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Justin Boylan

Week 3 Eagles beat Chiefs 34-14...9-27-09

Sunday afternoon's game against the Kansas City Chiefs should have been a nerve-racking experience for any Eagles fan. Quarterback Donovan McNabb sat out his second consecutive game with his rib injury, and Brian Westbrook was also sidelined due to an ankle sprain. Not to mention the fact that the Saints punished the Birds last week, and now the Eagles are facing a two-game losing streak heading into an early bye week (see, I'm nervous already and I know what happens). Fortunately for the Eagles, the team from Kansas City isn't much of a team.

Week 3 also involved the official return of Michael Vick to NFL football. Andy Reid and Company didn't waste any time getting Vick on the field, using him during the first scoring drive of the game. Kevin Kolb, Vick and the offense marched the ball down the field and rookie running back LeSean McCoy rushed in the first score and a 7-0 lead (best place to use Vick or the Wildcat is the red zone where the Eagles have had problems, no problems this time). The Chiefs could not respond, going three and out, so the Eagles took it to them again. DeSean Jackson caught a 43-yard pass from Kolb, and four plays later from the 1-yard line Kolb dove forward for a touchdown, 14-0.

Right before the end of the first quarter one of the commentators mentioned something about the infamous Fog Bowl. I decided to watch the YouTube clip (if you haven't seen it, take a look). In the clip you can see the fog rolling in as the game progresses. What if something like that happened in a 2009 NFL game? Would the teams just play through it like they did back then? With all the different outlets for people to complain and make a fuss, that kind of situation would cause all sorts of reactions from the fans involved. By the four minute mark of clip you are just watching a grey screen, it's quite unbelievable. At some point two players had to have collided right into each other, too bad we will never see past the fog. Most likely the game would just be delayed until the fog cleared, that much fog looked like it would take about a week and half to clear up (Yes, the Eagles game is still going on in the background. It's a good sign when you can watch YouTube clips during the game. I'm sorry, but it was more interesting than watching the Chiefs on offense).

There I go, doubting the competition. Matt Cassel made me momentarily eat my words, hooking up with Mark Bradley for a nice 13-yard touchdown completion. However, Kolb sees your touchdown pass Cassel, and he raises you a 64-yarder to Jackson on their first play of the possession, 21-7. Akers added a field goal before halftime, and the Eagles are on cruise control.

The cruising would continue, Akers hit another field goal in the third quarter, and Brent Celek would add a touchdown to an impressive game in the fourth. Cassel threw his second touchdown pass of the game with less than two minutes left, but it still counted as just six points so it didn't make much difference. Do you think Cassel is glad to be in Kansas City? All the hard work he put in last season in New England did pay off, literally. He had a great year in place of Tom Brady and was rewarded with a lucrative contract. Now he's the poor man's Brady playing in Kansas City for a 0-3 team. Still, he earned a starting quarterback job in NFL, and come this December he won't be freezing his rear end off in New England. I hear those benches can get pretty cold. 34-14, Eagles win.

Final note about the actual game, in the closing seconds Jeff Garcia came in to run the clock out. I don't know if there is a backup quarterback more appreciated by Eagles fans than Garcia (he beat the Giants in the Meadowlands and carried us into the playoffs). Now his job is basically to travel the country wherever he is needed. The past two weeks, that was here in Philadelphia. With all the quarterback problems in the league, the Eagles can still get Garcia here and on the sidelines in the drop of a hat. He is an ideal backup that can spark a team when everything looks grim, the man is underrated. Now, with McNabb coming back and Kolb's success it looks like Garcia is the odd quarterback out once again. Still, he's one player that will always be welcome in Philadelphia.

So what does this game say about the rest of the season? Not much. The next time the Eagles play the two crucial offensive positions should be properly filled, and Kolb will get out of the driver's seat and sit in the back again. He had two impressive starts, this one being for 327 yards and no interceptions. For the past two weeks Kolb played good enough for the Eagles to win, this week they did. He also made a little bit of history; Kolb is the first QB in NFL history to throw for 300-plus yards in each of his first two starts. Not too shabby.

The problem against the Saints was the defense (or maybe the real problem was the Saints offense). The Chiefs did not present the same kind of problems. They have a new quarterback, mediocre receivers, no Tony Gonzalez, and the corpse of Larry Johnson at running back. The Eagles completely shut down the Chiefs, holding them to under 200 yards of total offense. Yes, that's right; the team threw for 97 yards and accumulated 99 rushing yards (I'm not a math major so hold on… 196 yards of total offense). The game was lopsided to say the least, example: Cassel threw for 90 of those passing yards, while Brent Celek had 14 more receiving yards than that.

The Eagles were careful about how they used Vick in his debut. He was out there right away to eliminate any build up to his first appearance. When McNabb is back under center the play calling will change. Does that mean more Vick or less Vick? Only the big man knows for sure. In the right situations, this Wildcat offense with Michael Vick can be lethal. As the weeks pass, more and more of the Vick package will appear, it will just take a little time.

Speaking of time, the Eagles are off next week before a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Reid is untouchable after bye weeks, and the upcoming schedule looks like a good time to start a little bit of a winning streak. Until then, I'll be safely stored away somewhere, like Jeff Garcia.

 

 

 

Justin Boylan

 

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