When the Philadelphia Eagles traded six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins on April 4th, Kevin Kolb, the team’s second round draft choice from 2007, was immediately proclaimed the quarterback of the future.
Kolb had made only two starts during the 2009 season and threw for over 300 yards in each of them. He impressed the Eagles’ ownership enough that he was handed the starting job, despite the Eagles having former three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick on their roster.
Kolb impressed the team during training camp with his deadly accuracy. He showed poise and seemed ready to lead a solid offensive unit into the postseason.
Then the season started. And Kolb, well, he completely fell apart.
He completed 5 of 10 passes for just 24 yards. He threw an interception early in the game but it was overturned when the Eagles challenged.
In the middle of the second quarter, with the score tied 3-3, the Eagles faced a 3rd and 14 from their own 18-yard line. Kolb took the snap and was immediately pressured by Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews Jr.
Matthews chased Kolb to the left side of the field and brought him down from behind. Kolb landed facefirst on the ground and skidded a few feet. He was slow to rise to his feet.
The Eagles got the ball back six minutes later and Kolb remained in the game. But the Eagles immediately went three and out.
After halftime, Michael Vick replaced Kolb for the remainder of the game. He turned in an incredible performance, completing 16 of 24 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, and scrambling 11 times for 103 yards. Despite Vick’s valiant effort, the Eagles fell short, losing 27-20.
After the game, Kolb was diagnosed with a severe concussion. We all know what happened after that.
Vick played the next week, led the Eagles to a high scoring victory over the Detroit Lions, and promptly earned the starting role. He concluded the year by leading the team to the playoffs and winning NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
As for Kolb? Well he will likely play for another team next year, finally earning his chance to start.
The image of Kolb being crushed by Matthews is the fourth most memorable image of the year for the Eagles.