The game between the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins was 25-20 Redskins. Redskins starting quarterback Donovan McNabb threw an interception with 4:40 left in the 4th quarter, fundamentally changing the tide of the game in the Lions favor. The Lions scored a go-ahead touchdown. And well, McNabb got benched for his backup and former Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman to run the two-minute drill, according to Coach Mike Shanahan. Rex Grossman, however, was not any better. In regular fashion, much like he did when he was with the Bears, Grossman fumbled the ball to Ndamukong Suh with 1:36 in the 4th quarter and led to another Lions touchdown. But this isn’t to discuss the folly of Grossman, but rather the folly of Donovan McNabb while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philadelphia sports fans have experienced the ups and downs of Donovan McNabb. He has gotten the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs in consecutive years. Yet always fallen short of the Super Bowl, either through physical illness, the lack of playmakers, the lack of an offensive line, or something external but Donovan McNabb himself. In 2004, in Super Bowl XXXIX against the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles perhaps the best team this decade. With Terrell Owens as the primary receiver and Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins both already in their stride as elite players in their respective positions, this was the time for Donovan McNabb to step up and do the same. Instead, he became ill and felt nauseated during the game. While “sick,” McNabb threw three interceptions in the game, including the last one being a Hail Mary pass. Terrell Owens struck out at McNabb afterward and left the Eagles organization, and now T.O. is a Cincinnati Bengal. Admittedly, McNabb did some good. He got the Eagles into the three NFC Championships prior, but he choked when it came for him to step up. And every year, a different excuse from Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb, and the team paid the price each year, as significant players departed. Coach Andy Reid tried to defend his star player, but some of the Philadelphia fans disagreed each and every year. Fastforward to 2010…
McNabb gets benched for Rex Grossman, his backup. This hasn’t since he was benched in 2008 in the game against the Baltimore Ravens as a Philadelphia Eagle. McNabb wasn’t doing too hot in this game either, and ultimately, history repeated itself. Originally, then backup Kevin Kolb threw an interception that was returned for 108 yards by safety Ed Reed; this time it was Rex Grossman’s turn.
Coach Mike Shanahan made the right move to bench McNabb for his inept playing. McNabb should be able to bounce back after the disaster at the end of the game with the Lions. But, Philadelphia fans have learned about the sudden choking of McNabb when the pressure gets a bit too much for him.
Welcome to the club, coach Shanahan. Pull up a seat.