Starting Showdown: Why Michael Vick Is Edging His Way Into Eagles Starting Role
It's great to have the NFL back. It gives just about every one of us meaning on a Sunday, and instead of watching three-game baseball series that drag on for extended periods of time, we now have our drama-filled league back in full burst.
But what happened in Philadelphia Sunday night was far from just dramatized television. No, instead, an out of the ordinary scene unfolded, that just about every Eagle fan couldn't have predicted even in their wildest dreams.
Prior to the Eagles' clash with the Green Bay Packers, history was on their side. The Packers hadn't beaten the Eagles in Philadelphia since 1962, and although a young Kevin Kolb was starting for the first time in Eagle throwback green, every person in The City of Brotherly Love had the right to feel a little confident ahead of their rainy day clash.
However, like many experts had predicted, the Eagles failed to show up in just about every way imaginable. Kevin Kolb started off on the wrong foot, and even when the Eagles had the slightest sniff at a possible comeback, it seemed that a greater being was destined to cut them back a peg.
Yet as disappointing as all of this was, the biggest low blow came just before halftime, as young Kevin Kolb took a bone-crunching hit from well-known linebacker Clay Matthews, who hadn't competed in a single preseason game.
When the hit was first delivered, it looked brutal. But when everybody later on found out that Kevin Kolb had suffered a concussion and wouldn't return, the life seemed to be sucked out of Lincoln Financial Field.
I guess at the time, things looked bleak. Kevin Kolb had only thrown for 24 yards the entire second half, and when Troy Aikman so kindly highlighted that the Eagles had acquired more penalty yards than offensive gains, the Eagles confidence was certainly low.
That is until Michael Vick stepped in.
For those of you who aren't aware of Vick's connections with the Eagles, it's fair to say that they have been both hot and cold.
At times during the offseason, it appeared that Michael Vick was a little unhappy with Andy Reid and the organization, as Vick didn't totally agree with being bumped once again to the back up role, behind an inexperienced Kevin Kolb.
Like everything in the NFL these days though, Michael Vick's career is now alive and well, as his performance against the Green Bay Packers certainly brought forward at least one positive from the loss.
From the get go, Michael Vick looked good. He was passing accurately, and when he ripped off numerous 33-yard scrambles, highlights of his days with the Atlanta Falcons began to come flooding back.
Aside from how great Michael Vick looked though, it was the momentum, chemistry and confidence that he seemed to pump back into the team after halftime.
Prior to the break, talented wide receiver DeSean Jackson was without a catch against a strong Packer defense.
Whether this can be accredited to Kevin Kolb's lack of ability, or close tagging by the likes of Charles Woodson is questionable, but it was clear that Jackson wasn't overly happy.
Once Michael Vick stepped in though, DeSean Jackson began to find his feet. He was left without a single touchdown on the day, but in the third and fourth quarter, he was definitely in a much better frame of mind when it came to his body language.
So I guess after it's all said and done, and the Eagles have posted their first loss of the year, is Michael Vick now the better looking quarterback on the Eagles roster?
Well for the most part, I think that we all already knew that Michael Vick was much more talented than Kevin Kolb. It doesn't take a genius to reveal some of Vick's highlights before his arrest, and uncover the fact that Vick is still a very capable quarterback.
But does this week of Philadelphia disappointments mark the start of questioning Kevin Kolb in the starting role?
Maybe, but a concussion in the first game doesn't look good, and nor does 24 yards in the opening half.
Perhaps the better way to look at this whole situation, is to look at the fact that at least the Eagles do have someone to rely on if Kevin Kolb ultimately fails.
Head coach Andy Reid was criticized a little for signing Michael Vick two last year, but now that move seems favorable considering the loss of Donovan McNabb.
To relate this situation to the likes of other teams, it isn't time to panic in Philadelphia. One loss doesn't make up a season, and even though the Eagles have the toughest schedule in all of football this year, Kevin Kolb may come good again anytime soon.
For the time being though, Michael Vick was the standout for the Eagles tonight, and his never-give-up style attitude would certainly be appreciated by Andy Reid, given the numerous other problems in Philadelphia right now.
Whether we see Kevin Kolb move down the bench remains to be seen, but if the Eagles continue along this troubling path, then Michael Vick's experience may be the better option to take for the franchise.
It's always tough to make a decision on a first year starter, and if the Eagles are willing to let Kolb develop, then good on them.
Let's not forget though that expectations in Philadelphia are always high, and the boos at halftime today against Green Bay certainly don't sound all that promising for the future.
Will we see Michael Vick in six weeks' time?
I'm sure Andy Reid will let us all know. Right now this is still Kolb's team, but Michael Vick is hot on his tail.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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