At the bookstore party last night, we talked sports. I didn't write last week after the Eagles loss to the Saints for a few reasons. Perhaps the most obvious one is that the Eagles were annihilated and embarrassed by the New Orleans offense. This is not the worst of things. Had our offense under second string QB Kevin Kolb (pronounced "Cobb") been able to hang onto the ball for anything more than a few three and outs after the half, perhaps the Saints would not have had the endless opportunities they had to score 44 points. Give, the Saints offense is excellent and putting up points like that is to be expected from Drew Brees, but the Eagles turned the ball over to them three times. That is sloppy athleticism, and it lost us the game. Give, Kolb threw 31-for-51 for 391 yards, but we still lost, and big time.
Kolb looked confident in the first half of the game, but he deflated after the half. Once the Saints picked him off to score, his confidence never recovered. This is where we talk about why I need to send Andy Reid a text msg: "wtf, andy." We picked up Jeff Garcia between week one and two, who after a McNabb injury in 2006, led us to the playoffs. Give, we had TO that season, but nonetheless, we know Garcia works well with our West Coast offense and has one us games before. Why even pick up Garcia only to allow Kolb to continue to look like the hatchling he is? What is Reid trying to prove? Perhaps Reid should have noticed Kolb's frustration and given him a break. Would that have only broken his confidence worse? If we would have been able to turn the game around, maybe not. Football is not a choose-your-own-adventure book. If you lose 44-22 to the Saints, you can't retrace your steps back to halftime and throw Jeff Garcia in there just to see how it would have turned out.
Perhaps, though, Kolb has got the stuff. He threw, as mentioned, for over three hundred yards last week. But much of that yardage was interrupted by turnovers, adding points to the already-hard-to-beat Saints' score. Kolb could easily, with more real game time experience and a confidence boost, become the big time quarterback he's got hiding in there. But this isn't trial and error, this isn't show and tell. This is Week 3. This is 1-1. The Eagles have on their squad three (count them) former Pro-bowl quarterbacks, and Kolb is not one of them. McNabb is injured, Vick is a recovering ex-con and Garcia is just being re-orientated to the franchise. However, we know these guys have got the stuff to win games for us. If Kevin Kolb does indeed possess the "stuff", should we really be taking chances with him on the field and two healthy former Pro-Bowl QBs watching from the sidelines? Perhaps. Perhaps this is what Kolb needs to prove to us and himself that he can make it in the big leagues. But if we lose again on him, that confidence is going to be diminished a rather unhealthy amount.
With the Kansas City Chiefs starting QB out this week due to an injury, and also the fact that they're the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles strong, healthy defense shouldn't have a difficult time stopping them, but the Eagles need to score points. Let's all hope that Vick's reintroduction to the league this week will turn the McNabb-less game from farce to circus this week, and the Eagles will be flying trapeze-like into the endzone with a baffled Kansas City defense looking on like elephant-dazed spectators. Wildcat, wildcat, wildcat.