The End of One Era, The Beginning of Another
Wow. I'm at a loss for words.
Donovan McNabb is done. And the Kevin Kolb era has begun.
I had always known this would happen eventually. We didn't draft Kolb just to sit him on our bench forever. And McNabb has not been getting the job done for us.
But I have never been more shocked in my entire life than when I saw Kevin Kolb taking snaps for us to start the second half. What a statement by Head Coach Andy Reid.
Was it time? Well, we were struggling on offense. Thirteen points against the Bengals. And if you watched the game, you know that was one of the single most inept offensive performances by any team. Ever.
And with two interceptions in one half against the Ravens, McNabb did something he had not done since Week Seven and Eight of the 2005 season—throw two interceptions in consecutive weeks. It was the first time he has ever thrown five picks in a span of two games. Add the lost fumbles in each game, he's turned the ball over seven times in 90 minutes.
So I knew it was coming. We all did. We had seen McNabb's struggles this season. His inability to throw long. He can't lead a two-minute drill to save his life. He gets physically tired in the final minutes of close games, so tired that he is unable to run a hurry-up offense. He can't hit receivers in stride. He can't run anymore.
So how did Kolb do? Well, all he did was give McNabb a run for his money—to see who could play worse. Kolb threw two interceptions and etched his name in the record books with that 108-yard return by Ed Reed on second and goal. From the one-yard line.
Do we stick with Kolb? Do we start McNabb this Thursday against the Cardinals? I don't want to get too down on Kolb for just one game, because he is essentially a rookie and will have growing pains. But he was just dreadful. McNabb's passer rating: 13.2. Kolb's passer rating: 15.3. What a second-half improvement.
I almost couldn't finish watching this game. Just seeing McNabb there on the sidelines was painful. Alone. And not injured in any way. A five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who is a ring short of the Hall—standing on the sidelines watching.
Maybe we will get lucky with Kolb. Maybe this will be Jeff Garcia, Part II. Maybe Kolb will turn into the NFL's hottest QB down the stretch and we will sneak into the playoffs. But I doubt it. Highly doubt it.
And I think we will always remember this day, November 23, 2008, as the end of one era and the beginning of another.
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