Who Ya Got: Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb?

Who Ya Got: Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb?

Before the 2012 NFL season ever kicked off, most Philadelphia Eagles fans never thought twice about the Eagles decision to ship Kevin Kolb out to Arizona for DRC and a second round pick. Aside from getting a huge payday, Kolb's tenure in the desert had been a miserable one, losing his starting job to John Skelton along the way.

And during that time in Philly, Andy Reid was supposedly grooming Mike Vick into becoming a mature, hard-working quarterback that many believed could lead the Birds to the Super Bowl.

Then they started playing football this season.

CSN's Reuben Frank had some fun after yesterday's Eagles loss to the Cardinals playing the what-if game. The tables have turned quite a bit after just three games into the 2012 season. Roob lists the key talking points:

Since replacing an injured John Skelton on opening day -- just like Vick
replaced an injured Kolb in the 2010 opener against the Packers -- Kolb
has led the Cards to wins over the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles and
their first 3-0 start since 1974.
 
He’s thrown four touchdowns,
and for the first time in his career, he’s gone three straight games
without throwing an interception.
 
Kolb’s passer rating is 108.6, Vick’s is 66.3.
 
Kolb has committed zero turnovers, Vick nine.

Holy crap that last one is eye-popping. Vick has nine turnovers in three games.

I'll admit I have been pretty pro-Vick in the past and never thought he'd be so careless with the ball. I always bought into the "man, the bounces just really aren't going his way" argument when a tipped pass would get picked or he'd hurt his ribs. And to his defense, Vick is getting beaten up like the hanging hunk of meat in Rocky. He takes a beating every single game.

The things that worry me the most are the carelessness with which Vick seems to take care of the ball and the lack of awareness of what's going on around him in the pocket. If he has one bad game where he coughs it up, you can live with that. But this is three-straight weeks.

Is he never going to learn?

Kolb has obviously had quite a bit of success early this season after looking lost for much of his past. Roob says the two quarterback's career paths are diverging, and perhaps they are to some extent after just three games into 2012.

In playing with Roob's what-if game, and you could have one of these two quarterbacks to lead your team to the Super Bowl, knowing what we now know, who you got?

Vick of Kolb?

>>Kolb makes you wonder: what if? [CSN]

Brandon Manning to face hearing for hit on Penguins' Jake Guentzel

Brandon Manning to face hearing for hit on Penguins' Jake Guentzel

As if Saturday night's deflating loss to the Penguins at Heinz Field wasn't enough, the Flyers could be coming out of the defeat minus a defenseman in the lineup.

Brandon Manning will have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Monday morning for his hit on Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel during the second period of the Stadium Series game.

That means a suspension is looming.

Just over three minutes into the second stanza on Saturday, Guentzel tried to corral a bouncing puck as he exited the Penguins' zone. He did not see Manning, who flattened him with a huge hit.

While the hit did seem a bit late in real speed to the naked eye, no interference penalty was called and play continued. Manning did look to leave his feet to the deliver the hit and make contact with Guentzel's head, though, so both could work against him during the hearing.

Video of the hit in question can be seen above.

Guentzel was not injured on the play, stayed in the game and finished the evening with two assists.

Manning has a clean history as he has never been suspended in the NHL.

If Manning does get suspended by the league, Michael Del Zotto is likely to draw back into the Flyers' lineup Tuesday against visiting Colorado.

Del Zotto, who is a prime candidate to be moved before Wednesday's trade deadline, has sat out the past three games as a healthy scratch.

Sixers' trio of double-doubles overshadowed in loss to Knicks

Sixers' trio of double-doubles overshadowed in loss to Knicks

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony stole the show on Saturday with 37 points and a game-winning shot against the Sixers.  

His dramatic bucket was the difference maker in the Knicks 110-109 victory (see story), but a deeper look into the box score tells another story of a strong comeback attempt fallen short.

While the Knicks were led by one player (Derrick Rose had 18 points and was the only other Knick to score more than 14), the Sixers fought back with standout efforts from a trio of starters.

The frontcourt of Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington and Dario Saric combined for 67 points and 35 rebounds. That’s 61.4 percent of the Sixers' total offense and 70 percent of their production on the boards.

In a game remembered for one shot, don’t forget about these performances.

Okafor: 28 points, 10 rebounds (six offensive), one assist, 28:45

Okafor scored a season-high 28 points (three shy of his career-high) starting in place of the injured Joel Embiid. He was aggressive from the start, scoring 11 points in the first quarter alone. He followed that up with another 11 in the fourth. Down the stretch, Okafor scored the Sixers' final two baskets, including the critical go-ahead jumper with nine seconds left.

“There was a real bounce even at the start,” Brett Brown said of Okafor, who received treatment after the game and was not available to speak to the media. “He is such a gifted scorer when he has that fluid nature that we saw at the start. … I feel like there was a real mentality for Jahlil to look to score.”

The most significant aspect of Okafor’s game, though, was in the rebounding column. He has struggled on the boards -- his defense has been the knock on him since he entered the league. On Friday, he grabbed just two rebounds against the Wizards while Richaun Holmes had 10 off the bench.

That changed on Saturday. Okafor pulled down six rebounds … in his first 11 minutes. That equaled his total from the past two games combined. Okafor gave the Sixers a glimpse into what they hope to see more of from their man in the middle.

“Jah did an amazing job on both sides of the court,” Covington said. “He made a bunch of tough plays on the offensive and defensive end. He got a couple big rebounds for us, he does that a lot but we’ve just got to get him to keep doing it more consistently.”

Saric: 19 points, 15 rebounds (six offensive), five assists, 39:34

How do you keep up with 20 points and 11 rebounds on Friday? Post a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double the next night (a career-high in boards).

Check out Saric’s total numbers from in his last two games: 39 points, 17 for 36 field goal shooting, 26 rebounds, nine assists and 73 minutes. Saric ranks second among all rookies in double-doubles (seven) behind only teammate Embiid.

“That’s massive numbers by any standards,” Brown said. “His versatility and his skill package, all under the roof of how competitive he is, makes him a very, very unique rookie.”

There has been an increase in Saric’s ball movement of late. His comfort level and growing team chemistry is translating into more assists.

“I just think he’s just so at peace within himself, and so his game takes the same type of shape,” Brown said. “It’s not forced.”

Saric’s game has been driven by effort from the beginning of his rookie season. He approaches each play with a high level of intensity and his stat lines reflect his mentality.

“We fought until the end,” Saric said. “We never gave up.”

Covington: 20 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, 38:53

Covington’s locker was crowded after the game as he was the one who guarded Anthony on the final shot. Yet, in spite of being tasked with Anthony, Covington still posted a 20-and-10 double-double and came up with a major defensive play down the stretch.

With the Sixers trailing 108-107 with just over 30 seconds to play, Covington picked off Lance Thomas’ pass to start a fast break. This steal started a Sixers possession that eventually led to Okafor scoring the go-ahead basket. Covington is averaging 3.4 steals in his last five games.

“He helped us coach him to being a two-way player. Now he’s for real,” Brown said of Covington before the game. “I look at him as somebody that has just grown right before us all and bought in as a wonderful teammate, is a two-way player, is amongst the NBA’s elite wing defenders when you look at his position and can guard multiple people. That has come through work."