WEEK #1 Preview
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD – 4:15 PM
A Tale of Two Quarterbacks
This Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will kick off their 2010 Season at Lincoln Financial Field by honoring the 50th Anniversary of the 1960 Championship team. Ironic that it’s the Green Bay Packers they’re opening their season with since in 1960 it was Vince Lombardi’s Packers they defeated in one of the most famous match-ups between the teams, with the Eagles beating Green Bay 17-13 and winning the NFL Championship Game on Dec. 26, 1960. This will be the sixth time in franchise history that the Eagles open their season against the Packers, but the first time in Philadelphia. The Eagles are 1-4 in previous openers against Green Bay, with match-ups in 1934, 1940, 1968, 1991 and 2007. Sunday’s game will be the 37th time that these teams have met in the regular season, with Green Bay holding a 23-13 lead in the franchise series.
For the first time since 1999, the Eagles will begin a season without Donovan McNabb as the team’s opening day quarterback. McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins on April 4, 2010. In the wake of the trade, coach Andy Reid and the Eagles are moving forward with Kevin Kolb leading this young but skilled team. Aaron Rodgers, a young but talented quarterback, leads the Packers. Rodgers, much like Kolb, took over for a franchise legend after future Hall of Famer Brett Favre “retired” at the end of the 2007 season. This Sunday many fans and reporters are comparing the 2010 Eagles to the 2008 Packers. The match-up between Kolb and Rodgers should be an interesting one. Both quarterbacks sat on the sidelines for three seasons being groomed behind legends. Both quarterbacks are young and both were relatively high draft picks – Rodgers was selected 24th overall and Kolb 36th. The Packers may have struggled under the leadership of Rodgers in 2008, however the jury is still out on how much of that losing season was even his fault. A year later, the young quarterback proved himself and excelled tremendously in 2009, parachuting himself to one the league’s most elite quarterbacks. Kolb has played in 12 games total in previous seasons, and last season he made only two starts in place of an injured McNabb, topping 300 yards and registering two touchdown passes in each game.
It remains too be seen if Kolb will play the same role Rodgers did with his team in 2008. A fan can hope, though. Going into the 2010 season Kolb has a couple of things going for him. For one, he has the potential for greatness, and most fans recognize that. Second, his teammates are behind him. Jason Avant, on what his expectations are for the Eagles offense this year with Kolb:
“We always have the same expectations to be one of the best in the league, to get further than we did last year and to compete for a Super Bowl and I think that Kevin is going to put us in that position and I really believe this team has the talent to win it.”
Most everyone is betting Green Bay to come out on top this Sunday. Everywhere I looked for NFL picks for Week 1 (to beef up my chances of having the winning pool come Tuesday) – ESPN, CBS, Yahoo! – the consensus is all the same, and they’re choosing Green Bay, with a few, and by few I mean less than a handful, picking the Eagles.
Even my own self-proclaimed giant Eagles fan of a husband picked Green Bay on our football pool, turning this into a living room divided. But of course being the diehard Eagles fan that I am, I’m betting on the Eagles and hoping I get to say “I told you so,” a whole lot next week.
My prediction is: Eagles – 27 Green Bay – 17.
Its Football season Baby!!!