NFL Quick Shots: Kolb, not Vick, best answer for Eagles at QB
Kevin Kolb completed 23 of 29 passes for 326 yards in a win over previously 4-1 Atlanta. He has a 118.7 passer rating in leading Philadelphia to back-to-back wins. Still, coach Andy Reid says former backup Michael Vick will remain the starter when he returns from a rib injury.
Kolb, who threw for 718 yards in his first two career starts last year, is the Eagles’ best QB. That’s why Reid traded Donovan McNabb. Vick played well against bottom feeders Detroit and Jacksonville, but that proves nothing. The media has made Vick out to be a MVP because redemption makes for a great story. Just don’t expect the story to finish with Vick at the controls.
Branch is no Moss
SI.com’s Peter King wrote Deion Branch in three hours “gave the Patriots the production Randy Moss had in five weeks.” That’s because Tom Brady threw 12 passes to Branch and only one to Moss in his last game. To judge Moss’ value, I wrote at the time of his trade, check what happens to Tom Brady’s and Brett Favre’s passer rating. Brady had a 109 rating in four games with Moss this year and 69.5 in one game without. Favre’s rating was 60.2 in three games without Moss and 93.4 in two games with him.
Rivers, Chargers fail in clutch
Philip Rivers leads the NFL by wide margins in both passing yards (2,008) and yards per pass (9.3), but they are empty yards. The Chargers are 2-4 despite outgaining opponents by more than 1,000 yards. A lot of that is because they’ve won their two games by an average of 28 points and lost all four games decided by a touchdown or less. Last year, they were 5-0 in games decided by four points or fewer until losing 17-14 to the Jets in the playoffs.
McNabb worse the Rivers
Supposed MVP candidate Donovan McNabb is now 24th in passer rating. When trailing or leading by 7 points or less in the fourth quarter, his rating is 40.1. You get a 39.6 for throwing every pass incomplete.
QB didn’t fail in Packer loss
Don’t blame Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay’s three losses by three points in four weeks. The first of those losses came after James Jones fumbled a 12-yard pass from Rodgers. The second came when the potential game-winning field goal bounced off an upright. And Rodgers led a perfect touchdown drive to force overtime last week, taking all but 13 seconds off the clock and completing passes of 24 and 20 yards on third-and-10 and fourth-and-7.
AFC again dwarfs NFC
Miami, which probably won’t even make the playoffs in the AFC, showed how inferior the NFC is by beating both the Vikings and Packers on the road. Those are two of your five best NFC teams, along with the Saints, Giants and Eagles.
Cutler best on 1st down
For those who want the Bears to run more, when should they run? Do you really want to take the ball out of Jay Cutler’s hands on first down? He has a 115.1 passer rating on first down. Second down? He has a 96.9 rating. He also has 84 percent of his yards on first and second downs. The time to run is on third down, when he has a 52.1 rating and only 188 yards on 34 attempts. But that’s the one time when everyone wants to pass.
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.