Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kolb ignites Eagles and QB controversy

Eagles 31, Falcons 17

Kolb ignites Eagles and QB controversy

Kevin Kolb celebrates the Eagles´ 31-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons today. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Kevin Kolb celebrates the Eagles' 31-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons today. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Gentlemen, start your quarterback controversies.

Kevin Kolb has played his way back into a conversation that Eagles coach Andy Reid is clearly uncomfortable having. Just as Michael Vick played well when Kolb got hurt, Kolb now has played well while Vick was hurt. And after this one, after a 31-17 win over an Atlanta Falcons team that arrived at Lincoln Financial Field as one of the top teams in the NFC, well, it will take all of Reid's considerable experience to keep the Vick-Kolb conundrum from consuming his locker room in the same way that it is likely to consume the fan base.

Kolb was very good against the Falcons: 23 for 29 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. His quarterback rating was 133.6. He has gotten better with every game this season, and that is undeniable. Why Reid decided to throw away his off-season game plan and switch to Vick as his starter remains the story of the season. Whether or not he could possibly switch back to Kolb when Vick is recovered from his cracked rib cartilage -- perhaps as soon as next Sunday at Tennessee -- figures to be the subject of an intense debate in the coming hours and days.

As will this: when might wide receiver DeSean Jackson be back?

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On the second play of the second quarter, Jackson was illegally jacked up by the Falcons' Dunta Robinson. Kolb, under pressure, floated a pass out to Jackson on the left side. He caught it, landed on one foot, and then was about to land his first definitive stride when Robinson hit him about chin-high with his helmet. (Robinson received a penalty for hitting Jackson while defenseless.)

Both players collapsed and remained on the field for several minutes before walking to their respective dressing rooms with assistance. Both were described as having head injuries. There was no specific mention of a concussion, but it is fair to wonder when that announcement might be coming.

This was the first game this year where Kolb and Jackson were able to connect as they did in Kolb's two starts last year. When he left the game, Jackson already had a 34-yard receiving touchdown and a 31-yard rushing touchdown. Now, though, it is hard to predict when he might be back.

As for the Eagles' defense, for the second week in a row, it has accomplished Job 1: preventing the opposing running game from dominating. Last week in San Francisco, it was Frank Gore. Against Atlanta, it was Michael Turner. He was the concern and he did not come close to being a major problem: 15 carries, 45 yards, no big deal.

And so, the Eagles are suddenly 4-2, which is about as good as it gets in the NFC in 2010.

 

 

 

 

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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