There's Something About Donovan

No this isn’t one of those articles praising the Redskins for their “brilliant” McNabb acquisition.  Rather, I mean that there’s something about Donovan McNabb that makes everybody overrate him.

Seriously, it’s like he brainwashed everybody.

Not just the Redskins fans either, although I know a lot of them.  They would certainly be pumped up about having a quarterback not named Jason Campbell.  We hear often that Washington players feel as though their offense now has an identity, and people are jumping on the bandwagon so quickly that they’re gonna need to hitch it to an 18 wheeler to hold all the weight.

But it’s the experts that boggle me.  ESPN’s Jon Clayton declared that the Redskins are now tied with the Cowboys as favorites in the NFC East.  Writers everywhere are insisting that McNabb will make the Eagles pay.  And, most egregiously, Stuart Scott stated in ESPN the Magazine that McNabb is “a top five QB.”

That’s all very poetic.  But here’s the reality check.

I’m gonna confess, I am an Eagles fan.  I have been for years, and I’ve seen a lot of the Donovan McNabb era.  The guy is not a miracle worker.  He was never able to lead a truly potent offense without a top flight receiver, most notable with Terrell Owens in 2004 and DeSean Jackson last season.  He struggles without proper protection, (proper protection he will not receive with Washington).  He gets injured a lot.  Maybe everybody has forgotten this.  I sure haven’t.

Here’s my prediction.  The McNabb led Eagles will win games against cupcake teams (and after Washington’s last place finish last year, they will have a few.)  They will not many games against higher quality opponents.  Oh, and don’t get me started on the Cowboys, who positively fricasseed McNabb in back to back games last year.  And that was an Eagles team with a strong line and a loaded receiving corps.  The Redskins have a line that’s adequate at best and an anemic receiving corps.

Now the Redskins line will not be the wafer thin unit from last season.  After all, they added Trent Williams.  That’s an upgrade.  After all, everybody saw how Williams expertly shielded golden boy Sam Bradford from two shoulder injuries.  Oh wait.

So therefore, can we all agree?  McNabb will make the Skins better, but they will not suddenly morph into division contenders just because he’s under center.

We now move on to the second myth:  McNabb will make the Eagles pay.  I’m completely unconvinced that McNabb is capable of making anybody pay.  He’s never shown a mean streak, never been a true big game quarterback, never truly made anybody pay.  If anything, his return to Philly will be cordial.  Until the merciless Philly fans boo him.  Then McNabb will tell the media how shocked and rejected he feels.  I’m fairly sure this scenario is more likely that McNabb coming out with guns blazing and passing the Eagles into submission.  So let’s forget all this talk about McNabb making Philly pay.

Finally, let’s agree on this:  McNabb is not a top five quarterback.  I don’t think that he’s a top ten quarterback.  But top five????  It’s just false.  I’d rank him after (in no particular order):  Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Tony Romo and perhaps even Eli Manning.  I bet most of us can agree that there are five guys I just listed who are better than McNabb.  So let’s stop this McNabb is a top five, elite QB talk.

After all this, I want to make this clear:  I like McNabb.  I think he’s a good guy.  I think he’ll give Washington more offensive integrity than they’ve had in the past several years.  But the truth is Washington was flat out awful last year, and even with the additions of Mike Shanahan, Trent Williams and McNabb, they are not going to knock on the door of the playoff race.

I’m sorry to the Washington fans who are expecting McNabb to save their team.  But I know McNabb.  And I know that it’s probably not gonna happen.

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