Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mistakes Sabotage Kolb

Updating: As we're typing this, Kevin Kolb has passed the 350-yard mark in his first NFL start. Yet the Eagles are getting blown out. Kolb has made two really bad mistakes all day, one just now, as Darren Sharper, Sean McDermott's old William & Mary teammate, picked him and ran it in 97 yards for a 48-22 Saints lead.

Mistakes Sabotage Kolb

Updating: As we're typing this, Kevin Kolb has passed the 350-yard mark in his first NFL start. Yet the Eagles are getting blown out. Kolb has made two really bad mistakes all day, one just now, as Darren Sharper, Sean McDermott's old William & Mary teammate, picked him and ran it in 97 yards for a 48-22 Saints lead.

Problems on special teams and.defense put Kolb in an untenable situation, or at least, a situation that was far less than ideal for a guy making his first start.

Previously: Well, Ellis Hobbs taketh away, but he also giveth. A 63-yard kickoff return set up a really nice Kevin Kolb to Jason Avant TD on fourth and goal from the Saints' 3. Birds still down, 34-20.

Previously: Ellis Hobbs fumbled away the second-half kickoff -- special teams have been a huge problem for the Eagles -- and three plays later, the Saints had a 24-13 lead. Leaving aside the question of whether Heath Evans stepped out of bounds before reaching out for the cone on the scoring play, mistakes by other people were making Kevin Kolb's starting debut an uphill climb.

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Then Kolb joined the oops party. His sideline throw to DeSean Jackson failed to note the lurking presence of lineback Scott Shanle at the 24, and four plays after the interception, it's 31-13. Two quick turnovers, two touchdowns. Ouch.

Previously: Kevin Kolb just left the field to a sustained ovation, after setting up a 32-yard David Akers field goal by driving 65 yards in 7 plays, using just 43 seconds. The field goal pulled the Eagles within 17-13 at the half. The Linc fans couldn't have asked for much more from Kolb's first half as a starter -- 14 of 22 for 196 yards and a TD, 107.4 passer rating.

You can blame the deficit pretty much on DeSean Jackson, who chose to catch a punt inside his 5 that seemed headed for the end zone, just after the 2-minute warning, the score tied at 10. Jackson eventually found room on the lefrt sideline, only because Chris Clemons and Leonard Weaver threw illegal blocks. The Eagles got the ball at their 3. Then, on third and 5 from the 8, Jackson dropped a Kolb pass in the middle of the field, with no one around him. Sav Rocca had to punt, and 2 plays later, it was 17-10, Saints. The first play of the Saints' drive got 29 yards mainly because Clemons seemed to be blatantly held as he pursued Drew Brees.

Previously: The Birds are even at 10-10 after a Wildcat-heavy, 15-play, 68-yard drive ending in a 23-yard David Akers field goal. Seven Wildcats so far by our reckoning.

Previously: The Eagles just stopped the Saints on third and goal from the 8, with only 10 defenders on the field, Andy Reid trying to signal for a timeout. Sheldon Brown stopped a short pass caught by Marques Colston a good 5 yards short of the end zone.

A 23-yard John Carney field goal gave the Saints a 10-7 lead.

Next possession, Andy Reid gimmicked the offense off the field with a silly triple-handoff wildcat play on second and 5 that blunted momentum.

Previously: It wasn't a surprise that the Saints moved quickly down the field on the game's first possession, mixing runs with short passes, frustrating the Eagles' attempts to get pressure on Drew Brees. Not quite sure what Asante Samuel thought he was covering there on first down from the Birds' 15, but it wasn't Marques Colston, who was wide open in the end zone for a TD. Eight plays, 74 yards, four minutes and six seconds.

It was a surprise that Kevin Kolb quickly got the Eagles even. On his fourth play as a starting QB, from first down at his 29, Kolb got great protection and found DeSean Jackson long down the left sideline. Seventy-one yards for the TD.

Previously: As expected all week, Kevin Kolb will make his first NFL start in place of the injured Donovan McNabb at quarterback. McNabb is among the Eagles' inactives because of his broken rib.

Right now McNabb is down on the field, wearing a visor, gray T-shirt and black warmup understuff, black shorts, field pass dangling from the waistband of the shorts. Is the pass really necessary? The Linc security guards are a tough bunch, but it's hard to envision any of them Tasering the QB.

Safety Quintin Demps (hamstring), left guard Todd Herremans (foot surgery) and linebacker Joe Mays (shoulder) are inactive with injuries and Michael Vick is inactive for one more game because of his suspension.

The Eagles will go with four wide receivers as both Reggie Brown and rookie Brandon Gibson are inactive. DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant and Jeremy Maclin are active. They went with five last week against Carolina, but released Hank Baskett during the week.

O-lineman Mike McGlynn is also inactive.

Max Jean-Gilles will start at right guard for Stacy Andrews, although Andrews is expected to rotate in..

Victor Abiamiri is in the lineup and will start at left defensive end. Abiamiri suffered a groin injury in practice late in the week. The Eagles are activating DE Jason Babin, inactive last week, probably in case Abiamiri has more trouble.

For the Saints, running back Pierre Thomas and tight end Jeremy Shockey are active. Offensive tackle Jammal Brown is inactive for the Saint, coming back off hip surgery expected to sideline him midway into the season.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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