That was not the way the Eagles wanted to start the season. Never mind the fact that they lost, but everything and anything that could have gone wrong for Andy Reid and Co., did go wrong. Everything- injuries, controversy, old habits creeping in, and bloggers like me to point it all out.
I think Reid would have rather lost that game 21-0, than have some of this stuff happen. And I’m not just talking about the injuries.
1) Quarterback controversy– We're not going to fuel this thing because Kolb deserves more than one half to prove himself, but this is literally the worst outcome the Eagles could have asked for coming out of week one. Kolb was miserable yesterday (5-10, 24 yards). Meanwhile, Vick came in and rushed for 103 yards, threw for 175 and a touchdown. Quite honestly, the differences between the two were as clear as night and day. Kolb was like the opening act for the real thing. I don’t particualry like Michael Vick, but he deserves a lot of credit for coming back from prison and still being able to perform at a high-level.
The Eagles put all of their eggs in Kolb’s basket- quite literally. They extended his contract this past offseason through 2011. He will earn a guaranteed $12 million. Guaranteed. He must be the best practicer of all-time because seriously, what has he done to warrant any guaranteed money? Let alone two years worth. Yesterday was his first real test and he failed miserably. It is an absolute nightmare scenario for Reid to wake up to articles like this one from ESPN, that make the case for Vick to start (especially since McNabb beat the Cowboys last night).
2) Injuries– They are a part of the game, but to lose two starters- significant starters- in week one is devasting for a young team. Leonard Weaver’s injury was gross and sad. Weaver is by all accounts a good guy (channeling my inner Tolly) and has become rather popular with fans because of his positive Twitter updates and his “Name My Dog” contest. He was a key veteran piece to the Eagles offense and will be sorely missed.
Also key to the offense was Jamaal Jackson. The Eagles rushed him back from a torn ACL because the offensive line is questionable at best. He tore his bicep yesterday and will likely miss the remainder of the season. I don’t think it’s going too far to call the loss of Jackson and Weaver "catastrophic" for the Eagles' already weak blocking game.
The concussions of Stewart Bradley and Kevin Kolb are also worth keeping an eye on. It usually takes a few days to guage the severity of them.
3) Controversey– Besides the quarterback issue, the Eagles will also get some heat for allowing Bradley and Kolb to return to the game. Kolb’s concussion was less obvious, but Bradley was clearly not OK. New NFL rules state that you can’t put a player back into a game if he shows any signs of having a concussion. This is potentially a very serious issue with the NFL.
4) Same old Reid– “I got to make sure I put them in the right position. That’s my responsibility to make sure I do a better job there.” Sound familiar? At what point is Reid going to start putting players in the right position?
Burning all three timeouts with over five minutes to go in the 4th quarter? Running Vick directly into the line on 4th and 1 from the shotgun? Another failure to get points on a two-minute drill (more like three)? All questions that need to be answered with more than a “my fault.”
Unlike some in this city, I’ve never been one to overly criticize Reid. I’ve felt that he’s made mistakes, but thought he was a good coach overall.
Yesterday changed that opinion.
When you constantly replace parts and the whole produces the same result, you have to look at the one constant in an equation. And that’s Andy Reid.
5) The Jerseys– They looked cool on the field, but as our own Dan Fuller wrote the other day (coming oh-so-close with a 26-18 loss prediction), they are a little too plain. Perhaps worse, is that the last time the Packers beat the Eagles in Philadelphia in 1962, the Eagles were wearing the same jerseys. Maybe they should stay away from those the next time the Pack comes to town.
Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?