Friday, August 22, 2014
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Closer look: Kolb's performance

Photos above from Thursday night's Eagles-Jets game

Closer look: Kolb's performance

Photos above from Thursday night's Eagles-Jets game

Before we get to Kevin Kolb, a quick programming note.

I'm in Chicago on vacation until Tuesday so we might be a little light here for the next few days. On the other hand, I'm bringing my computer, and I hate going more than 24 hours without posting, so chances are you won't even notice I'm out of town.

Now on to Kolb. I went back and re-watched every passing play he was involved with. Here's a detailed breakdown:

First drive (1st-and-10 from the Eagles' 21)

Kolb sets up in the shotgun on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage. He finds Jeremy Maclin on a wide receiver screen to the left side for a gain of 6. Nice blocks by Mike Gibson and Marcus Mailei on the play. Look for the Eagles to go to the WR screen to Maclin often early in the season. It's a high-percentage play and gets him the ball in space. Most likely, Jason Avant would be the other receiver lined up next to him for blocking purposes. On this play, it was Brandon Gibson.

1st-and-10 from the Eagles' 32

The Eagles run play-action, and Kolb goes to Maclin deep on the near sideline. Lito Sheppard is whistled for a 43-yard penalty. Tough to assess the throw, given the pass interference, but good recognition by Kolb to take a shot with one-on-one coverage.

2nd-and-11 from the Jets' 32

Kolb sets up in the shotgun once again. The Jets only rush four. He looks for Gibson near the end zone, but the Eagles' rookie is tripped up by Darrelle Revis for another penalty. The pass looked like it sailed high, and Gibson would have had to make a leaping grab to make the catch. But the result is 22 yards for the offense.

Second drive (1st-and-10 from the Eagles' 27)

Kolb identifies a matchup he likes. Tight end Eugene Bright down the far sideline matched up against big Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Kolb makes a very good throw and hits Bright in the hands, but he drops it. No fault of Kolb's on this incompletion.

3rd-and-4 from the Eagles' 33

Kolb runs play-action, but then feels pressure. It looks like Mailei was supposed to slow down blitzing safety Eric Smith before going out into his route, but he doesn't do a very good job. Kolb gets rid of the ball to avoid a sack, but the Eagles have to punt. Had Mailei slowed down Smith first, Kolb would have likely been able to find him for a first down. Eldra Buckley also did a poor job of picking up a blitzer on the play.

Eagles' third drive (2nd-and-7 from the Eagles' 32)

The Jets only rush four, and the offensive line does a good job in protection. Kolb sets up in shotgun and finds tight end Tony Curtis over the middle for a gain of 8 yards. Nice execution all around on this play.

1st-and-10 from the Jets' 46

Play-action once again, this time to Buckley. Kolb rolls out to his right, but can't find a receiver open downfield and decides to tuck the ball and run. He's not beating the team's other two quarterbacks in any races, but he makes a quick decision and picks up 5 yards.

1st-and-10 from the Jets' 34

Kolb is in shotgun. He looks for a receiver but feels some pressure and gets rid of it to Mailei. The throw is high, and probably his worst one of the night to this point. Looks like it would have been a gain of about 4 had he been more accurate.

2nd-and-10 from the Jets' 34

A rare pass play out of the I-formation. Kolb runs play-action once again. Had his first read been open, Kolb probably had time to get rid of the ball. But after that, Vernon Gholston is in his face and takes Kolb down for a sack and a 7-yard loss. King Dunlap got beaten badly off the edge.

3rd-and-17 from the Jets' 41

Kolb is in the shotgun, but is sacked for the second consecutive play. Here he had some time to throw the ball, but either the receivers weren't open or he held on to the ball too long. It's tough to tell from the angles on TV. Either way, it looked like the Jets' stunt confused Dunlap, who rested on one knee and looked disappointed after the play.

Eagles' fifth drive (1st-and-10 from the Eagles' 20)

The Eagles only send two receivers out in routes. Kolb has time and finds the tight end, Curtis, over the middle for a gain of 8. Not much to say about this one. Fairly routine throw and catch.

2nd-and-7 from the Eagles' 33

A second passing play out of the I. By the way, do the Eagles ever run a play from under center where they DON'T run play-action? I say no. Good protection here, and Kolb hits TE Curtis for a gain of 12. He looks very comfortable and accurate on the intermediate throws.

1st-and-10 from the Eagles' 45

Probably the Eagles' best offensive play of the game so far. The line and Mailei pick up the blitz, giving Kolb enough time to find Gibson in the middle of the field for a gain of 18 yards. Good job of Gibson to leap and create a big target for Kolb.

3rd-and-3 from the Jets' 30

Gibson creates some separation, but Kolb overthrows him. It would have been a big gain and possibly a touchdown if Kolb had made a better throw. The second throw of the night that could be described as legitimately off-target. The replay shows that Maclin was wide open underneath also, for what would have been a first down.

Eagles' sixth drive (2nd-and-8 from the Eagles' 30)

The Eagles run a screen pass out of the shotgun, but they don't fool anyone. The Jets sniff it out, and Kolb's pass, intended for Buckley, is incomplete. Even if it had been complete, it would have been only a gain of 2. Credit goes to the defense on this one.

3rd-and-8 from the Eagles' 30

Kolb has plenty of time in the shotgun and finds Gibson on a crossing route for a gain of 15 yards. It was actually a poorly thrown ball, which was behind Gibson, but the young WR did a nice job of adjusting and picking up some yards after the catch for a first down.

Eagles' seventh drive (1st-and-10 from the Jets' 43)

Kolb looks Curtis' way once again, but the ball is tipped at the line of scrimmage and nearly intercepted. We saw this happen to McNabb last week as well so can't really kill Kolb here. As long as it doesn't get to the point where we're reminded of Rodney Peete and the Detmers, I'm OK with a tipped ball here and there.

2nd-and-10 from the Jets' 43

Kolb looks for Maclin on an out pattern near the sideline. The Eagles' first-round pick didn't look like he had much separation, and Kolb's throw wasn't a bad one. The timing just appeared to be off here.

3rd-and-10 from the Jets' 43

In what I believe was the biggest offensive play of the first half for the Eagles, Kolb hits Danny Amendola for a 31-yard gain. About 25 of those yards came after the catch. The line did a nice job of picking up the blitz, and Kolb rolled to his left before delivering a strike to Amendola.

2nd-and-10 from the Jets' 12

Kolb makes a very good throw to Amendola, who is open in the end zone, but the receiver can't hang on to the pass. Good job of anticipation by Kolb. The ball was there when Amendola turned around out of his route, but he wasn't ready for it. That's on the wide receiver, and he knows it. Amendola claps his hands in a should have had that one manner after the play.

3rd-and-10 from the Jets' 12

Kolb's last, and maybe best, throw of the night. He finds Curtis over the middle in traffic for a touchdown. Good patience, and a perfect throw.

Overall impression: I thought Kolb played OK. For the most part, his decision-making was excellent. I counted three throws that I'd describe as inaccurate. Overall, he was 8-for-16 for 110 yards and a touchdown. There were at least two balls, and maybe even three, that should have been caught. Two, for sure, could be classified as drops. Kolb was at his best on intermediate throws over the middle. We still need to see how he manages on throws that require a little more arm strength, like intermediate and deep outs. Also would like to see how he throws the deep ball.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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