There’s something oddly humorous about the horrible day the Eagles had yesterday. In fact, you could argue that the only thing that went right for Philly yesterday was the one thing Andy Reid didn’t even want to go right, namely Michael Vick tearing up the field and causing everyone in town to instantly crown him the rightful starting quarterback.
I’ve said before that teams jettisoning franchise players must suffer through one full season in that player’s shadow before being allowed to move on with their lives, and the Eagles are no different in this instance. Their 2010 season will be a referendum on whether or not they made the right decision to get rid of Donovan McNabb. And it took exactly one day to make it look like they didn’t.
Granted, Donovan McNabb didn’t play great football yesterday. He completed less than half his throws and his team didn’t score a single offensive touchdown. But he didn’t turn the ball over, and he led his formerly wretched team to an upset win over a Dallas team that, coaching idiocy aside, boasts one of the best defenses in football. What’s more, you could feel the presence McNabb lent his new team. They seemed much more buttoned up than a year ago. They looked like a team that knew what they were doing, even while they struggled on offense.
That stands in marked contrast to Kevin Kolb’s day, a day in which he played poorly AND got himself injured. If Andy Reid had a nightmare scenario in his head for this season, it would almost certainly include Kolb failing, the Eagles losing, the Skins winning, and McNabb succeeding. All those things happened yesterday, with four horrible injuries thrown in for good measure. About the only crummy thing that didn’t happen to Philly yesterday was a sudden hailstorm of thumbtacks, though I expect that to materialize any moment now.
It’s an ominous sign of what’s to come in the next few weeks. Reid wants Kolb to start again and no doubt is praying to himself that Kolb can turn it around and make this whole nightmare go away. But the more likely scenario is that Kolb will miss more time with injury, play spottily in his return (all young passers do), and increase pressure on Reid to play Vick while McNabb handles his business down in DC. It’s a potential season-long headache for the Eagles, and it’s only just beginning. Pass the Thunderbird. We’re gonna need it.