Eagles-Packers: What We Know, What We Don’t Know

What We Know:Andy Reid loves the wildcat, McNabb didn’t- Vick in on the first play from scrimmage? Eagles running the wildcat 4 plays out of first 14? That would never have happened with McNabb on this team. While Reid ran the wildcat with McNabb, it was clear that McNabb was not as ok with it as Kolb is. It was like tag team QB’ing out there.

When the Eagles went into the locker room at half time, Vick had more carries then McCoy. The wildcat is an effective play, like when Vick scrambled for the first down on 3rd and 1 play in the second quarter. But to pull Kolb out of the game (roughly) every 4 plays is not the way to get him going. This was not Kolb’s first start, but there’s no question that the pressure was on him today to prove he belonged. Reid killed any chance he had by constantly putting Vick in.

Same Old Andy Reid: To have no time outs, and be unable to stop the clock after the two minute warning is simply put, unacceptable. His horrible clock management over the years has been discussed, and this game was just another example of it costing his team a shot to win a game.  The quarterback has changed, but the same infuriating Eagles are still here.

Eagles Defense is Fast, Can Get Pressure- Looking for a positive in this game? Look no further then the front 7 of this Eagles defense. The front 7 got after Rodgers early and often, sacking Rodgers 3 times and forcing him out of the pocket. Juqua Parker, benched in the preseason in favor of rookie Brandon Graham, finished the game with 2 sacks. Stewart Bradley got in Rodgers face consistently. They made Ryan Grant a non factor. They held TE Jeramichael Finley to only 4 catches. Only after Bradley left the game did they start to get run over. But with Bradley in the game, this defense looked like some of the Eagles defense of old. If it wasn’t for the defense, this game would have been over early. They kept the team in the game.

Eagles’s Are Better Then They Look- It couldn’t have gone worse for the Eagles. Their Quarterback, center, middle line backer and fullback all go down- in the first half. Those positions right there are the heart and soul of your team. If you told Eagle fans that in the first half, the Eagles would have 0 yards passing and they would loose Kolb, Bradley, Jackson, and Weaver, but only be down 10, they would have taken it.

But this team didn’t give up or get blown out. This game could have gotten ugly. But they fought back. The Packers are, if you listen to the experts, one of the best teams in the league. Many people think they will come out of the NFC, and Rodgers will be MVP. The Eagles played with this team.  And for a young team, that is saying something.

This Offensive Line is a Mess- Remember when the Eagles thought they had one of the biggest, best lines in the league? That the Andrews brothers and Jason Peters would anchor the line for years to come? Those days are long gone.  Kevin Kolb was running for his life from the start. Packers ran into the Eagles back field early and often. The Eagles were able to get nothing on the ground. Only once Micheal Vick came in the game, and was able to run away from the pressure, did they offense get anything going. Even then, Vick was running for his life. They couldn’t have even get enough push to get the most mobile quaterback in the league 1 yard when the game was on the line. There’s no question Kolb was not sharp (to say the least). But the O line did not help him one bit.

Bobby April Has His Work Cut Out- Special teams is something that will come with time. Only a week ago did April find out who his special teams players would be, when the final cuts were made. But it was not a good showing for his unit. When the Eagles were mounting a comeback, the Eagles gave up returns of 51 and 40 yards when team was mounting come back.  Eldra Buckley had a brain fart of epic proportions when he nailed the returner in the 4th quarter.

Those Kelly Green Jerseys are Amazing- The fans waited for it, sat through the hideous blue/yellow debacle, and they finally got it. The jerseys were worth the wait.

What We Don’t Know:

Whos fault was this? Is Kevin Kolb really this bad? It’s clearly too early to tell. But the difference between this team was night and day once Vick entered the game. Kolb was lucky to only have the one interception and threw multiple balls into tight coverage.  For as much as he talked about being a distributer this off season, he sure wasn’t able to get any of the Eagles weapons into the game. DeSean Jackson, this teams best player, was invisible when Kolb was behind center. Only once Vick came in did Jackson have a catch.  It could be the offensive line or the play calling, but the numbers don’t lie- the Eagles outscored the Packers 17-14 in the second half. Was it all Kolb’s fault? Was this the coaching staffs fault? We don’t know yet. But we’ll find out next week and the upcoming games if Kolb’s performance this week was his fault or Reid’s.

What were they doing during training camp? On each unit’s first series on the field, they had a penalty for illegal formation. To practice those first plays of the game for the whole week, and to be coming off of training camp where the defense is taught, and then have those penalties is unacceptable. As much as it falls on the players, it’s the coaches who are supposed to “put their players in position to win the game”. And they didn’t do that.

Who’s going to play fullback? Has anyone ever felt worse for a player then they did watching Leonard Weaver be carried off the field. You have to respect him getting to the sideline and not taking the cart to the locker room. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Weaver will be out for the season wit a torn ACL. While he could be wrong, no body watched that injury and thought he would be back this season. Coming off of a Pro Bowl season, you have to wonder if it’s not Weaver who gets that ball on 4th and 1 to end the game. Luckily, this team has practice playing with no fullback.  While Weaver did not play a big role in the offense, I saw what he ment to the team at training camp and in practice. Weaver was one of the offensive leaders, and a calming voice to Kolb. He won’t be there anymore, and it’s going to hurt this team. But Joe Banner and the coaches have their work cut out for them in replacing a player of Weavers status.

How Long till DeSean Jackson Blows? It’s no secret Jackson is not happy about his contract situation. His mood in the locker room when the media is around it not a positive one. When fans yelled at him during training camp about his contract, he played along and let it be known he wants to be paid. So how long till he starts to yell back? DeSean Jackson thrived last year with McNabb’s strong arm, but if this is how it’s going to look with Kolb under center, Jackson may never get paid. The fact is, the NFL is a league that values the future, not the past. Joe Banner will not care Jackson paid the Pro-Bowl last season if he doesn’t make it this year. Jackson knows how he plays this year, and his numbers, will decide his future. If Kolb doesn’t get him the ball, and Jackson’s numbers start to fall, how long till he calls for Vick? Or start to complain publicly about his contract? We don’t know yet, but I can imagine his mood is even worse today then it was before kick off.

How will this team bounce back? It’s been written about how this is a young team. These are not your Eagles of old who had veteran leadership ozzing from the locker room. How will the team bounce back from a loss where their leader (Kolb) was beaten and battered? How will the locker room respond to Vick playing so well? Will they support Kolb? This loss clearly makes the next two games, against Detroit and Jacksonville, must wins. Good teams in the NFL beat the teams they are supposed to. At the end of the day, the Eagles were not supposed to beat the Packers. But they should beat the Lions. We don’t know yet how they will bounce back, but we will learn a lot about this team during this week and next Sunday.

25 thoughts on “Eagles-Packers: What We Know, What We Don’t Know

  1. Drummer, you say that like we have been evaluating his play for four years. Like he has been playing for four years as a starter. You are entitled to your opinion and you may be correct, but don’t tell me kolb is a four year vet and he is all that he will be in the nfl already.

  2. The standards are a bit different when you’ve had time to watch for 3 years.. and even had some real playing time. Guys like Rodgers and Steve Young were able to step right in after having time to sit and watch and practice, etc. It’s too early to say he sucks, but it shouldn’t take more than 4 or so games to know if there is really much hope.

  3. Exactly mugzy. He’s not a rookie. We don’t need a full 16 games to see if he stinks or not. Yes playing in live action is different but he should be way ahead the learning curve after sitting behind McNabb for 3 years, going through camp and the preseason as the number 1 guy. He should know this offense in and out. Not like a rookie who’s learning everything while he’s playing. I don’t know if he stinks but I know I don’t need 16 games to find out.

  4. Remember that S Young was a full-time Starter in the USFL for a couple of seasons (Tampa Bay Bandits) before he sat behind J Montana at the 49ers, so he at least had a couple of seasons
    (albeit the USFL) under his belt before so he wasn’s all wide-eyed once taking over for J Montana..
    (Plus he was on a pretty good team with some good coaches..)

  5. Listen…I don’t want to hear “it’s too early to tell”….We were told this front office knew exactly what they were doing and they have seen Kolb in practice for years. They were confident in their choice and let a great QB go to a division Rival confident in Kolb’s ability…If he’s not ready…He should not be playing..Period

    I don’t want to see that bum against the Lions or Jags….

    get him the hell out of here before the whole to revolt…Desean Jackson will lose his future with this damn Bum…He don’t help the young guns…You need a strong armed QB for the weapons we have..A player like the one we trade. We need an all pro offensive line for a statue of a quarterback or get a QB that can escape the rush…That’s Vick

    by the way

    which QB looked more accurate? Kolb or Vick?

  6. Schiller, Kolb was groomed for 3 years and during the off-season, we’ve heard about accurate passes, hitting receivers in stride, reading defenses quickly, getting the ball out quickly thereby making the linemen’s jobs’ easier), yards after the catch.

    I base my opinion on the FACT that I’ve seen no evidence of ANY

  7. Schiller, Kolb was groomed for 3 years and during the off-season, we’ve heard about accurate passes, hitting receivers in stride, reading defenses quickly, getting the ball out quickly thereby making the linemen’s jobs’ easier), yards after the catch.

    I base my opinion on the fact that I’ve seen no evidence of ANY of that. If Kolb had hit a few passes, but missed a couple of blitzes or was fooled by different coverages, then I’d hold out hope. But, this guy made bad decisions, displayed a propensity to throw picks, floated the ball on the out pattern, displayed a lack of speed and mobility. He not only did that yesterday, but did the same during the pre-season, against New Orleans and Baltimore.

  8. I thought back-up OT K Dunlap played pretty good in those 2 series when he was filling in for Peters,
    I also thought C McGlynn played better than Jackson (who probably shouldn’t have even suited up)
    I am holding any serious reservations for by the 4th Quarter, the Packer Defense was in a
    “Prevent Mode” and basically played a soft cover 2 in the Secondary..
    the Scary thing is that the PAckers were only down to about 3 heathy D/Lineman and played with mostly LB’s at the DE spots and still were able to get a lot of pressure against the Eagels O/L
    A long Season my friends is ahead..

  9. Paul, the Packers were forced into that defense because Vick put pressure on them with his running. They weren’t in prevent mode. What are you talking about?

  10. I haven’t read any great quotes from the Young Tongues. They had a lot to say during the off-season.

  11. Oh paul…now it’s the 4th Quarter when the packers D went in a prevent and not the 3rd as you posted on previous comments? They never were in a prevent…that’s a lie.

    They never backed off…that’s another lie.

    They have better coaches than our coaches and a better QB than Kolb..Vick was the best player on the field yesterday.

    Be real

  12. They backed off when going up 27-10 points..
    it doesn’t matter the Eagles lost anyway you look at it and played poorly of Offense the 1st 3 quarters
    (This was ILB Barnett first action since 1st week of Preseason and OLB MAtrthews first action since last year and they didn’t seem to miss a beat did they)
    The best player on the field no doubt was LB MAtthews, Eagles had no one to account,block and take care of him
    They had better coaches, a better All-Pro QB who also made a couple of bonehead throws himself
    The Bottom line is that Eagles are not on same level as the PAckers.. The PAckers are up here and the EAgles are down about here… It is what it is… and Special Teams.. are you kidding me, what an embarrasment to the team,players and the NFL with that Kick-off Coverage fiasco…I wonder if Jordy Nelson would be running like that if players like Kelley Washington and Tracey WHite were bearing down on him.. Good Grief…

  13. I’m sad to say I’m not surprised to see what happened. I saw It before when Cunningham was run out of town (just released as worthless without even the distinction of a trade deal) in favor of Rodney Peete. not because Peete was”more suited for the West Coast offense”, but because the sports writers didn’t like him “he was a” loop-job” “too religious” , had a phone in his bathroom ,and of course the very last straw was his “gold tipped shoe strings”. Randall went on to the Vikings to set scoring records and missed the SuperBowl by just one missed field goal. Peete turned out to be mediocre at best. My point is it’s the philadelphia sports writers & radio commentators (most of whom have never played the game) who focus on every insignificant detail of an athlete’s life that has nothing to do with football that we give too much credibility. “Mcnabb smiled too much, he didn’t take the “game”, serious enough, he was having too much fun, And of course there was that outrageous micheal jackson dance. Yes we know he’s an All-Pro franchse quarterback. We’re just “tired of him”‘ and besides that ,he didn’t even know the overtime rule!”, They said……..r

  14. deepthreat, you are 100%. The people in this town fueled by the media focus on irrelevent things too much. They care more about a guys personality than his play. If they like the guy, he must be better than the weird guy we cannot stand. They don’t care how many pro bowls McNabb played in, he just smiles too much. Doesn’t matter how many times he led the team to the playoffs, the air guitar ruined everything. The philly media stinks as well as anyone who places more value on someone’s personality over their ability. We I guess everyone got “tired” of McNabb and the same ol same ol. I guess they got tired of making the playoffs and making deep playoffs runs. Who likes going through that every year.

  15. What we don’t know, we won’t find out, because Andy Reid won’t tell us…Why DID HE SET KOLB UP FOR FAILURE BY SHUTTLING QBs IN THE FIRST QUARTER?…Why NO RUNNING GAME?…Why NO IMPROVEMENT OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE…Why CAN’T REID UNDERSTAND THAT YOU NEED TO SAVE TIME OUTS FOR THE LAST FEW MINUTES?…Why, why, why?

    But, it’s just one game…One thing for certain, things will get even more interesting…Maybe Reid has a special plan involving Michael Vick…Reid is an offensive genius, after all.

  16. Truthfully, this is the same thing as last year and somethings for a long time: Questionable o-line, no running game and shuffling Vick in an out. I’m not sure why but he did it a lot yesterday and it was only for Vick running the ball. It’s not like he put Vick in there for a couple bootleg passes. But bad playcalling has been a problem for a while now. This didn’t just happen because Kolb is the QB. Reid has been setting this organization up for failure for a long time. So while Kolb is starting his starting career with much better weapons that McNabb ever had, Reid will offset those with other shortcomings. McNabb had a strong line in front of him with bad weapons (outside of BWest) and Kolb has the weapons but no line. I’m not surprised. Peters has got to be the biggest dud ever. All that money he got and he plays like a rookie in preseason. That’s Mr. False start.

  17. Thanks Scorpiodsu,

    I was on my way out to work when I posted my last comment but you completed my observation very well. It should be obvious to anyone that the Philadelphia media does tend to emphazise the negative. Rather than reporting on the technical aspects of the game (of which they know little) they seize upon personal eccenticities turning the dialogue into a. soap opera discussion (of which they are experts) No one is perfect. If you look hard enough and create the right spin, you can make anyone look like ‘Bizarro”.
    We (real football fans) study the game and are focused on the activity on the field not about players’ personal lives. Most of them are not very interesting anyway.

  18. I agree about the media, but the fans are part of it. The Andy Reid fat jokes, the McNabb puking BS, the air guitar, Reid’s sons, etc etc etc. It is clear that the media + negadelphia, ruined McNabb in Philly. And he blamed the FO for not having his back in those times.

  19. Clay Matthews’ teammates gave him a hard time when the Packers linebacker knocked Kevin Kolb out of Sunday’s game and they had to face Michael Vick, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.

    “We said, ‘What are you doing man?’ We’d rather have (Kolb) in there,” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said with a laugh. “Vick, he’s a headache for anybody who plays him. We came out (of college) together, and I think I’ve played him every other year and he’s a headache to stop every year for a defense. He just showed he’s back in form. But our defense answered the call.”

    Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins agreed.

    “(Vick) he changed (the game) a whole lot,” Jenkins said. “You were almost wishing they put the other quarterback back in. Chasing him around is not fun at all.”

    The other quarterback . Jenkins didn’t even mention Kolb by name. Those are quotes Kolb should stash away for the next time the Eagles and Green Bay face each other.

    TIME’S YOURS

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