Kolb loses in place of injured McNabb

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 20, 2009 Kolb's first career NFL start was fun and productive - for a half at least.

He also threw two costly interceptions in the second half, including one that was returned 97 yards for a score, and left a loser in his starting debut. Kolb was 31 of 51 with two TDs and three interceptions in the Eagles' 48-22 loss to New Orleans on Sunday.

Behind Drew Brees, the Saints turned this one into a rout late. Darren Sharper put the finishing touches on the Saints' win when he returned Kolb's interception 97 yards for a score that made it 48-22.

McNabb was reduced to a cheerleader because of a fractured rib. His sideline spot was no surprise since he did not practice all week after taking a hard shot in the end zone after his 3-yard touchdown run in last week's win at Carolina.

That cleared the way for Kolb, in his third year, to make his first start.

Kolb had a unique way to open the game when he lined up to the right as part of Philadelphia's version of the wildcat on the third play from scrimmage. Two plays later, he connected with DeSean Jackson in stride with a deep pass down the middle for a 71-yard score that tied the game at 7. McNabb greeted Kolb on the sideline with a smile and a congratulatory smack on the helmet.

Kolb was sharp on the final drive of the half with the Eagles on their own 21 and trailing 17-10. He completed 3 of 4 attempts, with two receivers making smart plays to run out of bounds, to drive the Eagles to New Orleans' 14.

Kolb's one attempt into the end zone was incomplete, but David Akers salvaged the drive with a field goal.

That earned Kolb a nice ovation as he left the field. The warm reception from the fickle Eagles fans didn't last long. Neither did Kolb's smart play.

Kolb threw an ill-timed pass and was intercepted by Saints linebacker Scott Shanle, setting up a touchdown for a 31-13 lead. Kolb heard some boos later in the third quarter when he threw an incomplete pass to Brian Westbrook on third down.

Jeff Garcia, who rejoined the Eagles on Monday, was the No. 2 quarterback and did not play. Kolb, Philadelphia's second-round draft pick in 2007, took all the snaps with the starters this week and said he felt confident and prepared for his first start.

Kolb was 24 for 45 for 167 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions in eight career games entering Sunday. He was 7 for 11 for 23 yards and sacked twice once he took over for the injured McNabb in the win against Carolina.

McNabb has missed 25 games, including playoffs, due to injuries during his first 10 seasons in the NFL. The Eagles are now 14-11 in those contests. He played all 16 games last season for the first time since 2003.

Michael Vick is on the active roster but still must serve one more week of his league-mandated suspension.

McNabb, Garcia and Vick have a combined 12 Pro Bowl selections and have made six NFC championship game appearances. If McNabb can go next week against the Chiefs, that puts Kolb back on the bench.

Kolb would likely start if the rib injury sidelines McNabb for another week.

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