Three weeks ago, it was over.
The Philadelphia Eagles were destroyed by the Baltimore Ravens, putting them at an abysmal 5-5-1. Donovan McNabb—the franchise player and face of the Eagles—was benched in favor of the second string quarterback, Kevin Kolb. Brian Westbrook, the Eagles most versatile player was injured. The wide receivers dropped everything thrown their way.
The Philadelphia Eagles were going to miss the playoffs for the second straight season and were saying goodbye to head coach Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, forever.
Something happened though. Something happened to change the outcome of the Eagles season. No. Not something.
When McNabb was benched, Kevin Kolb came in and saved the Eagles season.
No, he didn't lead them to win that game or even came close. He played awful. Terrible. He played miserably, but in fact, he saved the season for the Eagles.
By playing the way he did, Andy Reid decided he was not a good player. He decided no matter how badly McNabb was playing, his star QB could not play as badly as Kolb did. Andy decided to start McNabb against the Arizona Cardinals less than a week later on thanksgiving.
From thanksgiving on, the Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL. The destroyed the Cardinals (a playoff team with the number one passing offense in the NFL), told the Giants—the defending Super Bowl champions who had an 11-1 record—to eat dirt, and just beat the life out of the Cleveland Browns.
Going from left for dead to being in the wild card hunt leaves me stunned. I was about to call it quits for this team. About to admit to start a new era. A McNabb-less era. A Reid-less era.
Now, I want the Eagles to keep them both!
Donovan McNabb has been having fun on the field. He has been throwing touchdowns (7) and rarely any interceptions (1) in the past 3 games. Andy Reid has finally admitted to passing too much and has put the ball in Westbrook's hands. This alone, takes pressure off of McNabb and challenges the defense.
The Eagles will secure a playoff spot if they win out and either the Tampa Bay Bucs or the Atlanta Falcons lose just 1 game between them.
Can you imagine the atmosphere of the final game of the season between the Dallas Cowboys and the Eagles for the final wild card spot? Talk about the most watched game during the regular season this year.
Earlier this year on Monday Night Football, the Eagles went to Dallas and it was the most watched Monday Night Football regular season game in the history of the NFL. Think about how many people will watch the game if it meant one of those teams were going on and the other would be done for the year?
It's adding another playoff game to the season!
Now...what does all of this have to do with Kevin Kolb playing like total crap? Let's pretend Kolb played well against the Ravens. Let's say he threw 2 touchdowns and led the Eagles to a victory. What would that mean?
It would mean Kolb can play well in the NFL. It would mean he performed better than Donovan McNabb. It would mean Andy Reid would have started Kevin Kolb against the Cardinals instead of McNabb.
To think that Kolb could play as well as McNabb has been playing is absolutely preposterous. No quarterback has played as well as McNabb has played. Kolb possibly could have beaten the Cardinals, but would have had no chance to beat the Giants. They would have lost one of those games and the season would have truly been over.
McNabb is hot. Reid is confident. The Eagles are playing great football and are scaring teams. If they make the playoffs, they have momentum and could make some noise like the Giants did last year and pull some upsets.
All of this all happened because of Kevin Kolb playing like crap and giving McNabb another chance to shine. Hopefully, it leads to a playoff game.
Hopefully, it leads to McNabb and Reid staying in Philadelphia a little bit longer.