Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eagles lose ugly to McNabb, Redskins

When two teams play as poorly as the Eagles and Redskins did today, it's hard to say that one team really beat the other. In a game filled with injuries, bad decisions and poor execution, Donovan McNabb and the Redskins outlasted the Eagles, 17-12, to help pull them into a tie atop the NFC East.

The biggest storyline coming out of the game will be the injury to Michael Vick, who suffered an upper body injury at the end of the first quarter when two Redskins sandwiched him as he scrambled towards the end zone. Vick was forced to leave the game and did not return, handing the reigns over to Kevin Kolb. The initial reports on Vick are saying that he has a chest injury and that he will have an MRI tomorrow, with some speculating that he has a collarbone injury that could keep him out for a few weeks.

As for Kevin Kolb, he certainly didn't make a great case that he should be starting quarterback if Vick is healthy enough to play. Kolb played the checkdown game all afternoon, dumping the ball off 4 yards at a time and refusing to look downfield for DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin. Because of this, Kolb finished a respectable 22 of 35 in the passing game but only managed 201 yards and Jackson and Maclin combined for only 4 catches. LeSean McCoy ended up being the beneficiary of Kolb's ineptitiude as he ended up with 12 catches for 110 yards. Adding in his 64 yards on the ground, McCoy was clearly the offensive MVP for the Birds.

Cheered in his return to Philadelphia, McNabb hardly made Eagles fans wish they had him back. He was incredibly inaccurate, completing just 8 of 19, and made several dumb decisions, like running out of bounds to stop the clock when the Redskins were up late in the game. While he didn't play great, McNabb did look pretty nimble on his feet and does deserve credit for leading his team to victory, taking advantage of what the Eagles defense gave him, which was plenty at times.

As for the aforementioned Eagles defense, they certainly weren't ready to play in this one, allowing the Redskins to do whatever they wanted against them in the first half. Sure, they did well to shut them down in the second half, but that was more a product of McNabb not being able to complete a pass than anything else. For a defense that thrives on putting pressure on the quarterback, McNabb looked way too comfortable in the pocket, and even when was flushed out, there were open lanes for him to run through.

Now at 2-2, the Eagles season appears to already be at a crossroads, with much of where they go from here dependent on the health of Michael Vick. If Vick is healthy, the Eagles can continue to push for a playoff spot with a potent offense. If he isn't, they will have to spend the rest of the season getting Kolb comfortable in the pocket and able to complete passes more than 5 yards down the field. Of course, if the defense played like they did today, it may not matter who the Eagles have at quarterback.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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