Donovan McNabb shined with his arm early and legs late, Michael Vick sustained a bruising injury, and Kevin Kolb got back on the field Sunday in a 17-12 Eagles loss that - after a long week of talk - left plenty more to discuss.
For the Eagles, the immediate concern - again - is what happens at quarterback. Vick suffered a chest injury when he was sandwiched between two Washington Redskins while diving toward the end zone in the first quarter.
He was in evident pain after the game, moving slowly through the locker room and struggling to raise his arms and put on a shirt. He declined to speak to reporters.
Vick will have an MRI exam Monday, Eagles coach Andy Reid said. Vick went in to the locker room for X-rays, but an Eagles source said the team did not know the extent of the injury. Comcast SportsNet reported that Vick could be out three to six weeks, leaving the team facing another quarterback switch.
"I told him right before he got hurt, too, 'Man, don't take no hits like that,' " wide receiver DeSean Jackson said. "It's our quarterback. We don't need him taking no extra hits."
Kolb, who had been expected to succeed McNabb, got a second chance show what he could do in front of his home crowd and had a far more steady performance than in his Week 1 nightmare. But he could not rally the team for a final score and win. After the game, he said he wanted to play.
"It's vital for our season and for our team right now to go out and win next week, and I hope I get the opportunity. But we'll see what happens with Mike's injury and what the situation is, and we'll go from there," Kolb said.
The Eagles fell to 2-2 and into a first-place tie in the NFC East with Washington and the New York Giants, winners Sunday night over Chicago.
McNabb, jettisoned to make way for Kolb and then Vick, was warmly received by Philadelphia fans and played great in the first half, going 6 for 8 while passing for 115 yards and a touchdown. He added a fantastic 57-yard deep throw to set up a field goal.
The Eagles stifled the Redskins in the second half, but McNabb had one final dagger for his old team. On third and 3 from his own 22-yard line with 3 minutes, 53 seconds left in the game and the Eagles needing the ball, McNabb ran for 18 yards and a first down. The Eagles had man-to-man coverage on the play, so the secondary was not in position to help once McNabb got loose.
"Donovan made a play when he needed to make a play," Reid said - this time with regret.
The Eagles didn't get the ball back until 1:07 was left on the clock, and they were at their own 26.
McNabb finished 8 for 19 passing for 125 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His 60.2 passing rating was the lowest of the three quarterbacks who played, but he made the biggest throws and the key run when his team needed it.
On the game's final play, Jason Avant got two hands on Kolb's desperation heave from the Washington 32-yard line, but could not hold on to the ball.
"I'm going to be dreaming about it for a while," said Avant, one of the surest-handed receivers on the team, adding that he "gave full effort. . . . I don't know how it jumped out of my hands."
With the Redskins playing a careful cover-2 defense, the Eagles could not make the explosive plays that had sparked them throughout the season. Their longest play was a 31-yard pass to LeSean McCoy, and even that came on a short throw that the back turned into a big gain.
The lack of offensive pop was a change, but several other problems were familiar.
The Eagles continued racking up penalties. Most troubling, a delay of game at the end of the first half forced the Eagles to kick a field goal rather than try for a touchdown that could have cut the lead to 17-10.
Following another early-season trend, the Eagles got off to a slow start and fell into an early hole for the third time this year. By the time Kolb led his first full drive, early in the second quarter, his team was down by 17-3.
Kolb said he had been ready to play despite some "difficult times" since being yanked after suffering a concussion and playing badly in Week 1.
"I've been a backup long enough to know that you're really just one play away, and that's the way you have to approach it," Kolb said.
His game consisted largely of careful underneath passes to his running backs, particularly to the productive McCoy, who had 12 receptions for 110 yards. Reid said the Redskins had been set on preventing big plays, leaving the Eagles to chip away.
"I didn't want to try to be overly aggressive," Kolb said, "and to learn from my mistakes that I made last time and take what the defense gave me."
Jackson, Avant, Jeremy Maclin, and tight end Brent Celek combined for just 11 catches.
On the one play when Kolb had a deep opening, he overthrew Jackson.
Kolb finished the day 22 for 35 for 201 yards and one touchdown, on a 5-yard pass to Celek, plus an interception.
The Eagles finished the day with one week of hype behind them, and another week of quarterback questions to come.