Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

  • 08:16 PM ET  09.20
Kevin Kolb threw for almost 400 yards subbing for Donovan McNabb./AP

PHILADELPHIA -- League-wide observations from the press box of the Saints-Eagles game that heads in the opposite direction of your average pro football analysis.

1. Kevin Kolb played well enough to make the Eagles quarterback situation even messier. In the best of circumstances, that town and its media are wary of the quarterback. Now they have one of the most unusual and potentially explosive stews possible at that position.

Coach Andy Reid said Kolb would start if Donovan McNabb can't go next Sunday against the Chiefs. Kolb threw for 391 yards, two touchdowns and three picks (two of which were after the game was out of hand) on Sunday. Michael Vick will be eligible and the wildcat-crazy Reid will probably use him on at least five plays. And Jeff Garcia will have more practice time under his belt and is ready to run an offense he knows well.

Depth is good, but all those options might be counter-productive. Kolb clearly has NFL talent, but are they going to give him time to develop it? Garcia is a strong veteran who could theoretically undermine both Kolb and McNabb. And who knows what Vick will do? Playing McNabb next week against the Chiefs makes little sense, since they have the bye the following week and they could get him two more solid weeks of rest. But will McNabb push himself to get out there?

This isn't a quarterback controversy. It's potentially quarterback mayhem.

2. Drew Brees has been nearly perfect and is on track to break all sorts of single-season records -- but it's not going to happen this year. The Saints are too good and too balanced to throw the ball enough for him to break Dan Marino's yardarge mark (5,084) and Tom Brady's TD mark (50). Former Bronco Mike Bell looks like he's in the best shape of his life and could provide enough running game to buy time and keep the defense off the field. Also, New Orleans did all this damage against the Lions and an Eagles defense that looks very shaky. The Saints visit Buffalo, host the Jets and Giants and visit the Dolphins in coming weeks.

3. Can a coach be on the hot seat at 3-1? The Redskins topped the Rams 9-7 and have the Lions and Bucs coming up. But Jim Zorn is an offensive guy and Washington just can't score. That has to leave fans and management scratching their head. The defense is good and they showed they can win ugly, but the Redskins have become a must-not-watch team.

4. Green Bay's 31-24 loss to the Bengals was no fluke. The Packers came into the regular season as the most over-hyped team.

5. Watch out for a Jets letdown next week. They won the game they've been talking about for six months and probably feel pretty good about themselves. The 0-2 Titans are in exactly the opposite position, but their quarterback Kerry Collins is at least familiar with Rex Ryan's defense from last year and might not be as perplexed as Matt Schaub and Brady were.

6. The Jags and Bucs better improve quickly, because they don't want to be positioned too high in the draft to take Tim Tebow. Even the most loyal Floridian isn't going to argue he's a No. 1 or No. 2 pick.

7. The Eagles used the wildcat nine times on Sunday -- seven times in the first half when the game was close. Reid may very well be setting up the offense for Vick's return and trying to protect the inexperienced Kolb. It wasn't flashy -- they tried only one double-reverse Kolb pass that didn't work. But it was effective enough to stick. Lots of people in the media declared the wildcat dead after Week 1, but it's certainly alive and well in Philly.

8. It's the easiest time to pass the ball in the history of the NFL - and JaMarcus Russell goes 7-for-24. How do you do that? How many quarterbacks in the NFL could do better? At least 30 ... there are four in Philadelphia alone.

9. How many people want a Mulligan on their Patriots Super Bowl pick? To be fair, no one knew they'd trade Richard Seymour and Jerod Mayo would get hurt. But if you did take New England and could have a mulligan, who would you choose? The popular press box answer seems to be Baltimore after two weeks. Ray Lewis simply isn't getting older.

10. First coach to get fired? The Jaguars' Jack Del Rio is my front-runner only because Eric Mangini will probably get at least a year to prove himself. But Mangini looks even worse since Ryan has done so well in New York. Everyone around the Jets seems to be having a blast, while Cleveland is the most depressing place in the NFL right now.

You can debate the NFL with Andrew Perloff every day at


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