Eagles Rewind: Yes, Kolb was that bad in the Eagles' loss to the Packers

Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs was burned on a 32-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings.
Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs was burned on a 32-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings.
Posted: September 14, 2010

Was Kevin Kolb's performance against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday as bad as it seemed and as some reported?

Upon further review, the answer is yes.

The Eagles quarterback rushed his throws, eyeballed receivers, threw into double coverage, inexplicably heaved one pass off the back of his foot and displayed an overall sense of unease in the pocket.

But, if there was an inkling of hope for the first-time starter whenever he returns from a concussion sustained in the game, it was that Kolb only played a half against one of the better defenses in the NFL.

That's called finding a silver lining in a cloud of smoke.

Here are some observations on Kolb and other Eagles after reviewing the tape of their 27-20 loss to the Packers:

Quarterback Kevin Kolb

On his first play from scrimmage, Kolb didn't receive any help from his backup, Michael Vick, who was split wide and lined up too far off the line. Vick, of course, used Jason Peters as his guide and that's never a good idea since the left tackle is practically always in the backfield.

A few plays later, Kolb was sacked by long-haired freaky linebacker Clay Matthews on a delayed blitz. Kolb had trouble with delayed blitzes in the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and this time he reacted too late and was gobbled up. He could have received some help from either running back LeSean McCoy or guard Nick Cole, who both opted to help tackle Winston Justice in blocking one Packer.

There's no definitive way to say if the insertion of Vick disrupts Kolb's flow with the offense, but on two occasions in the first half Vick replaced Kolb on first and ten. The first time, Vick ran for six yards. The second time, he handed off to Mike Bell, who gained nine yards. The play was called back, however, when Peters was rightfully whistled for holding.

The first of three passes that Kolb could have easily thrown for an interception occurred when he tossed a 20-yard out to DeSean Jackson, who was double covered. Safety Tramon Williams baited Kolb, and he nearly had himself a pick.

On his third series, Kolb was sacked by what seemed to be Green Bay's entire defensive line when the interior of the Eagles' offensive line botched their blocking assignments. Who says playing together for a single preseason snap doesn't matter?

A possession later, Kolb tried to hit Jackson on a quick slant, but Williams batted the ball away. If Jackson's body language could talk, it would have been laced with expletives.

Linebacker Ernie Sims

The weak-side linebacker had an inconsistent game. He made two impressive stops during a Packers' series in the second quarter when he stuffed running back Ryan Grant for a one-yard gain and denied a short third-down conversion when quarterback Aaron Rodgers found running back Brandon Jackson underneath.

But his suspect instincts and over-pursuing had a good deal to do with Grant gaining 13, 8 and 18 yards, respectively, on three straight runs to open a touchdown-scoring drive just before the half.

Cornerback Ellis Hobbs

He also had an up-and-down day as Rodgers picked on Hobbs more than he did his counterpart, Asante Samuel. His worst effort was when Rodgers and Greg Jennings teamed up for a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The receiver just ran by Hobbs and, before free safety Nate Allen could get over, the ball was there. Hobbs said that he and Allen had a miscommunication as to who had Jennings.

Linebacker Stewart Bradley

Before Bradley suffered a concussion, he had a rough go. He drew two penalties - once for lining up in the neutral zone and the other for pass interference. He also whiffed on sacking Rodgers and was on the field for Grant's early running success.

Other observations

Center Jamaal Jackson tore his triceps when he twisted his arm trying to block Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett midway through the second quarter.

The first of Juqua Parker's two sacks could have been nullified by the defensive end grabbing Rodgers' facemask.

Eagles coach Andy Reid jumped in to break up a tussle between receiver Jeremy Maclin and three Packers.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.

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