MJD

Michael Vick sparkles again; promptly gets benched

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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It would've been difficult to imagine this back in 2007 when Michael Vick(notes) was being led around in handcuffs, but I'm about to argue that the man is being wronged.

It's not just Vick, either. It's all of his teammates, fans and pretty much anyone who wants the Philadelphia Eagles to win football games. They're all being done a disservice by Andy Reid's decision to go with Kevin Kolb as the starter in next week's game against the Jaguars.

Reid said it before and after Vick beat the Lions: Kolb has passed the necessary concussion tests, and he will start next week. Just like that. Kolb was going to be your starter, even if Vick threw for 600 yards and 11 touchdowns Sunday.

I just wonder about Reid's motivation with this borderline-irrational devotion to Kolb. I see three possibilities for his unwavering Kolb love:

1) Training camp and practices have clearly demonstrated that Kolb is better than Vick, and Reid legitimately believes that Kolb gives the team the best chance to win;

2) After sticking his neck out for Kolb this offseason when he traded Donovan McNabb(notes), Reid really feels like he needs to prove he was right and justify that decision; or

3) The old unwritten rule about a how a player can't lose his job to injury.

The first possibility would be the only acceptable one. If Reid is thinking about the second or third, it's garbage. Giving the Philadelphia Eagles the best chance to win football games is the only acceptable motivation here.

[Photos: See Eagles QB Michael Vick in action ]

I have never seen anything from Kevin Kolb(notes), in real, live game action, that can match what Michael Vick's done in the last two games. It's never happened. Of all the games in which Kolb's had significant playing time, he's been very good just once. Admittedly, it's not a large sample size, but there it is.

Vick, with the last two games being the only two in which he's had substantial playing time, has shined in both of them. In six quarters, he's thrown for 459 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and has rushed 18 times for 140 yards.

Those are Pro Bowl numbers. You don't bench Pro Bowl numbers, unless you have someone on the bench who can put up even better numbers, and if Kevin Kolb can do that, he's been hiding that ability pretty well.

The Jaguars and their not-so-stellar pass defense are next on the schedule for the Eagles, so any quarterback who faces them figures to have a decent day. Kyle Orton(notes) threw for 295 yards against them in Week 1, and Philip Rivers(notes) just lit them up for 334. Opposing quarterbacks have a 103.5 passer rating against the Jags through two weeks.

So there's pressure on Kolb, not just to perform and win, but to do it rather impressively. If he struggles at all against the Jaguars, he and Andy Reid are going to have a lot of questions to answer.

Reid's been adamant all along that there's never been a Vick vs. Kolb quarterback controversy. By now, I agree with him -- Vick has clearly earned that job.

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