Kolb, Vick play well as Eagles top Jags

August 13, 2010

Kevin Kolb threw crisp passes, Michael Vick made tacklers miss and even rookie Mike Kafka contributed.

Playing their first game without Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles showed they have capable quarterbacks.

Kolb was impressive and Vick displayed flashes of his old self before Kafka rallied the Eagles to a 28-27 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in their preseason opener Friday night.

''We know we're talented,'' Kolb said. ''We know there's talent on the field all over the place. We just have to execute. We're doing our own thing. We don't need to force anything. We're a young bunch. We're excited about the way we started things today and we just need to keep moving forward next week.''


Pro Bowl kicker David Akers made all five of his field goals, including a 36-yarder that gave the Eagles a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Jaguars backup Luke McCown picked apart Philadelphia's junior-varsity secondary, throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns.

But the focus was on Kolb, anointed the starter and given a contract extension after McNabb was traded to Washington in April.

Kolb was 6 of 11 for 95 yards. Vick was 11 of 17 for 119 yards and ran for 50 yards. He made a couple spectacular plays, but also lost a fumble and threw an interception.

There's certainly no quarterback controversy here. It's Kolb's job.

But Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl pick with Atlanta, gives the Eagles insurance. He's entering the final season of a two-year deal he signed following his release from federal prison last summer.

''I''m in a system that helps you be comfortable and make good decisions and get the ball to guys who can make plays,'' Vick said. ''It's a good opportunity for me to learn from great coaches.''

McNabb led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl during 11 seasons in Philadelphia, but the organization felt it was time to move on with Kolb. There might be no drop-off. Kolb played well in two starts last year, and was sharp in one quarter against the Jaguars.

While the Eagles managed a pair of field goals from their starting offense, Jacksonville's first-team unit couldn't get going. David Garrard was 5 of 10 for 35 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew had only two carries for 0 yards.

''It wasn't what we needed at all,'' Jags coach Jack Del Rio said. ''Couldn't run, didn't convert.''

The Eagles will need to work on their red zone offense, though. They reached Jacksonville's 14, 11, 10 and 13 on their first four possessions and ended up with nine points.

''We've got to get better in the red zone,'' Kolb said.

Helped by a 46-yard pass interference penalty, the Eagles scored on Kafka's first drive. Martell Mallett ran in from the 3 to cut it to 27-25 early in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion failed.

Kafka's 57-yard pass to Chad Hall set up Akers' go-ahead kick.

Vick ran in from the 10 to give the Eagles a 16-7 lead in the second quarter. He showed a burst he seemed to be missing last year after sitting out two seasons because of his involvement in dogfighting.

Vick was intercepted by Michael Coe in the final minute of the first half, setting up Josh Scobee's 36-yard field goal that gave the Jaguars a 17-16 lead.

McCown threw TD passes of 73 yards to Troy Williamson, 30 yards to John Matthews and 55 yards to Tiquan Underwood.

But Garrard and the rest of the starters got just one first down in three series.

''We've got to do a better job of getting first downs and keeping the offense on the field,'' Garrard said.

Kolb connected with DeSean Jackson for 21 yards on his first pass. Then he showed his scrambling ability, running 6 yards to prolong the opening drive. Kolb connected with Jeremy Maclin for 29 yards and nearly finished off the drive with a TD pass. However, Brent Celek dropped Kolb's toss and Akers kicked a 29-yard field goal.

On Philadelphia's second possession, Kolb hit Jackson for a 26-yard gain. Then Vick entered on second-and-2 and tossed a 6-yard pass to Celek. But the drive stalled and Akers kicked a 32-yarder.

Kolb and the rest of the starters left mid-drive after Jackson's nifty 17-yard run ended the first quarter. On the next play, Vick threw a beautiful deep pass to rookie Riley Cooper, who made an over-the-shoulder catch for a 46-yard gain to the Jaguars 10.

But Vick fumbled after he was sacked by Derrick Harvey. Anthony Smith recovered and ran 19 yards.

''You can't have the turnovers, but he did some good things in there, too,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Vick.