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Even as Kevin Kolb plays well in his debut, the Eagles get pounded by New Orleans.

The conclusion might be this after Saints 48, Eagles 22 at Lincoln Financial Field:

That the future offers some promise.

That the problem is the present.

Because on the day of Kevin Kolb's first start as the Eagles' quarterback, he did things that no one predicted. I thought he would be functional, which made the one of the town's optimists. I did not imagine that he would throw for nearly 391 yards and two touchdowns and look very much like a guy who has the skills upon which a successful pro career can be built. (I did, though, imagine he might throw three interceptions, one of which was returned 97 yards for a touchdown by the Saints' Darren Sharper. That play, with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter, colors things unfortunately. The last pick came on the game's final, dying play.)

But also, on the same day, special teams were a penalty-filled disaster and the defense, frankly, got shredded by Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Forty-eight points is the most ever allowed by an Andy Reid team at home. It did not matter how good or not good Kolb was -- and he was decent, not great. A week after suffocating the Carolina Panthers, the defense was neutered by the Saints. The Eagles dared not blitz Brees nearly as much as they blitzed Jake Delhomme & Co. the previous week, and it cost them. Brees had enough time and he used it well. The whole thing raises the same questions that have existed with this defense for years. Specifically, can they get enough pressure without blitzing?

As it turns out, you look at the two games so far and add them together and come to the conclusion that we still don't know anything about this Eagles team.

And then, at the end, ominous news: Brian Westbrook left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. No word yet on its severity. He hasn't appeared to have much burst in the first two games, and now this.

The present. That is the issue.