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Article:Re: Eagles...So I Was Wrong. As Were Many Others

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The Philadelphia media must be in a crisis mode after the Eagles scored a decisive 48-20 win over the still-seeking-a-division-clinching win Cardinals.

What will they do now? They spent four days talking and writing about all the problems with the Eagles and suggesting all the great ways they had for the Eagles to right the ship. And then, Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid - with a little help from Brian Westbrook - went and righted the ship themselves.

This underscores the idea that one should take sportswriters and their comments with a grain of salt. And it shows how much I know. My prediction of a 31-7 Cardinals win indicates that perhaps I spent too much time listening to the dullards that inhabit Philly radio stations.

"McNabb redeems himself in rout of Cardinals" says the headline on the ESPN summary. I don't feel that McNabb "redeemed" himself, nor do I think he needed to. He had a fine game by most measures - 29 of 37 passing, 260 yards and four TD passes.

For the season, McNabb has 3,030 yards passing, with 18 TDs and 10 INTs. The INTs could stand to be a bit lower, but this is not a bad performance for a QB.

Especially an aging QB who has been around for 10 seasons in an offense that hasn't really changed all that much. It's fine to have a pass-happy offense with a young, mobile quarterback who can escape from pressure.

McNabb is now a wily veteran who should be able to enjoy a more cerbral approach to things. Look at Kerry Collins. Once considered washed up, he has re-emerged as a solid QB who does just enough to help his team win.

His calling is now to protect the ball and hand off to the young running backs. Collins' numbers are somewhat pedstrian: 2,125 yards passing, nine TDs and four picks. But...the Titans are 11-1, proving that this methodology is at the very least a valid formula for putting a winning team on the field. It may not be exciting, but a lot of Ws lead to good things.

A humorous sidebar: Mike Misinelli, formerly of 610 WIP in Philly, now barking on 950 ESPN, has proposed that the Eagles front office has deliberately surrounded McNabb with a bunch of second-raters in order that the Eagles will put out a subpar performance, thus making it easier for them to release McNabb at season's end. The theory being that the fans will agree that McNabb was ineffective and therefore, won't question the FO's decision to simply let him go.

This is a nice theory except for two things:

  1. Who are the Eagles planning to go with at QB next year?
  2. Does anyone think that Joe Banner and Jeffrey Lurie are savvy enough to have hatched a plot like this?

For point one, they've groomed nobody to take McNabb's spot. If they cut McNabb due to salary cap pressure, they will be hard pressed to find a QB to replace his ability. Many teams will be happy to sign him. And, consider this - can you think of another 10-year period in Eagles history that was this successful? I can't.

For point two, I don't believe Banner and Lurie are smart enough to run a going-out-of-business sale, let alone hatch a forward-thinking scheme like this.

No...I think that the answer simply lies in the fact that the Eagles have turned too much over to Andy Reid, and he isn't able to come up with all the answers. I think Reid would be a fine coach, GM or player-personnel director. But I don't see dividends in having him be so instrumental in all three disciplines.

I'd rather see how the Eagles would do next year with McNabb playing for a different head coach, rather than see McNabb playing for a different team.

Easy for me to say, as I have no say in the matter...and I'm not really an Eagles fan.

Perhaps the idea that "Players play and writers write" should be extended to this situation. But recent history indicates that the status quo is more likely what troubled Eagles fans will get. And people wonder why these fans boo. They're totally justified.

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