Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saints march all over Eagles but don't blame Kolb

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
With Kevin Kolb starting the game for the Eagles, most expected the Saints to come in to Philly and hang an L on the Birds. What wasn't expected, however, was that Kolb had little to do with why the Eagles lost the game. Instead, poor defensive play, bad special teams play and a litany of penalties led the Eagles to get crushed by the Saints, 48-22.

Kolb held his own in his first NFL start, completing 31 of 51 passes for 391 yards and 2 touchdowns. While he did have three interceptions (two very late in the game) and another pass that should have been picked off, Kolb led the offense down the field time and time again. He proved all the detractors wrong and looked very competent out there. Not only did Kolb start fast with a 71 yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, but he also finished the first half with a great drive that went nearly the entire length of the field in 37 seconds and got the Eagles three points. The Birds have to be happy with his progress.

The real problems for the Eagles were on defense and special teams. For a supposed elite defense to get 40+ points hung on them, regardless of how good the opponents' offense, is just embarrassing. Drew Brees did whatever he wanted to all day, throwing the ball all over the field and marching the Saints up and down the field. Of course, it didn't hurt that Brees was given short fields to work with all day because of the terrible special teams play by the Eagles. From bad punts, terrible penalties and fumbles, the Eagles special teams were an atrocity. ST coach Ted Daisher better get it straightened out or he is going to be out on the street.

Regardless of the blowout score, the Eagles lost a game that pretty much everyone expected to them to lose. With Donovan McNabb out and the potent Saints offense coming to town, few gave the Eagles much of a chance in this one. Because of that, there is no reason to panic regardless of how badly they were blown out; a loss is a loss. What happens next will tell us a lot more about this Eagles team. Do they bounce back with a vengeance and destroy the Chiefs next weekend or do they come out flat? Even with Donovan McNabb possibly out again next week, the Eagles should be able to beat the Chiefs no matter who lines up at QB.

Whatever you do, don't blame Kevin Kolb for this loss. Yes, he could have played better, but he did everything the Eagles could have asked for in his first NFL start. The blame for this loss falls squarely on the shoulders of the defense and the special teams. If those two units don't get better quickly, it's going to be a long season for the Eagles.

1 comment:

T-Bone said...

Stat of the day:

In the first two games, "Macho" (what a misnomer!) Harris has 3 solo tackles and 1 assist, while Brian Dawkins has 11 solos and 6 assists for the Broncs.

Gee, wonder if Dawk's absence has anything to do with the Birds' crappy D... Obviously there's much more to it than one player, but I'm thinking there's no way Dawk would've allowed his D teammates to cough up those two short field TDs. With his leadership, they would have held those to FGs. There's no leadership whatsoever on this D.