Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The Great McNabb Debate- Part III
Donovan McNabb. The Pride of Philadelphia. The Most Overrated Quarterback to Ever Walk the Earth. An OK Guy to Lead the Team.
Well, which is it?
Contrary to what some may believe, there are few men in the NFL who should be picked before McNabb to lead your franchise.
Before we get to the numbers, let’s clear up some items put forth by our esteemed editor-in-chief. First, Andrew claims that the Eagles’ QB is “uncoachable” because he was attempting to play this season through an injury. Andrew states, “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.” Since Reid took over the Eagles, there have been now at least four situations that have involved serious injury where a player attemped to either play through the injury or rush back from injury. The first was during the 2002 season when McNabb broke his ankle. He broke his ankle in the middle of November and was back in time for the playoffs. The Eagles didn’t put him on IR- they said hurry back. Secondly, last year Terrell Owens broke his ankle- in the middle of December- and was back for the Super Bowl. The doctors told him his season was over. It would have been easy for the Eagles to put him on the IR list. They didn’t. He played. He played well- very well. The third is McNabb this season. The last is Brian Westbrook, again, this season. The Eagles did finally decide to put Westbrook on IR, but they were contemplating trying to bring him back. They made the correct decision since there is nothing left this season for which to play, but they thought about it. The Eagles regularly allow their guys to try their hardest to play. So, why not their star quarterback?
Next, when I said that he might not be able to be on the sidelines, I meant that sometimes surguries don’t allow you to be able to stand for an extended period of time. It might not be physical exhaustion. It might simply be that there could be too much pain to actually do it.
Now, on to the numbers…
Andrew mentioned several quarterbacks he thought would be a better fit for the Eagles. As such, I believe that it is important to compare McNabb to each of these players.
McNair (Tennessee), Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh), Brees (San Diego), Plummer (Denver), Johnson (Minnesota), Bledsoe (Dallas), Culpepper (Minnesota).
Player Team Comp % Rating Tot TD/Int Composite
McNabb Eagles 10.35 7.92 1.00 6.42
Brady Patriots 5.54 6.13 5.20 5.62
Roethlisberger Steelers 1.00 1.00 4.59 2.20
Bledsoe Cowboys 11.86 10.82 10.33 11.00
Culpepper Vikings 2.10 4.68 4.92 3.90
Favre Packers 5.95 6.83 7.28 6.69
Johnson Vikings 5.68 7.84 7.82 7.11
Plummer Broncos 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00
Brees Chargers 4.99 7.27 7.29 6.51
Palmer Bengals 2.51 5.25 5.80 4.52
Manning Colts 2.79 3.67 4.37 3.61
McNair Titans 8.70 8.23 5.15 7.36
The chart above shows a ranking of the quarterbacks in question. The lower the ranking in each column, the better. A ranking of one indicates that person has the best career ranking in the category. A ranking of 12 indicates that you are Jake Plummer. In between, rankings are weighted according to linear differences between the best and the worst in the category. The Composite result is an average of the quarterbacks’ rankings in each of the three categories. Completion % and QB rating are straight up. Total TDs/Interceptions is total passing and rushing touchdowns divided by interceptions thrown. All data are based on career numbers.
As you can see, Big Ben comes in first. Given his short career and the fact that he passes the ball about twice a game, I don’t see him as the game breaker some of the other guys are.
Peyton Manning comes in second. He is better than all of these guys, so this makes sense.
Daunte Culpepper is next. A good quarterback, indeed. But his numbers have struggled mightily without Randy Moss. This is not to say he isn’t a good quarterback, but he also lacks the playoff experience McNabb has. I’ll take McNabb.
Carson Palmer is fourth. This guy is going to be good for quite some time. But, as of now, he is inexperienced. This could hurt in a big game. I’ll take McNabb.
Fifth is Tom Brady. OK- this guy also has three Super Bowl rings to his credit. Well, perhaps there is an argument to be made that this guy is better to have in the lineup than McNabb.
McNabb is next.
Then, there is everyone else. (Jake Plummer, Andrew? Really?)
So, of the five QBs who scored better than McNabb, I believe it is clear cut that only two of them have the real credentials to be picked ahead of him. That puts Donovan J. McNabb in pretty good company. Don’t you agree?