In his debut as the Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb was wildly inaccurate, looked incredibly lost, and played scared. He stared down his receivers, refused to plant his feet, and had a deer-in-the-headlights look every time the Packers hurried him.
Michael Vick, on the other hand, did everything a starter should do. Let's even forget for a second his individual play. While Kolb was in, the team looked flat. There seemed to be a lot of confusion for everyone on the field and a total lack of confidence that Kolb would make the play.
But with Vick, the guys were flying around doing everything they could because they knew that if they played just a half-second longer, Vick would make something happen.
The offensive line was throwing two or three blocks in one play. When Vick took off, the wide receivers were throwing blocks all the way down the field. When he was moving around behind the line of scrimmage, the receivers were doing everything they could to get open.
And Vick, in the fashion of a leader by example, rewarded their efforts by making the plays when they needed to be made.
I never thought I would be advocating Vick as the starter, but here I am. I have always viewed Vick as a running back with a strong arm, but his play against the Packers has me singing a different tune. He did all the little things a starting quarterback should do and, at the very least, I'd like to see if he can keep it up.
But I do understand the other side of the coin. The Kolb supporters will say that he was only able to play one half, so how can we determine that he's not the answer?
Well, that's a fair point -- if we don't dig past the surface. Looking at Kolb's entire career, he's never been overly impressive.
In 2007, his rookie year, Kolb did not see the field. Not a single attempt. So, obviously, not much to talk about.
In 2008, Kolb saw action in four games. It was all garbage time -- except for his surprise appearance against the Baltimore Ravens after Donovan McNabb's infamous benching -- so one would expect at least a decent or average stat-line.
Instead, this is what we got:
Week 1 vs. St. Louis Rams: 5-6 for 53 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs
Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-3 for 18 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT
Week 11 vs. Baltimore Ravens: 10-23 for 73 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs
Week 14 vs. Cleveland Browns: 0-2 for 0 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT
It probably goes without saying none of that did a whole lot to breed any confidence that this was the guy for the future.
Then, in 2009, Kolb saw action in three games. Two of them were his only two career starts before his debacle against the Packers and apparently were the two games that gave the Eagles the confidence they needed to dump McNabb and anoint Kolb the starter.
But when we look a bit closer, he wasn't as impressive as we've been told he was.
Week 1 vs. Carolina Panthers: 7-11 for 23 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs
Kolb entered this game after McNabb broke a rib diving into the endzone. Damione Lewis landed directly on top of McNabb in a hit reminiscent of Mike Rucker's in the 2003 NFC Championship game, and that was the end of McNabb's day.
What we saw from Kolb was a guy who looked panicky, held onto the ball far too long, and was overall pretty ineffective. But the excuse for that game is easy. He was thrown into the fire.
At this point we find out McNabb's rib is broken and that he will not be able to play in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints. Kolb is the guy, with a full week to prepare as such.
Week 2 vs. New Orleans Saints: 31-51 for 391 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INTs
Sure, the yardage looks good, but Kolb threw a couple costly interceptions that changed the tide of the game. He was by no means terrible against the Saints, but this is where the hype started getting a bit out of control.
Time for start number two.
Week 3 vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 24-34 for 327 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs
Again, the stats look pretty good, but this was against a very bad team. Even the touchdown he threw to Jackson -- the slant that Jackson took, split the defense, and flipped into the endzone -- was behind him and would have been picked off by a good defender.
Kolb showed some potential in this game, but that's about as close as it ever got. It was certainly not enough to give Reid and the Eagles faith that he could come into the season and do anything other than what he did against the Packers.
My point is when you put these two quarterbacks up against one another, there really isn't a comparison. I know Kolb will be the guy because Reid is married to him, but I think the frequency in which we saw Vick even in the first half shows that Reid's faith in Kolb was never as great as he made it out to be.
It's likely Kolb is forced to miss the Lions game with a concussion, and if Vick plays well again in his absence and gets the Birds their first win of the season, it's just going to get the flames of this controversy burning brighter.
I certainly won't pretend like I've always supported Vick as a quarterback, but right now he is without a doubt in my mind the best option and gives this team the best chance to win.
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