The city of Philadelphia watched in horror as Kevin Kolb, the newly appointed starting quarterback for the Eagles, was slow to get up following a hard tackle by Clay Matthews at the end of the first half.
Although he briefly returned to the game, Kolb was unable to play in the second half, as he suffered from the effects of a concussion.
Instead, he thrived.
Vick threw for 166 yards and posted a completion percentage of 66.7%. In addition, in pure Vick-fashion, he rushed for 103 yards.
He nearly led the Eagles to a fantastic comeback. Of course, following such an impressive performance, some observers are making the claim that Vick deserves to remain the starting quarterback, even over a healthy Kevin Kolb.
However, such a decision would be rash and not in the best interests of the Eagles' franchise.
Give Kolb a Chance
It's impossible to sugarcoat Kolb's first half performance. He looked awful. He missed open receivers, rushed easy throws, and did not look comfortable in the pocket.
If this is the real Kevin Kolb, the Eagles do not have a franchise quarterback.
However, the Eagles should not be hasty. It was just one bad half of football.
Bad timing to have such a terrible half in your first appearance as the unquestioned starter? No doubt. But indicative of Kolb's entire career?
Of course not.
The Eagles have made a substantial investment in Kolb, including a $12.25 million extension through the 2011 season.
Even admitting the possibility that Kolb is not the present and future starting quarterback would waste all the time and money that has been spent on him.
If Kolb is playing this poorly at the midpoint of the 2010 season, then discussions should start regarding a potential quarterback change.
But after one week? That would be a record, even for the notoriously fickle Eagles' fanbase.
Vick Is Not the Answer
However, the best reason why Michael Vick should not be the starter is Michael Vick himself.
Unlike Kolb, Vick does not have "potential." He is a known quantity.
He ran an offense built for his strengths in Atlanta, and still failed to put up strong passing numbers.
His 81.6 passer rating in 2002 was a career high. He has never been, and never will be, a strong passing quarterback.
Vick's strength lies in his running ability. But in the Eagles offense, with such dynamic young receivers, Vick would likely fail to utilize the greatest strength of Philadelphia's team.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin would turn into mere decoys for the Michael Vick running show. Which, by the way, never even made it to a Super Bowl.
Also, handing the reins to Michael Vick adds a secondary problem. Namely, the fact that the quarterback remains a character risk.
Although he earned his way back into the NFL, he still is a convicted felon who seems to attract controversy.
His party drama in the offseason showed that Vick still refuses to avoid potentially compromising situations.
Vick essentially is still operating under a "one strike and you're out" policy.
Even if Vick did succeed as the starting QB, he is one mistake away from being banned from the NFL for life.
Is that the kind of player you want to hand the keys of your franchise?
Kolb struggled in the first half. But he was not the only Eagle to have a poor game.
The defense appeared to have ignored their tackling drills in the second half. And Ellis Hobbs continued to remind fans why the New England Patriots traded him for such a mediocre return.
Barring a miracle, this Eagle team is not a true Super Bowl contender, with Kolb or Vick.
Kolb gives upside. He could develop into a franchise quarterback.
Vick already had his chance in Atlanta, and he blew it.
If the Eagles cannot win a Super Bowl this season, they should at least see what they have in Kolb. Despite such an ignominious opening to his career as a starting quarterback, Kolb must be given another opportunity.
One half does not a career make.
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