• August 17, 2022

Hall Of Fame Quarterback’s Stats In Their 1st Year As Full Time NFL Starters

It’s understandable that people (locally and nationwide) think Michael Vick should be placed above Kevin Kolb on the depth chart at quarterback.

Vick’s experience and athletic ability give the Philadelphia Eagles a dynamic option on the field other teams should be envious about.  If we’re talking about winning now and putting the best players on the field, Vick is the right choice.

The problem with that is, like it or not, the Eagles took themselves out of the ‘win now’ conversation April 4, 2010 when Donovan McNabb was traded.

Regardless of whether they were rebuilding or retooling, that trade was made with a mindset of investing for 2011 and beyond instead of an aggressive goal for 2010.

As fans we always want our team to win big every year.  The reality is, this year it’s just not going to happen in Philadelphia. The Eagles aren’t a Super Bowl team with Vick or Kolb under center.

Does it really make sense to start someone who has no chance of returning after this season (Jeff Lurie is not going to allow Vick to be re-signed) just to look exciting and competitive? I surely don’t think so.

I think the 2010 Eagles are an 8-8 team at best and that hasn’t changed.  Neither has my thought that Kolb is going to go through many growing pains this year.

After one half of horrendous play, people clamor about how Kolb stinks.  How do we know that?  That thought is the polar opposite of saying he’s going to be great because he’s the first QB to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts.  In the middle of these two extremes is the fact that we just don’t know yet.

What I do know is there are many quarterbacks before Kolb whose initial seasons as an NFL starter were atrocious.  Not first halves, SEASONS. Some are in the Hall of Fame and some of them are well on their way. Here’s a few of them.

  1. Troy Aikman (1989) 11 games; 155-293 for 1749 yards; 9 TD; 18 INT; 55.9 passer rating. A career 81.6 passer rating.  Never had a 4000 yard passing season.
  2. John Elway (1983) 11 games; 123-259 for 1663 yards; 7 TD; 14 INT; 54.9 passer rating.  Only one season with a passer rating over 90 (1993).  Who knew he’d walk away with two Super Bowl titles?
  3. Warren Moon (1984) 16 games; 259-450 for 3338 yards; 12 TD; 14 INT; 76.9 passer rating.  Never had a 16 game season with less than 14 INTs
  4. Steve Young (1986) 14 games; 195-363 for 2282 yards; 8 TD; 13 INT; 65.5 passer rating.  His legs couldn’t prevent concussions.  Ended up with the best ever career passer rating. Spent six years as Joe Montana’s backup.
  5. Jim Kelly (1986) 16 games; 285-480 for 3593 yards; 22 TD; 17 INT; 83.3 passer rating.  Spent first two professional years starting in USFL.

Potential Hall of Fame QB stats in their first full year as NFL starters.

  1. Peyton Manning (1998) 16 games; 326-575 for 3739 yards; 26 TD; 28 INT (ouch!); 71.2 passer rating.  Won 3 games that year which is one of just two seasons in 12 years with less than 10 wins.
  2. Drew Brees (2002) 16 games; 320-526 for 3284 yards; 17 TD; 16 INT; 76.9 passer rating.  Following year was worse (67.5 passer rating) before 6 straight seasons of 89 passer rating or higher.  Mr. Who Dat got dismissed by the San Diego Chargers only to eventually win a Super Bowl elsewhere.

The bottom line is it’s going to take time for Kolb to improve.  There’s no guarantee that he’ll be great or horrible.  Yes, he’s 26 and is in his 4th year in the league, but he has minimal game experience.

Not everyone starts off strong like Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Dan Marino.

Although preseason games don’t count, Andy Reid should’ve given Kolb more reps to better prepare him.  That’s another story for another article.

If the Eagles were to start Vick the rest of the season, the Eagles may make a playoff run. But, it’s likely they’d just miss out or lose a wildcard game.  After that, Vick leaves via free agency and Philly goes another year without a Super Bowl still trying to make Kolb a starter (again).

By starting Kolb, one of two things is going to happen.  1.) He’s going to have a decent season and the Eagles are going to be convinced he’s really the QB of the future. 2.)  He’s going to continue to regress and Philly will have a horrendous season.  If the latter happens the Eagles will have a top 10 (maybe top 5) pick in a 2011 Draft that projects to be strong in quarterbacks.

Having said that, the Eagles have no choice but to send Kolb on the field (when he’s healthy of course) and let him grow.  You never know, he may just end up in the Hall of Fame.

Haran Knight

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  • Now there is a truely fair and reasonable view point of the real situation. I love everyones views on here very intelligent (mostly), just be fair that is the point. Oh and guess what as an organization (not just the team) the Eagles are a gold standard, ranked among the top sports organizations in the WORLD, again the WORLD. They bumble the football ops at times but be fair they are a great organization…… now run the ball dang ball more, manage the dang clock, hold a few timeouts, and adjust the gameplan sometime…..

  • Thanks Haran the perspective was greatly needed to keep us grounded in reality. GO EAGLES

  • Very good and fair article. I will add though and for some reason people leave this out, he is not a rookie or second year player…this is his 4 th year. I know he hast played much but he has some playing time and should (in my opinion) look like a rookie. Also, did those guys have the weapons like we have now.? D Jax Celek , Maclin, avant and shady? I know the Grily Boy Troy had a terrible team that was 1 and 1 and 15 his first year. Troy had a GREAT coach and unfortunately Kolb is stuck with a passy happy predictable coach who cant manage Timeouts and detests the run. I really do feel for Kolb because I think he doomed to fail with this head coach. Good article though.

  • I love it when “reporters” act like they know whats going to happen. Truth is, YOU don’t know, and I don’t know a damn thing about what the future holds for this or any team. We can go on and win every game of the season from here on out….who knows? Is it likely? Probably not — but that’s the beauty of football.

    It’s not our job to assess how many games this team is going to win and write dribble about how they are not a Superbowl team — NEWSFLASH, I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan and I believe every year my team is a Superbowl team. Period. The stars just have to align right and we will finally have our parade down Broad.

  • Remember KK is 26, not 22…

  • Maybe Vick can raise his trade value before the deadline.

  • “jeffie lurie is not going to let vick re-sign”. Did he tell you that? Didn’t Andy Greed say that Donovan was his QB when asked after the back the back loses to the Cowboys? How’d that work out? Business is business. If Vick sells more Eagles merchandise and puts fans in the seats and the ratings are high he will be resigned. They did not pay him 5 million to hold a clip board. They new Kolb might bomb and thats why Vick was in the game so much in the 1st half. Kolb has stunk all training camp and preseason not just the 1st half of last Sundays game. Andy wants to keep coaching the Eagles as long as Lurie is dumb enough to let him. We will win with Andy, but never a superbowl. Just like Marty Shot, George Allen, Marv Levy, and Air Coreyell.

    Every Pittsburg Steeler coach hired has won a superbowl. Their organization realizes that every faze of the game is important.Even ex Eagle Ron Jaworski stresses the importance of balance. Andy does not believe in balance. He spent to many years watching BYU great Lavell Edwards pass, pass and pass some more. He is what he is. The Michigan team BYU beat for their national championship was garbage. If there was a real playoff in college football they would have be bounced in the 2nd or 3rd round. Just like the Eagle do almost every year with Andy.

    Roseman is a great young GM. He drafts blue chip players, not all the torn ACL guys and division III projects from the past. Hire Bill Cower or an assistant at Pittsburgh that understands the Balance philosophy. Otherwise go to sleep tonight understanding that the Saints and Tampa Bay have won a superbowl before the Eagles, and Detroit will win one before the Eagles as long as Andy Greed is the head coach.

  • This comparison isn’t apples to apples. It’s stat seeking to make a weak argument. A better comparison would be QBs who didn’t start their first year but had time to learn prior to starting. Try these stats out: Brett Favre, Steve Yound, Tom Brady, Mark Brunell.

  • Haran buddy I think you left something out………….This guy Kolb is 26 years old!!!! He is what he is.

    It doesn’t matter what you hope…you can’t make Kolb’s arm like Aaron Rogers or heart to play through injury like Donovan Mcnabb…They should have invested in a QB with those tools in place and a QB with heart.

    Brees is shorter than Kolb but have a better arm and heart. The QB’s you named at least showed a glimpse of what could make them great. stop giving us the “2” 300 yard games spill….You think we didn’t see those games? Kolb stunk and gave away the game against the Saints in the 1st Half of that game and racked up yards on an horrendous Cheifs team. Green Bay was the perfect test and this kid is shell shocked in almossed pissed his pants. Don’t compare Kolb to those guys..they had heart and was blessed with strong arms….and last I checked a quarterback uses an arm to throw the ball.


  • Kolb’s age is brought up like he’s 36. Yes he’s 26 which means he hasn’t reached his prime yet. Michael Vick is 30 and the Eagles are raving about how much he’s improved as a QB since he came to Philly.

    @JoaPA, I did bring up Young. He turned 30 and was in his 8th season when he became the 49ers starter.

    @bsm, What makes you think Lurie will re-sign somebody he didn’t want in the first place. He had to be strongly persuaded to co-sign with bringing Vick in. But that was with McNabb here ensuring Vick was a backup After his birthday party fiasco, do you really think Lurie’s going to have Vick re-signed as his starting QB? The face of his franchise???

  • Songs you make good points but you sound like you HATE Kolb now. Lets give him time to see what he can do. He is 26 but has never had extended time. Mike Vick is better, but they are NOT going to re sign him. Under NO circumstances. YOU know they are not going to draft a blue chip QB next year if Kolb does not play this year. Under NO circumstances. The only thing that we can do is see if Kolb works out. That is the decision that Reid and the FO has made. WE unfortunately have to see how it works out.

  • Haran…thank you.

  • Haran how about to compare the stats of QBs who been in an offense for 3 years and then went through their first season. Comparing the stats of rookies isn’t exactly a parallel. Of course going out there and playing is different but after 3 years behind a very good QB, Kolb should know the offense in and out whereas most of the guys on you list didn’t have a clue because they were rookies. But I do agree it takes time to be a good NFL QB but those stats of any of those QB means nothing when it comes to Kolb. He could be the next John Elway or the next Joey Harrington. I’m sure people in Detroit were making the same comparisons when he was out ther stinking up the joint along with David Carr, Tim Couch and all the other QB busts.

  • I’m sure we all can name far more QBs who started brutal and remained brutal. This list means nothing. Kolb has to go out there and play now. This is not “let’s sacrifice to HOPE the kid plays well”. When McNabb was drafted the team was awful but WITH THE SAME DEFENSE FROM 1999 McNabb took the team to the playoffs in 2000 and NFC championships after that. So I don’t want to hear about that crap. He needs to play well now. I’m not comparing him to the success of HOF players, I’m comparing him to the success of the guy he replaced and the guy that’s backing him up.

  • I’m sure anyone here can find some statistics to reinforce their respective arguments either pro or anti Kolb, Vick, AR, Eagles FO, it’s just glorified nit-picking. Sunday’s almost here, GO BIRDS, BEAT Detroit!

  • my only issue is that they told us this was not going to be the case. They said we would “not miss a beat”. we are only 1 year removed from them telling us that “we have the best team”. They set us up for this and now they have to live with the pressure. Im not saying they should have said that we would not win a game BUT they should have not said anything at all.

  • Stevo – isn’t losing game 1, and playing not so great early in the season ‘not losing a beat’!? Since when do we start of strong game 1? Never. So we’re right on track to ‘not lose a beat’. Am I wrong? Major injuries? Sounds like not losing a beat to me.

  • Stevo, they can’t say nothing at all. They’re an NFL FO, and therefore, they get hounded by the media for comments every freakin day. There’s press conferences and media engagements at which they are basically required to speak. Don’t you think if they could say nothing, they would?

  • It’s a paradox..damned if you do, damed if you don’t. If the Eagles say something and it doesn’t happen then they get blasted for it. If they say nothing they get blasted for saying nothing and everyone jumps to conclusions…or off the BFB.

  • I think they (FO/AR) should have just came out and said, we are purging the roster of older players who we feel are on the downside of their careers in which we did not “Win the Big Prize” while they were with us (McNAbb,Westbrook,Andrews,Dawkins,S Brown,etc,etc) So now we are changing gears and going to go with the younger players and open up competition and keep guys that are talented,aggressive. We will also be more active in the Draft,Free Agency and Trades to acquire younger talent to reach the organizations goal of winning the Super Bowl…
    Would anyone have a problem if J Banner or Coach AR stated this publicly…

  • Yes paul, they would. That would have tipped everything off to other teams.

  • Brown nose…..I mean Schill

    Get you nose out of banners ass….you went from Andy’s to the Front office….

    you’re really going places and at the rate you’re kissing booty….the skys the limit.

    We’ll call you Spuds Jr.

  • There’s no guarantee that Vick doesn’t get re-signed. Be realistic…it’s going to depend on how Kolb plays as to whether Vick gets a contract offer. Certainly Kolb can get away with some mediocrity, but in the short amount of time he’s played he’s accumulated a lot of interceptions already without making any big QB plays that would qualify as “Flashes of Brilliance.” The team will have an even bigger problem to deal with long term if he looks bad and the coach keeps starting him. The team will loose respect for Kolb as their leader (if any of them even see Kolb as the leader now)they’ll lose respect for Reid. It would all go down from there and it would be difficult to impossible for the team to recover with him at the helm…ask the Cardinals. The other ball in play is that it’s more likely than not that McNabb will have more than a few good seasons, if Vick also leaves and has good seasons and Kolb remains the interception machine he’s shown himself to be up to this point the Eagles will rightly be judged as one of the worst talent evaluation/ player personnel franchises in the league.

    After having said all of that this article reads like a vote for tanking the season in hopes of being in a better draft position next year. The logic of that kind of position makes sense, but only if you are willing to go through multiple seasons of nauseatingly poor play…No thankyou, I’d personally prefer to be competitive and feel that my team has a chance to win every Sunday.

    Whether Vick is here after this season is also going to depend a great deal on what Vick wants to do after the season is over. Even if he only has two or three more halves like the second half of last week’s game he’ll be able to write his own ticket.

  • Haran…please give us the list of QB’s that didn’t make it in tje NFL after a rough start the 1st year.

    You think your fingers would be tired from all the typing?

    The truth is Haran…..the percentages are against Kolb being any of the HOF guys you’ve named while on the other hand the percentages of him becoming a Heath Shuler, or Joey Harrington etc are greater.

    I think Heath Schuler and Joey Harrington were better than “Diaper Boy”.
    come on with these HOF comparisons…this guy can’t even deal with the pressure of replacing Mcnabb.

  • “He may just end up in the Hall of Fame”?….Hold up!

    Did Haran, say Kevin (no arm, no heart, no athletic ability) Kolb,just might make it to the Hall of Fame?

    Haran….we need you to write another article on the coaches who have coached those Hall of Fame quarterbacks, along with the HOF running backs, receivers, and offensive linemen that played along with those HOF quarterbacks….then write another article on Kolb’s chances of getting to Canton wih those variables in place.

    Man…you media guys in Philly are desperate. First you write about all the skill positions in place on offense which makes Kolb’s replacing of Mcnabb a smoothe transition, now you’re saying it’s a throw away year now it appears he’s clearly not ready to lead a team that’s loaded with offensive weapons. You talk about the atrocious offensive line with out acknowledging how easy Vick moved the team with the same line. Haran here’s a question…

    How can Kolb prove he can play in the NFL on his back, behind a terible offensive line?

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