug was the lone bright spot for the Nittany Lions grabbing seven catches for 96 yards in the loss.

Opposing player to watch – QB Terrelle Pryor: Pryor  has been the big man on campus for the Buckeyes for the last three years. He is always a threat to run and Penn State will always have to keep an eye on his running ability. He is not quite as effective if he is forced to stay in the pocket and throw. He has a decent arm and can still hurt any team. Despite being 8-for-17 in last year’s contest against the Nittany Lions, he still tossed a pair of touchdowns and led the Buckeyes to an easy win. Pryor’s pure athleticism is the one thing that makes him so dangerous. He is second on the team in rushing with 483 yards while Daniel Herron leads the team.

Offenses: The Nittany Lion offense is really clicking under Matt McGloin. McGloin will be under center in Columbus and gives Penn State the best to win right now. Robert Bolden just couldn’t move the football against Northwestern and was the reason that he was pulled. Paired with the booming running game, McGloin and the Nittany Lions stand a good chance to pull off the upset. Now they won’t be able to get behind like they did against Minnesota and Northwestern and still expect to win the game. Derek Moye is one player that I’ve been very impressed with this season. He seems to find a way to get in the end zone almost every week. He has been a safety blanket for both McGloin and Bolden. The Nittany Lions’ solid receiving core is one reason they have six wins on the season.

As Pryor goes so goes the Buckeye offense. When Pryor can buy time and create plays with his legs, Ohio State is very successful. The Buckeyes’ running game is very good. They rank third in the Big Ten averaging 211.8 yards-per-game and 5.0 yards-per-carry. Daniel Herron has 634 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Ohio State also boasts two wide receivers with over 600 yards receiving this season. Pryor has very good target including Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey. They have combined for 13 touchdowns. Pryor has plenty of offensive weapons and can carve up the Penn State defense if they are not on top of their game.

Advantage: As much as it pains me, the advantage has to go to Ohio State. Pryor is an experienced signal caller and led the Buckeyes to great seasons throughout the past three years.

Defenses: The Nittany Lions played excellent defense in the second half against Northwestern last week. They didn’t allow a single point in the second half and were the main reason that McGloin had a chance to bring back Penn State back. The Nittany Lions as other teams have, have had trouble with quarterbacks with running ability. They struggled with both Denard Robinson and Dan Persa and allowed huge chunks of yardage on the ground. Penn State can’t fall into the same pattern against Pryor and the Buckeyes. We all know Pryor loves to pull the ball down and take off into the open field. He doesn’t have the greatest arm in the world so his running ability really makes him the dangerous playmaker that he is. The pass rush will have to be strong and put pressure on Pryor. They also will have to have a quarterback spy on him at all times.

The Ohio State secondary is very strong despite the loss of defensive back Tyler Moeller for the season. They lead the Big Ten with 15 interceptions, so they clearly thrive on takeaways. The Buckeyes will most likely be looking to put pressure on McGloin early in the ballgame. This will be McGloin’s first career start on the road and the Buckeyes will be looking to take away his confidence. They are also fourth in the Big Ten with 16 sacks on the season. Penn State’s offensive line is playing better and will have to be on their game to protect McGloin. Senior captain and leading tackler Ross Homan should be back this week from his foot injury. Ohio State’s front-seven is certainly one of their many strengths and Homan will help to cause problems for the Penn State offense.

Advantage: Penn State has the slight edge due to its recent play. They need to get a few takeaways if they want to upend the Wolverines.

Injury Report:
Penn State: OT Lou Eliades (Torn ACL) *Out for the season, TE Garry Gilliam (torn ACL) *Out for the season
Ohio State: DB Tyler Moeller (torn pectoral) *Out for the season, DB Christian Bryant (foot infection) *Out for the season, LB Dorian Bell (concussion) *Expected to play, LB Ross Homan (foot) *Expected to play

Prediction: Penn State is playing well right now. I think they will take the Buckeyes to the brink of defeat. However I think Ohio State is way too good to lose this one. Buckeyes prevail in a close one 24-20.

Advertisements

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.

Sixers Fall In Oklahoma City

Rookie Evan Turner has been impressive throughout the young season. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Last night’s game was a big test for the Philadelphia 76ers. They faced one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Sixers fell 109-103 in a game where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 62 points.

The Sixers were outscored in the first three quarters and were playing from behind the whole game.

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 17 points, 11 assists, and 2 rebounds. Elton Brand added 17 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

The Sixers couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch in the fourth quarter. This game can be a stepping stone as they played some solid basketball against one of the NBA’s premiere teams.

An encouraging sign is the play of rookie first round pick Evan Turner. Turner had 15 points and 8 rebounds against the Thunder.

Andre Iguodala did not play last night but is likely to play on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.

**Louis Williams left the game with a left shoulder contusion and did not return.

Paterno Wins No. 400

JoePa is a true immortal. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

After falling into a 21-0 hole late in the first half, the quest for Joe Paterno’s 400th win wasn’t looking good.

The Penn State Nittany Lions came out flat at home against the Northwestern Wildcats at home and fell behind early.

Wildcats quarterback Dan Persa led Northwestern down the field on an opening 74-yard touchdown drive to put his team up 7-0 before anyone could blink.

Robert Bolden struggled for the Nittany Lions including coughing up a fumble which was recovered by Northwestern. On the next possession, Bolden was replaced by sophomore Matt McGloin.

Before Penn State could even muster any offense, Northwestern had a 21-0 lead off another Persa rushing touchdown and a nine-yard touchdown pass from Persa to Drake Dunsmore.

Dunsmore’s catch was one-handed in the back of end zone and is definitely one of the most incredible plays of the year so far.

Nearing halftime, McGloin and the Nittany Lions had to put some points on the board if they wanted to stay in the ballgame.

McGloin was able to get the Nittany Lions into the red zone before he hit Brett Brackett in the back of the end zone to make it 21-7 at halftime.

On their opening possession of the second half, Penn State broke out the running game. Evan Royster and Silas Redd combined for three gains over 10 yards on the drive.

The drive ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to offensive tackle Nate Cadogan who was playing tight end in the goal line formation.

Suddenly the Nittany Lions had all the momentum and were only down 21-14 with very much of the game still to be played.

McGloin engineered a beautiful 91-yard drive which featured 20-yard passes to fullback Joe Suhey and wide receiver Graham Zug. It was completed with McGloin finding Brett Brackett in the back of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-7 entering halftime.

Penn State came out in the second half featuring its talented running game. On their first possession, Evan Royster and Silas Redd combined for three gains of ten-plus yards.

The drive ended with a touchdown pass to offensive tackle Nate Cadogan who was playing tight end in the goal line formation.

Suddenly Penn State was only down 21-14 and had all the momentum.

The Nittany Lion held Northwestern to a three-and-out and McGloin hit Derek Moye for a 36-yard touchdown on their next drive to tie the game with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.

Penn State’s defense was incredibly strong in the second half. They forced Northwestern to another three-and-out and got the ball back late in the third quarter.

Silas Redd capped off another nice drive with a nice touchdown run where he deked out a Wildcat defender to get into the end zone.

The Nittany Lions came all the way back from being down 21-0 nothing to scoring 28 unanswered points to take a 28-21 lead.

Penn State kept the momentum going with a 13-yard touchdown from McGloin to Royster to put the game out of reach.

The Nittany Lions defeated Northwestern 35-21 to win their third straight game and climb back into the Big Ten conference race.

The real test will come next week when McGloin and the Nittany Lions travel to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Paterno has finally achieved his 400th college football victory. It is likely the only time such a feat will be achieved.

When asked what he kept him coaching throughout his 60 years of coaching, he said “the money.”

NFL Week 9: Eagles vs. Colts

PHI: 4-3, 2nd in NFC East
IND: 5-2, 1st in AFC South
Spread: Eagles by 3
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Sunday, 4:15 PM on CBS
Last time met: Nov. 26, 2006 – Joseph Addai gained over 200 yards from scrimage as the Colts rolled over the Eagles 45-21. Jeff Garcia was under center for the Eagles a week after Donovan Mcnabb went down with a torn ACL.
Last Week: The Eagles were on a bye. The Colts steam rolled the Texans, 30-17.

Best case scenario: Peyton Manning does not dismantle the secondary completely and they Birds offense stays on the Colts’ heals to maybe steal a game with a winning field goal.

Worst case scenario: Manning absolutely rips apart the Birds very weak secondary, throwing for four touch downs and not needing to run the ball too often. Michael Vick can’t do a single thing against the Colts defense, surrendering the ball back to Kevin Kolb.

Colts QB Peyton Manning looks to pass against Houston last Monday. Manning has arguably been the first half MVP in the NFL and is on the verge of another MVP season. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Opposing player to watch – QB Peyton Manning: People should watch him because he will do work. Like watching Roy Halladay pitch or Kobe Bryant run the floor, watching Peyton Manning run an offense is a thing of beauty. Manning has a passer rating of 101.4 with 2,184 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s only thrown two picks all season.

 

Offenses: The Eagles look to be rolling with Vick as he’s fully healthy. Speaking of returns, DeSean Jackson cleared his concussion tests and will be back Sunday as well. Jeremy Maclin is due for another good game and with Jackson returning, he could give both himself and Jackson some time to get around and make plays. LeSean McCoy is a good running threat every week.

Manning is the best quarterback in the NFL and he’s currently playing like it. Reggie Wayne leads the team with 641 yards and has three touchdowns but Austin Collie has been Manning’s favorite end zone target with six scores. With no Addai, former Michigan stat and Heisman candidate Mike Hart is running the ball. Indy’s run game is weak and with the way the Birds run defense has been playing, running won’t be an option.

Advantage: Colts have Peyton Manning. That’s a given advantage.

Defenses: The Eagles certainly have the advantage with a strong run-stopping game but the Colts are so loaded in the passing game, that’s a non-factor. The Eagles secondary has been shredded the past few weeks and could have a big problem against Indy.

Indy’s defense is nothing special and the Eagles could take advantage of that. Though they are a pass-heavy offense, the balance the Birds have could keep Indy on their heals. This game is lined up for a shoot out because both offenses can exploit the glaring weaknesses.

Advantage: Eagles.

Injury Report
Eagles
: Q: E. Hobbs (hip). P: M. Vick (ribs), D. Jackson (concussion), B. Bunkley (elbow), B. Graham (ankle).
Colts: Q: J. Addai (neck), A. Collie (hand), A. Gonzalez (knee), M. Hart (ankle), B. Sanders (biceps), R. Mathis (knee), D. Freeny.

Roose’s Prediction (4-3): The Colts have the better offense and will win in a shootout, 35-31.

Sixers Finally In The Win Column

This is the Elton Brand we've been looking for. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

It seemed like it would never happen.

But the Philadelphia 76ers have won their first game of the season, defeating the Indiana Pacers 101-75 last night.

Elton Brand led the Sixers with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Brand also added two blocks and a steal.

The bench was another big reason the Sixers were victorious. They combined for 41 points and really gave the team a huge boost.

Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala each added 11 points.

Pacers superstar forward Danny Granger was shut down by the Sixers stifling defense. Granger was 2-for-14 with only seven points on the night.

Josh McRoberts also added 10 points and four rebounds for the Pacers in the loss.

The Sixers led throughout the whole game and never looked back.

The Sixers will face the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

 

** Sixers head coach Doug Collins missed the entire second half as he is still suffering from vertigo after a fall at a Phoenix coffee shop in May.

McGloin Shines In Win

There's a new all-time leading rusher in Happy Valley. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Without Robert Bolden, everyone was unsure how Penn State would perform.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Matt McGloin silenced all doubters.

McGloin passed for 250 yards and a touchdown in a 41-31 victory over Big Ten foe Michigan.

This was a game that the Nittany Lions had to win to stay in the race for bowl eligibility.

The defense came out very strong forcing Denard Robinson and the Wolverines to a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession.

In his first drive as the starter, McGloin certainly didn’t look to have any butterflies. He led the Nittany Lions down the field on a 71-yard touchdown drive, which resulted in an Evan Royster 4-yard touchdown run.

It was important for McGloin to come out and have a strong first drive to set the tempo for Penn State.

But then Robinson showed why he is one of the most dangerous players in the country. He led the Wolverines down the field and rushed for a 32-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

Penn State couldn’t let Michigan gain the momentum and get a defensive stop.

Facing a 2nd-and-21 after Justin Brown lost his footing in the backfield, Michigan was licking its chops at possibly getting the ball back with good field position.

McGloin didn’t fold under pressure and hit Derek Moye for 27 yards on a pass that seemed to float in the air for days. The conversion kept the drive alive and gave the Nittany Lions a certain swagger.

On this drive, Royster became the all-time leading rusher in Penn State history. He passed Curt Warner to top the list.

Royster capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run off the left side to put the Nittany Lions ahead 14-7.

Penn State turned it on late in the second half and scored two touchdowns to take a 28-10 lead.

One came on a one-yard McGloin quarterback sneak and the other came on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Graham Zug to take the commanding lead into halftime.

The Nittany Lions added a field goal from Colin Wagner early in the third quarter to take a 31-10 lead over the Wolverines.

But the Wolverines would not go down without a fight.

Robinson threw for a touchdown and rushed for a pair of touchdowns to cut the lead to 38-31 with 9:34 remaining in the game.

Penn State answered with a 42-yard field goal from Wagner that made it 41-31 with just over five minutes left.

The defense then forced Robinson to turn the ball over on downs and the Nittany Lions proceeded to run out the clock.

This was a huge win for Penn State and was a win over a sold opponent. They will now prepare for Northwestern this upcoming Saturday.

It’s still unclear whether McGloin or Bolden will get the nod at quarterback. McGloin certainly raised his stock with his performances and should be the starter for the rest of the season.

NCAA Week Nine: Michigan vs. Penn State

The offensive attack could be a long way this week. (Paul Battaglia/AP)

PSU: 2010 record – 4-3
MICH: 2010 record – 5-2
Spread: Michigan by 3
Where: Beaver Stadium
When: Saturday, 8:00 PM on ESPN
Last time met: Oct. 24, 2009 – Darryl Clark threw four touchdown passes, three of which went to Graham Zug. Evan Royster added 100 rushing yards in a 35-10 win on the road. 156.5

Opposing player to watch – QB Dernard Robinson: Michigan was on a bye last week which allowed Robinson to get healthy. Robinson is one of the most electrifying players in college football and can break off a big run at any moment. He is averaging 156.5 yards rushing per game this season. Robinson looks to run before he looks to pass and his numbers clearly reflect that. He has also been successful through the air, passing for 1,319 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. The Nittany Lion defense will have to spy on Robinson on every play to try and keep him in the pocket.

Offenses: The Nittany Lion offense finally decided to show up this week against Minnesota. Matt McGloin filled in for the injured Robert Bolden, who is still sidelined with concussion-like symptoms. McGloin tossed a pair of touchdowns in just over two-and-a-half quarters of work. McGloin looks to be the starter this week against Michigan. The passing attack looked very solid with McGloin under center last week. The Nittany Lion receiving core had 206 yards receiving and made it very easy for McGloin to be successful. The running game was also very strong, compiling 147 rushing yards. Surprisingly, Silas Redd led Penn State with 71 yards rushing while Evan Royster only had 62. Redd is has become a bigger part of the Nittany Lion rushing attack in recent weeks. They really have a three-headed monster at running back with Royster, Redd, and Stephon Green. Still, the key to success against the Wolverines will be the play of McGloin. He looked good last week, but let’s not forget that it was against a bad Minnesota defense. He battled for the starting job all spring, so he has plenty of experience with the first team offense. Next to Iowa, Michigan is the best team that the Nittany Lions have faced this season. McGloin will need time in the pocket to have a good game and the offensive line will have to be stellar in dealing with the pass rush.

Everybody knows that Denard Robinson is one of the most dangerous players in college football. However the Wolverines have four very good wide receivers that can help him if he chooses not to run. Roy Roundtree, Junior Hemingway, Darryl Stonum, and Martavious Odoms all have at 15 catches and 200 yards receiving. Roundtree leads the way with 395 yards on 33 catches and has caught two touchdowns. Hemingway and Stonum also have two touchdowns on the season. Michigan’s ground consists of Robinson who has 170 carries this season. The next closest is Vincent Smith with 70 carries for 325 yards. Robinson is certainly the prime ball-carrier for the Wolverines. He leads the Big Ten in rushing with 1,096 yards. However, Robinson is a mere eighth in passing with only 1,319 yards. It’s clear that he is not nearly as effective when he is in the pocket. That will be something that the Penn State defense will have to key on.

Advantage: With the big-play capability of Denard Robinson, the Wolverines have the offensive advantage. They also have a good receiving core, but so do the Nittany Lions. The impact of Robinson alone gives a significant advantage to Michigan in this game.

Defenses: The Nittany Lions’ defense play was very solid last week against Minnesota. Adam Weber is certainly no slouch at quarterback. Last Saturday, Weber became only the fifth passer in Big Ten history to pass for 10,000 yards. Penn State was able to force Weber to throw an interception. Turnovers are something that could be harder to come by nowadays with the loss of cornerback Nick Sukay. The Nittany Lions stepped up and played better against a dreadful Minnesota team. The main concern is still the secondary. They allowed three touchdown receptions to Da’Jon McKnights of the Golden Gophers. That type of play cannot happen if Penn State expects to have a chance against a team like the Wolverines. They will have to get pressure on Denard Robinson and force him to stay in the pocket. That will be one of the keys to defeating Michigan on Saturday. Robinson’s injury could force him to not play quite as much, but we will have to wait and see. Michigan’s backup Tate Forcier is plenty capable of carrying the offense. However he isn’t nearly as mobile as Robinson.

The Wolverine secondary is one of its weaker points. They have allowed 296.3 yards per-game throughout the air on the season. Michigan is sixth in the Big Ten in interceptions with seven this season. They don’t get many takeaways, so that is certainly an area that Penn State can try to exploit. The Wolverines also don’t get very much pressure to the quarterback. They only have 10 sacks this season and Penn State does have a decent offensive line. Defensive nose tackle Mike Martin is one of the bright spots on a bad defense. He commands a constant double time and can really fill up the hole. This could poise significant problems for the Nittany Lion rushing attack which is a strong suit. His play could be the only chance the Wolverines have at stopping the Penn State ground game.

Advantage: Penn State has the slight edge due to its recent play. They need to get a few takeaways if they want to upend the Wolverines.

Injury Report:
Penn State: OT Lou Eliades (Torn ACL) *Out for the season, LB Gerald Hodges (Leg injury) *Out for at least two more weeks, TE Garry Gilliam (torn ACL) *Out for the season
Illinois: S Supo Sanni (ruptured Achilles tendon) *Out for the season

Prediction: McGloin impresses once again and throws for 250 yards with three touchdowns. Derek Moye has two touchdowns against a weak Michigan secondary. Penn State prevails 27-17.

Sixers Drop Home Opener

Rookie Evan Turner goes up for a shot against James Jones and Chris Bosh in the Sixers 97-87 opening night loss to Miami. Turner scored 16 points in the loss. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

As expected, the Philadelphia 76ers got handled by the new power house, Miami Heat, 97-87, on Wednesday night.

The Sixers did have a strong finish and saw some good things from rookie Evan Turner, who logged 31 minutes and led the Sixers with 16 points and had seven rebounds and four assists.

Thaddeus Young also had a great game for the Sixers, scoring 15 points in 26 minutes.

The Sixers trailed Miami by eight points at the half and couldn’t overcome a strong game by DeWayne Wade, who led all scorers with 30 points. James Jones added 20 off the bench and LeBron James scored 16.

The Heat went on a 25-8 run to blow up the eight-point game late in the third to make it a 76-51 game.

The Sixers will stay at home and play Atlanta on Friday as they look for the season’s first win.

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.