Monday, December 12, 2005

The Great Donovan McNabb Debate -- Part II

Read Part 1 Here

The Pride of Philadelphia

For disciples of Donovan McNabb, this column is not going to be a picnic, but it will be a necessary dose of reality about the wildly over-rated quarterback. That's correct...OVER-rated.

My cousin Mark listed some clever statistics below in PART 1 that, at a cursory glance, seem to support his claim that McNabb is only second in the NFL to Peyton Manning. Let me begin to debunk that myth. First, McNabb's career completion percentage, below several of the better quarterbacks out there, is only as high as 58% because of the great number of screen plays and short yardage passes the Eagles have been forced to run over McNabb's career. Mark even supplied the evidence as for why -- because he simply can't throw a pass over ten yards with any regular accuracy.

Next, on the surface McNabb seems to have impressive passing yardage totals, but do not be deceived. He has been playing in Andy Reid's west coast offense which grossly favors the pass over the run. Naturally the more pass plays you run, the more passing yards you will rack up.

Although until last year McNabb had a dearth of talent at the wide receiver position, for the last year and a half he had one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game as his main target. And as a result McNabb put up the most impressive passing statistics of his career over that period. But, before the arrival of Terrell Owens, McNabb did have a couple of quality players to throw the ball to. Chad Lewis, Deuce Staley, L.J. Smith, Brian Westbrook, Dorsey Levens were all great players to toss short passes to and those players helped increase McNabb's yardage and completion percentage. Of course with Owens on the field he made anyone else on the field more open and available for McNabb deliver the ball to. That's why McNabb and virtually everyone else on the Eagles offense (even Todd Pinkston) had career years in 2004.

Is Mama McNabb feeding baby Donovan too much chunky soup?

As far as intangibles go, McNabb is mostly over-rated there as well. His galvanizing Philadelphia fans is more of comment on the gullibility of Philadelphia fans than it is on McNabb's intangible presence. Frankly, McNabb has a tremendous ego, perhaps even larger than Owens. But, McNabb is unable to admit this fact and unfortunately, because even Andy Reid bows to McNabb's massive ego, he is practically uncoachable. I'll give McNabb loads of respect for throwing four touchdowns on a broken ankle against Arizona a couple years ago, but that is just one game. Trying to play through a whole season injured is plain foolish and any other player that would have tried something so stupid and selfish would have been curbed by Andy Reid. One positive about McNabb is that when he's out on the football field, he (often) is having fun. That's important and cannot be said for all players. However, in big games his performance and his leadership, thus far, have been seriously lacking. Furthermore, I think his off-season preparation leaves something to be desired. McNabb, no doubt a great athlete, often looks out of shape and even portly at times out on the field. He's not nearly the physical specimen that Terrell Owens is or even Michael Vick, if you need another QB to compare to. And it's unclear whether he has the genuine respect of his teammates. Instead of watching yesterday's game against the Giants on the sideline with the team, McNabb sat in the luxury box with his mom--a man of the people if there ever was one.

Overall, McNabb is just an average QB. Maybe slightly above average. But here are the QBs that are better than no particular order: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Bledsoe, Daunte Culpepper, Steve McNair, Brett Favre, Brad Johnson, Jake Plummer and this year Drew Brees and Carson Palmer are better.


Matt Tavani said...

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...

I must take exception to some of your points.

1. You say that the Eagles are forced to run a high number of screen passes and short yardage plays. In fact, I believe that if you examine the West Coast offense- wherever it has been used- you will see a similar percentage of screens and short passes.

2. Mark didn't say that McNabb can't throw a pass over ten yards. He said McNabb couldn't throw a ten yard pass. There's a difference.

3. Where do you gather that McNabb's ego is larger than that of Owens? Are you kidding me? I'd like to see some proof of this one.

4. Uncoachable? Now you are just grasping at straws.

5. He may have been in the sky box because he can't stand for too long because of his surgery.

Let's not confuse facts with opinions. McNabb has the numbers to indicate he is among the best out there. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact.

Andrew Tavani said...


I certainly hope you are on McNabb's payroll and he's paying you a handsome salary because you make excuses for him like it's your job.

I wrote that McNabb couldn't throw passes over ten yards with any regular accuracy. I should have added that he can only do so when one Terrell Owens is on the field and everyone wearing an Eagles jersey is wide open and he doesn't have to have pinpoint accuracy.

McNabb is uncoachable. Any other player--including Owens--would've been put on IR, but McNabb was allowed by Andy Reid to indulge his massive ego and prove he's a warrior who will play through an injury. All he proved was that he was foolish and that his own agenda is more important than the Eagles winning. So, yes, he is uncoachable. Clearly.

Come on. He had the operation two weeks ago. He's still too tired to stand and watch the game with his teammates? Too tired...hmmm, when was the last time we heard that about McNabb? Oh yeah, that's right...

Yes, those may be my OPINIONS, but they are based on the FACT that McNabb has not delivered in the clutch and he's now leading the Eagles in the WRONG direction.

I hate to break it to you (and everyone else on the McNabb bandwagon), but there won't be a Superbowl appearance next year either...maybe not even a playoff appearance.

Ahamed Iqbal said...

Though I hate to admit it, you've made some strong points against McNabb.

However, I can't agree with your list of better QBS completely.

Brady, Manning, Palmer and maybe Big Ben are definetely above him.
McNair and Farve have shown more historically but there's no way I'd take either of them today.
Culpepper is right on par with DMac, he didn't do much without Moss.
And I can't be sold on BJohnson, Plummer, Bledsoe or Brees, I just can't see them surviving here.

By the way is that Andrews kissing Momma McNabb?