Kevin Kolb was great. Michael Vick was late.
Andy Reid still has himself a quarterback debate.
And for how long the Eagles will be without DeSean Jackson, who suffered a cringe-worthy concussion, the team will have to wait.
On a day when everything on the field seemed to go right for the Eagles -- most notably a convincing, 31-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field -- the controversy surrounding the quarterbacks clouded what was a young team's best victory of the season.
Kolb's performance called into question Reid's original decision to bench him after one half of play in the opener and go with Vick. He was even better than he was in the two games last season that the team cited as the primary reason for turning the franchise over to the 26-year-old.
He completed 79 percent of his passes (23 of 29) for 326 yards and tossed three touchdowns against just one interception. Kolb has won his last two starts as Vick nursed a rib injury.
Reid, though, said that Vick was still his starting quarterback. It took four questions, however, to pin down the coach on this issue. For a "chubby head coach," as Reid referred to himself, it was a Fred Astaire-like dance.
Reid, of course, once said that Kolb would not lose his job to injury.
"It's a crazy thing, isn't it?" Reid said. "I might have all kinds of surprises. That's what's so great about it. Enjoy it."
In doubt is how much Kolb or Vick are enjoying the surprises. Kolb said after the game that he wants to play, but that he has complete trust in his head coach to make the correct decision. Vick was nowhere to be seen postgame. Nor was he anywhere to be seen during the game.
The quarterback did not show up until 45 minutes before kickoff, according to the Eagles, even though he was listed as the emergency third quarterback. Reid said Vick's late arrival was not because of tardiness or some other issue, but because the coach "gave him a little different (reporting) time."
Reid was asked whether he would normally permit an active player to arrive so close to game time.
"The chances of him getting in the game were slim to none," Reid said. "He didn't need to be around here for anything else except for the game. He was dressed and ready to go in the locker room, and that's all I needed."
Still up in the air is who will start Sunday at the Tennessee Titans. Reid said that Vick has made some big strides in his recovery from the damage to his rib cartilage. But a bye is looming the following week, and Kolb has the hot hand.
Whoever is under center, he will likely be without Jackson. The featherweight receiver was steamrolled by Dunta Robinson in the second quarter when the Falcons cornerback threw his weight at the defenseless receiver, and Jackson's head snapped back from the collision.
Both players lay motionless on the ground for many moments as teammates from both sides encircled the two. Some were praying. Kolb, who threw the short pass to Jackson, was visibly distraught.
"I just felt so bad because I'm part of the play and never saw the guy," Kolb said.
It was third and 6 with the Eagles on the Falcons' 32. Jackson, who was shy of the first down, dropped the pass, but Robinson was whistled for an unsportsmanlike personal foul.
Both players eventually got up.
"When they take both players off (the field) and neither come back, that's a violent collision," Reid said.
Up until that point, Jackson was his usual, breathtaking self. He had been held in check the previous two games, but the Eagles made sure to get the speedy receiver involved early, and he delivered.
Jackson zoomed 31 yards for a touchdown on an end around on the opening drive. He then caught a 34-yard touchdown strike from Kolb on the next series, giving the Eagles a quick, 14-0 lead.
But the loss of Jackson didn't slow an offense with a game plan full of misdirection and one that Kolb executed nearly flawlessly. That's because Jeremy Maclin is quickly blossoming into one of the better young receivers in the game. He had career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (159), and had two touchdowns for a total of six this season.
The first TD, an 8-yarder, padded the Eagles' cushion to 21-0 when Maclin made a diving grab on a perfectly thrown pass from Kolb. The second essentially sealed the game when Kolb fired a pass 50 yards in the air to an uncovered Maclin, who raced the rest of way for an 83-yard score and a 28-10, third-quarter margin.
The Eagles' defense silenced some doubters with a fourth-quarter effort that throttled the Falcon's No. 2-ranked ground game. A week after shutting down the 49ers' rushing attack, the Eagles held Atlanta to 65 yards on 19 carries.
"We made a big statement," said defensive end Trent Cole, who recorded his fourth and fifth sacks of the season. "We're a great team even though we've had some ugly games."
It remains to be seen how good a barometer the 4-2 Falcons were. More difficult to gauge is who should be the Eagles' starting quarterback.
"Who knows what will happen?" Eagles center Mike McGlynn said. "But (Kolb's) playing great."