On Sept. 21, 2010, Andy Reid called Kevin Kolb into his office and altered the direction of the Eagles with one swift decision.

Reid was benching Kolb in favor of Michael Vick, a stunning move at the time and one that still resonates, especially this week as the Eagles travel to Arizona to face Kolb's Cardinals on Sunday.

Almost two years later, separated by more than 2,000 miles, the two quarterbacks and their teams sit atop the standings at 2-0. The road to this point has been a bumpy one for both Kolb and Vick.

Neither has made a slam-dunk case that Reid chose the right or wrong quarterback on that fateful day. Vick guided the Eagles to the NFC East championship in 2010, but he has not been the same quarterback since that initial outburst after Reid handed him the job.

Kolb, on the other hand, has had less success since the Eagles traded him to Arizona in July 2011. Injuries and mediocre play scarred his first season with the Cardinals. And then he lost the starting spot to John Skelton in the preseason.

But as it often is with Kolb, who has had more acts to his career than any quarterback with 17 starts, he is somehow back in the spotlight. When Skelton injured his ankle in the opener, Kolb came in and led the Cardinals past the Seahawks. The next week he went into Foxborough, Mass., and upset the Patriots.

This time, ironically, he is playing Vick's role as a spoiler.

"I really hadn't thought about it until somebody asked me about it yesterday," Kolb said Wednesday during a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters. "It is somewhat ironic. . . . I've learned through my time in Philly and through my time here, I'm not going to try and predict anything."

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has not named Kolb his starter for the rest of the season, but the Cardinals would obviously prefer that he was. They did not deal cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles and sign Kolb to a contract that guaranteed him $21 million so that he could hold a clipboard.

And yet, when Kolb struggled in the preseason, Whisenhunt was not afraid to give the nod to Skelton, a fifth-round pick out of Fordham in 2010. Kolb said his travails in Philly helped him deal with losing out to Skelton.

"I just told myself, 'Hey, don't sulk, [and] don't feel sorry for yourself. It could happen in a hurry,' " Kolb said.

When Reid told Kolb of his decision two years ago, the Texan walked out of the NovaCare Complex, got into his truck, and called his wife and parents. They were angry with Reid, but Kolb wound up defending his coach.

Two years later, Kolb said he no longer thinks of what might have happened had he not suffered a concussion in 2010 when Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews drove his head into the ground.

For Vick, who had been released from prison just 16 months earlier, being thrust back onto center stage was a jolt when he jumped in for the injured Kolb against the Packers.

"I never thought I'd be going into that game and playing that day," Vick said. "I never know what my career was going to be like, how it was going to take off, and where it was going to go."

Vick was at an event with Mayor Nutter when Reid called two years ago to tell him that he was his starting quarterback. Vick, shocked, left the event, drove home, and called his therapist for an emergency consultation.

Most would say now that Reid made the correct choice, even if Vick has yet to replicate those first six games he played as the starter. The Eagles drafted Kolb in the second round of the 2007 draft as the presumptive heir to Donovan McNabb.

But Kolb sat for most of three seasons, and when Reid did promote him, it lasted all of one half. When Kolb was pressed into duty after Vick injured his ribs in 2010, he won two of three starts. He just did it differently.

"We are different quarterbacks, but I think the one thing that I learned throughout that whole thing was don't try to be him," Kolb said. "I can't make those plays that he makes and try to be the cerebral quarterback that I think that I am, taking care of the football - things like that."

Reid stuck with Vick and dealt Kolb to Arizona for Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick that was parlayed into the drafting of defensive end Vinny Curry and cornerback Brandon Boykin this year - a trade that looks lopsided.

But with Kolb and the Eagles there will always be a "what if?"

What if Kolb hadn't suffered a concussion?

"I really haven't thought about it since I left there," Kolb said. "It all happens for a reason. That's the way I go about life."

Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.