|2009 Chiefs at Eagles Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:26|
Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Eagles currently employ three quarterbacks who have been selected to a combined 12 Pro Bowls.
But it's becoming increasing likely their signal caller against the Kansas City Chiefs could be making his second career start.
All eyes at Lincoln Financial Field, though, will be on the man who could take Kevin Kolb's place for a few snaps.
Michael Vick is eligible to play in the NFL for the first time in 33 months on Sunday when Philadelphia hosts the Chiefs, adding another twist to the Eagles' odd situation under center as they await the return of a healthy Donovan McNabb.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made the Eagles –9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 52% of bets for this game have been placed on the Eagles –9.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
McNabb has been a fixture with Philadelphia (1-1) for the past 11 seasons, making it a shock to many when coach Andy Reid's club signed Vick at the conclusion of the three-time Pro Bowler's 18-month federal prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring.
Vick played briefly in the Eagles' last two preseason games, but as part of his reinstatement commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vick for the team's first two regular-season games.
"I've been watching football from afar the last two years and this is a dream come true to me,'' said Vick, who last played in a regular-season game on Dec. 31, 2006, with Atlanta - a 24-17 loss at - of all places - Philadelphia.
The Eagles used Vick mainly to run their version of the wildcat offense in the preseason, but when McNabb cracked a rib during a Week 1 win at Carolina, the team found itself with some serious issues under center. With McNabb doubtful, Philadelphia signed four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia as insurance behind Kolb, who made his first career start last Sunday against New Orleans.
Kolb's passing totals looked great - he was 31 of 51 for 391 yards and two touchdowns - but he also threw three interceptions as he spent the afternoon trying to mount a comeback. The Eagles' defense was gouged for 421 yards in a 48-22 loss to the Saints.
"It was an absolutely horrendous performance," Reid said. "This is my football team and I have to make sure that they play better than that. I will make sure that happens."
As defensive coordinator Sean McDermott tries to adjust from that unit's worst performance since a 49-21 loss at Denver in 2005, the Eagles are still unclear of their pecking order at quarterback against Kansas City (0-2). Kolb will start again if McNabb - who isn't likely to practice this week - can't go, but Reid hasn't said whether Garcia or Vick will back him up.
He hasn't even confirmed that Vick will play, though the former No. 1 overall pick said he'll at least dress.
"This is Andy's team. He's a smart guy. He knows what to do and when he comes up with the game plan," Vick said. "If it doesn't include me, I'm cool. But, I will make sure that mentally I'm aware of what's going on and I'm ready in case something happens."
While the Chiefs aren't dealing with the carousel of signal callers Philadelphia is currently juggling, first-year coach Todd Haley already has a potential quarterback controversy on his hands.
Matt Cassel was acquired from New England in the offseason and signed to a six-year contract but a knee injury sidelined him for the team's 38-24 opening-week loss at Baltimore. Backup Brodie Croyle stepped in and threw two touchdown passes against the tough Ravens' defense, but Cassel's Chiefs debut was more of a struggle Sunday against the Raiders. Cassel stalled two second-half drives in Oakland territory with critical interceptions in Kansas City's 13-10 loss.
Haley has said he's sticking with Cassel against the Eagles, but didn't exactly give his new starter a vote of confidence.
"You've got to ultimately do what you think gives your team the best chance to win,'' Haley said. "If that means another quarterback being in there other than Matt Cassel, then sign me up.''
Despite Croyle's solid performance in Baltimore, the Chiefs were outgained 501-188. The defense bounced back in a big way against the Raiders, as Kansas City edged Oakland 409-166 in total yards.
The Chiefs' defense should be tested by the Eagles' running game, which is averaging 5.1 yards, but the oft-injured Brian Westbrook may not be ready to go Sunday. The former All-Pro sprained his right ankle against New Orleans and missed practice Wednesday.
If Westbrook can't play, rookie LeSean McCoy would start. With receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin also capable of being used on the ground - particularly in the wildcat with Vick - Haley is concerned about more than just Westbrook.
"You don't always know what skills those guys have other than what you've seen them play at their position," Haley said. "If you had a guy like Michael playing ... that adds another dimension to (the wildcat) with his ability to run and throw."
The Eagles lead the all-time series with Kansas City 3-2, including a 37-31 win at Arrowhead Stadium in 2005 behind three touchdowns from McNabb. The Chiefs won their only visit to Philadelphia, 24-21, in 1998.
The Eagles are 14-11 in the 25 career games - including playoffs - that McNabb has missed.
Posted: 9/23/09 11:25PM ET