A Bad McNabb Is Still Good

photo via Redskins.com

I saw the player I loved to hate for so many years play like the player I loved to hate in the Redskins-Ravens pre-season match up. All the things I used to make fun of Donovan McNabb for were on display. He missed receivers high and low, he missed them left and right…he even threw a couple of his patented 20 yard knuckleballs. And you know what? I loved him.

I now realize what I didn’t see all those years, a Quarterback who makes plays and is a leader on the field. I saw a QB that is going to make a handful of plays each and every game that may be the difference between winning and losing. I saw the difference between Campbell and McNabb and that difference is like night a day.

McNabb throws the ball downfield and he looks to make a play past the first down marker on 3rd and long, instead of pulling a JC and dumping it off to the running back. A perfect example was the 3rd and 7 on the Redskins first drive. McNabb delivered a perfect strike with a lot of heat on it to a double-covered Moss 13 yards downfield. JC would have dumped it off to Portis, who always seems to fall down we he catches the ball.

McNabb senses pressure and he steps up in the pocket or he rolls away from it. JC would clam up, wind up and eventually take a sack which 50% of the time would result in fumble. A perfect example are two plays to Cooley. On the first drive on 3rd and 14 McNabb had several guys blitzing up the middle and he casually rolled to his right and hit Colley for a 14 yard gain and a 1st down. Later, from his own end zone McNabb faced a heavy blitz from his blindside and was able to step up and hit a wide open Cooley on a post pattern for a big gain. That play had sack, fumble and 6 points for the Ravens written all over it if JC is at QB.

McNabb makes throws JC would never dream of making. Besides the aforementioned Moss 3rd down throw, the dropped touchdown by Fred Davis was a great play by McNabb. Back of the end zone in traffic, should have been a TD. JC doesn’t attempt that pass, he throws it to the back of the end zone, but it’s 20 yards into the seats.

I didn’t mean for this to be a bash Campbell post, but it’s clear to me now that McNabb is a difference maker and a much better QB than JC. Things clearly aren’t always measured on stat sheets. Checking off to RB’s is a good thing for your completion % and keeping your interceptions down, but that doesn’t win football games. And Philly fans knocked McNabb for a lack of emotion? Wow, imagine what they what have thought about JC, guy had the same look on his face for 4 years. I guess you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…and for the Redskins that’s a good thing.

Cheers and Hail

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