Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Maybe McNabb is Underrated

Do rehab centers allow their patients to watch TV? I sure hope so, because repentant junkie Rush Limbaugh sure needed to see the end of the Eagles-Packers game Monday night.

Uninformed pundits, such as Limbaugh, who choose to measure Donovan McNabb's performance only by his statistics believe that McNabb has been overrated by the media. (Limbaugh, of course, then took this at-least-defensible statement into Bizarro World by saying the overestimation of McNabb exists because the NFL and the national media want a black quarterback to succeed.) What they forget is that he'll do whatever it takes for his team to win -- and that most of the time, it does.

McNabb's dissection of the Green Bay defense in the game-winning drive Monday was a thing of beauty. Playing on a soaked field, gripping a greased pig of a ball, and leading a hardly-formidable offense, he drove the Eagles down the field with surgical precision and hit Todd Pinkston on a short out route for the touchdown that won the game.

The physical play of the drive was impressive enough. But actually watching him carry himself -- and here's where TV has it all over live attendance when it comes to football -- should be enough to convince anyone that McNabb is the real deal. While Al Michaels and John Madden were frothing at the mouth in their insistence that he manage the clock better, McNabb was cool and unhurried. You could almost see the game slow down to meet him -- he rushed nothing, displayed absolutely no signs of panic, and in the end left Brett Favre and the Packer offense with less than 30 seconds to make their own last-ditch effort.

McNabb's performance in that final drive, which has been criminally underreported (only today's Daily News has mentioned it over the last two days, and it's buried), was Elway-like. It was reflective of true football leadership. It exposes the weakness of quarterback ratings and other stats. And it's why we Eagles fans hope to hell that Andy Reid finds him some real receivers someday -- imagine the possibilities.


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