The Eagles were involved in a second straight blowout game against an NFC South team, but this time they were on the wrong end of the beating. The Saints offense did pretty much whatever they wanted all day and the Eagles special teams was absolutely terrible. The offense certainly wasn't great, but is much lower on the list of reasons this game got out of hand.
The defense, who was stifling and so active against the Panthers did a complete 180 today. Rarely got pressure, were beat short, long, in the red zone, out of the red zone... Just altogether terrible. It's hard to even point out a guy or a unit that was more at fault than the others.
The special teams was almost equally terrible, when they weren't turning the ball over they were committing a penalty that left the offense with terrible field position. Plus, Sav Rocca was absolutely terrible today.
On offense, the team did manage 20 points... which isn't really good or bad. Generally, that's a fair representation for how the offense played. Not very good or very bad. They did move the ball, they did make some plays, and they certainly showed some interesting stuff with the wildcat.
Of course, I'm sure everyone will also want to talk about Kevin Kolb... We'll get into that after the break.
I'm going to put the last couple drives aside. Kolb added a bunch of yards and catches along with a couple picks to his stats. None of that is terribly significant to me. So while stat line shows 3 picks and almost 400 yards passing, he wasn't that good or bad. The end of the game inflated his stats both negatively and positively.
He did made some really good throws in this game. He showed much better decision making overall and looked tough out there standing in for some big hits to make a play. He also made a terrible decision on the pick at the start of the second half. He looked at the WR the whole way, didn't see the defender, and threw an easily picked pass. And while I don't think the end of the game mattered, you still don't want to see a guy fall back into bad habits and make poor throws from bad positions. Kolb was good today when he set his feet, made smart throws, and knew when to throw it away if need be. He needs to keep doing that even if you are playing out the string and airing out against a prevent D.
I will give him credit for generally playing well under pressure today. The offense line didn't give him a ton of time and Kolb was often running from defenders. He did much better against pressure today than he has in the past.
I thought for his first NFL start that Kolb looked capable out there. I don't think he proved that he's definitely the future of the franchise, but he didn't embarrass himself either. As first starts go, that wasn't so bad. The bar starts to rise from here on out though. Today's performance won't always be considered good enough.
One thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that the loss of McNabb isn't what lost this game for the Eagles. If you blame that or blame Kolb, I have to wonder whether you're trying to convince yourself that the defense can't be this bad...
I don't think the defense is this bad, but then again I think it's fair to say that D isn't as good as they looked last week. Hopefully, we'll see them settle into reality in the coming weeks and not see this wild inconsistency.
More on the game later.