Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I have been a little remiss with Frank Helps You Think It All Out over the Thanksgiving Holiday- but as part of my travels I did get down to the Linc for the Eagles thorough thrashing over the Arizona Cardinals.

Obviously, the Eagles were better than the recent Baltimore debacle. The defense forced turnovers. The offensive line found a group it could block- and the running game revived.

The consensus is that “idiot” Reid did the right thing going back to McNabb. It is hard to argue that certainly, for this singular contest, Coach was right. McNabb was super.

But, you know, I’m doubtful as to the utility of all of this. First, you couldn’t design an easier game for McNabb to play. As alluded to above, the Eagles categorically could block these characters. Arizona doesn’t have a very good defensive front to begin with- then add in a cross-country trip on a short week. No pressure, the running game cranked up. Add in the endless turnovers proffered by Arizona, and the Eagles enjoyed playing from way ahead, with excellent field position, all game long.

McNabb is a veteran quarterback who isn’t completely shot. I am pretty confident that under ideal circumstances- and you cannot possibly argue #5 enjoyed anything less than perfect Thursday night- he is a competent pro. But, no offense, Sage Rosenfels would have been good against Arizona last week.

Second, the Eagles would have won that game had Kolb played- NFL teams very rarely lose when enjoying a four turnover advantage. The Eagles are still very, very likely not making the play-offs. In light of those two likely suppositions, what was gained? Worse, the minuses were obvious: a game of experience for Kolb was lost, another chance in live action to see what we have in the second year quarterback.

I guess that if I ran the Eagles I would have already moved past trying to exercise maximum effort to win each Sunday if it came at the expense of the Kevin Kolb Experiment. I enjoyed the win- but again, they’d have won the game with Kolb anyway and I’m just not sure it moved the franchise forward any. And if this franchise does not make the play-offs, and McNabb is not the starter next year- both of which I find exceedingly likely- then this is a genuine mistake regardless of the immediate gratification of winning.