NFL

On Further Review: Kolb comes out firing

FOX Sports by Ashley Fox and Jonathan Tamari; INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-49ers game:

Kolb comes out firing

Kevin Kolb, highly criticized for being too passive last week, came out firing on his first drive.

He hit a long cross-field throw to Brent Celek for 32 yards, fired a pass to Jason Avant despite a small window, and bought time before finding Celek again for a touchdown.

Critics quickly answered. At least early.

Manhandled

After going in for left tackle Jason Peters, who was on the sideline with a knee injury, King Dunlap showed why he has been unable to get on the field during his three years with the Eagles.

On second and 15 from the San Francisco 15-yard line in the second quarter, Dunlap got manhandled by Justin Smith, who attacked Dunlap inside and pushed the 6-foot-9, 330-pound lineman into quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Smith then slipped around Dunlap and easily sacked Kolb.

The play effectively killed the Eagles' drive, and they settled for a David Akers field goal to take a 10-7 lead midway through the quarter.

Depth rises

Depth is the key to any team, and the Eagles got strong performances from two fill-ins on defense early in the game.

Linebacker Moise Fokou, in his first start of the year, forced an early fumble that led to a field goal. And defensive back Dimitri Patterson, bumped up to the nickel team because of Asante Samuel's concussion against the Redskins, picked off Alex Smith in the second quarter.

The Birds will need similar contributions from their bench for the rest of the season if they hope to keep their train on the tracks.

Who? What? Where?

In the second quarter, after cornerback Dimitri Patterson picked off Alex Smith to give the Eagles' offense the ball at its own 3-yard line, it appeared that Marty Mornhinweg was unable to relay the play calls to Kevin Kolb's helmet.

Before the drive starter, Kolb put his hands in the air, as if to signal "What?" and then Mornhinweg started to use hand signals to call the plays from the sideline.

The Eagles didn't have much luck and couldn't move past their 21-yard line. Back on the sideline afterward, someone switched out part of Mornhinweg's headset.

Yakety yak

There was a lot of jabbering going on during the game.

After the Eagles took a 17-7 lead late in the first half, DeSean Jackson was on the sideline talking to a referee and also jawing with Niners running back Anthony Dixon, a rookie out of Michigan State who was on the field as part of the Niners' kickoff return team.

Dixon waved his arms at Jackson, who kept talking until Andy Reid walked down and waved him off the sideline. Then Dixon turned his attention to Jeremy Maclin, at least until it was time to run down the field.

Where am I?

Kolb did a great job scrambling up the field for 19 yards on a third and 18 in the third quarter. But what's with him arm-pumping fake passes well past the line of scrimmage?

Oh well, they did seem to freeze a few of the backs who finally closed in to make the stop. But they sure looked funny.

Tagged: Browns, Eagles, 49ers, Justin Smith, Alex Smith, Dimitri Patterson, Kevin Kolb, King Dunlap, Boobie Dixon

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