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Kolb, Eagles Struggle in K.C. But Backups Still Prevail

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Eagles starters saw their most action of the preseason Friday night and they didn’t do much to impress against the Chiefs.

    Quarterback Kevin Kolb was inefficient in the first half, DeSean Jackson spent all but the first play out with an injury, Jeremy Maclin developed a case of the dropsies, Jason Peters saw more yellow, Brent Celek was almost invisible and Trent Cole was lost to an ankle injury.

    The only thing that rescued the Birds from the game at Kansas City was a late garbage time 80-yard TD drive by third-string QB Mike Kafka.

    I will get to the guys who looked good but lets start with the guys who struggled out there.

    Kolb, looked like a guy who has little starting experience in the league as he managed only a 42.3 passer rating while going 12-for-26 for 103 yards, no TDs and an interception. He would come back strong though going 5-for-6 after he threw the INT. But it doesn’t bode well for the Eagles new signal-caller that he wasn’t even on the field when Michael Vick handed the ball off to LeSean McCoy who then dashed in for the Eagles first score.

    Kolb’s struggles though must somewhat sit on the shoulders of the offensive line. Kolb was sacked four times and made some bad decisions while being pressured including the INT he threw to Kendrick Lewis.

    And, Kolb also needs to learn to slide when he runs past the line of scrimmage -- he can’t risk injury by trying to stand up to tacklers.

    Back to the O-line. Tackle Jason Peters was flagged twice for false starts as he continues to make mental mistakes on the left side.

    Vick improved on last week’s effort as he completed his only pass for 8 yards. Mostly Vick looked all the part of a wildcat signal caller while handing the ball off and rushing for 16 yards on three carries.

    Let’s get to the wideouts:

    The Eagles immediately showcased their best weapon by throwing a quick 4-yard screen to DeSean -- good thing, right? Well not really considering D-Jax got lit up and had to leave the game with an apparent neck injury that wasn’t considered serious.

    D-Jax’s partner on the outside, Jeremy Maclin, didn’t do enough with Jackson out. J-Mac made some nice catches in the second half including a 25-yarder but he also let a perfectly placed Kolb bomb go right threw his hands earlier in the game. He needs to be sharper come opening day.

    Talking about guys who need to pick it up -- Brent Celek only made one grab in the game.

    To the defense -- the big news was the loss of sack-attacker Cole. The Eagles top rusher left the game on a cart after hurting his right ankle. Luckily X-rays were negative. Cole will get an MRI on the ankle to see if there is any muscle damage, according to the Daily News' Eagletarian.

    The other glaring defensive issue was with the third-stringers who allowed rookie rusher Dexter McCluster to run wild in junk time.

    But enough with the bad -- here are some of the Standout Studs from the Eagles win:

    • Brandon Graham looked good as he put pressure on Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and he also recorded four tackles.
    • LB Stewart Bradley didn’t do much on the stat sheet only recording two tackles but he seemed to be everywhere and made a nice play to knock down a third quarter pass.
    • Asante Samuel had the splat of the game when he leveled a Chief in the red zone
    • Rookie DB Trevard Lindley saw time with the first unit and was sharp in coverage all night. He even earned a juggling interception for his trouble.
    • Rookie S Kurt Coleman looked good again recording four tackles. He even made an impressive open field tackle on punt coverage to pin the Chiefs deep.
    • Kafka did what Donovan McNabb often failed to do -- he led a fourth quarter two-minute drill for a winning score. Yes it was against third-stringers but when Kafka hit Riley Cooper for the TD it sure looked nice.
    • Rookie TE Clay Harbor, veteran WR Kelley Washington and veteran WR Hank Baskett all made nice plays in the winning drive to make their cases to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
    • And a special mention to David Akers who looked sharp again going 2-for-2 on field goals.

    As for the Duds:

    • Chad Hall didn’t help his case for making the team as he made two boneheaded decisions on punts. One time he let the ball go near midfield to allow the ball to roll for a 73-yard field-position changing punt and the other time he tried to return a ball deep in Eagles territory that he should have just fair caught.
    • Rookie FB Charles Scott looked timid trying to haul in a loft pass late in the game.
    • RB Martell Mallett appears headed for the scrap heap after only getting called on for one rush.
    • The Eagles were sloppy on third down going only five for 17.

    Finally let’s hope everything is OK with rookie linebacker Cameron Sheffield who left the game on a backboard after appearing to hurt his neck while making a tackle.

    Next up for the Eagles is their preseason finale against the Hard Knocks Jets on Thursday night at the Linc.