Frankly Football: Philly fans should appreciate McNabb while they can
Week 2 of the NFL season and I am already amazed at the excitement and enthusiasm of each game. Last week when the San Diego-Denver game ended, I thought to myself it might be awhile before another offensive explosion game might happen ... then one day later comes the Philadelphia-Dallas shootout and I was left speechless.
When the Monday night game was over, I started to hear some whispers and complaining around where I live and thought it'd be best to address the issues.
Give some Brotherly Love to Donovan
Donovan McNabb is great player. Actually, I think that needs to be written in a little stronger tone ... Donovan McNabb is a Hall of Fame player. I live near the city of Brotherly Love, and have spent most of my childhood here, so therefore I have been lumped into a category called a "Philadelphia Sports Fan." There is not a specific definition of a "Philadelphia Sports Fan" but the general consensus would have them as being very passionate, very knowledgeable, very hard core and not afraid to criticize their favorite star player. (Just ask Allen Iverson.) We all know the Philly fans are coarse and even booed Santa Claus, but they do passionately love their Birds. But for some reason they have a very hard time showing love and admiration to their "star." I cannot walk down the hall in my office complex or go to my son's high school game with having someone come up to me and say, "We would have won but McNabb is holding us back." Holding you back? He is your whole team, he makes it go -- get a freaking clue.
It is at this point where I would like to disassociate myself from being a Philadelphia Sports Fan and hope I can explain to everyone that in Philadelphia they don't know how lucky they are to have McNabb quarterbacking their team. My football career has been spoiled being around some of the game's greats from Joe Montana to Rich Gannon. But I also know what my football life is like without a great player at the position. The NFL is a quarterback league and life is just miserable and frustrating when you get up early each morning and head into work knowing you DON'T have a quarterback. Ask the Chiefs, the Vikings and the Jets before Brett Favre. Consider yourself very lucky, Philadelphia.
Monday night McNabb showed the football world he is one of the top players in the game, not just at quarterback, but the whole league. Now, this is not to say Tony Romo was not as impressive, but in Dallas Romo gets love (he also has Jessica) and is never under the constant microscope that seems to follow McNabb in Philadelphia. McNabb was accurate throwing the ball, strong in the pocket, very difficult to tackle and made all the tough throws as he demonstrated poise, confidence and leadership. He has played two games without his two best receivers and has not thrown an interception.
It was crystal clear on Monday night that McNabb is tremendous. The other evident observation to me was that McNabb makes all the others around him better. And isn't that what great players do? McNabb is the one who makes the Eagles offense go, not the one who holds it back. Everyone complains that there is not a No. 1 wideout on the Eagles, but DeSean Jackson looked impressive, if you ignore is premature celebration. Brian Westbrook is very talented and very productive, but he needs someone who can throw him the ball allowing him to make plays in the passing game. If you think the back can make the team, you might want to check in with LaDainian Tomlinson and ask him what life was like as a Charger before Drew Brees started to play well. McNabb needs one more touchdown pass to surpass Ron Jaworski (175) for the most touchdown passes in franchise history and he has 114 touchdowns passes in the red zone with only seven interceptions in his entire career. McNabb is 30-20 in the NFC East and has an impressive 85 QB rating in those 50 games.
Current backup Kevin Kolb may at some point in his NFL career provide this kind of production in the regular season, but it will take him some time. One of the golden rules I followed in my NFL career was that teams always over-evaluate their backups when the current starter is a great player. And I hope McNabb plays for a long time, but life without him won't be as good as life with him. Philadelphia needs to learn how to really show him love.
The State of Missouri has one only good football team: The Missouri Tigers
How has football gotten so bad in Missouri? Not too long ago the Chiefs and the Rams were showing the Show Me State a little more than they are showing us now. Over the past three years the Rams and Chiefs are 24-44 and neither team has had a win since last December. The Chiefs are on a franchise record 11-game losing streak and the Rams have their own streak of six. And the reality of these facts is it is not going to get any better anytime soon -- for either team.
The Chiefs play the Falcons this week and if they don't win that game they could possibly enter their bye week 0-5. But really how can the Chiefs win games this year with the offensive talent they have assembled? The Chiefs offense has really struggled to score and I think the only way they can score more than 20 points in a game is if they get two defensive touchdowns. The Chiefs offense this season has had 22 possessions and only three resulted in scores (two TDs, one FG); their 13.6 scoring efficiency rate is second-worst in the league. They are already on their third quarterback in three weeks and no matter who plays QB, the pass protection is not conducive for keeping ANYONE healthy.
The Rams are an organizational mess and removing the coach is not going to be the answer. The Rams are 7-22 in the past 29 games. The Rams have been outscored by opponents 79-16 this season. They've lost five in a row by an average score of 40-15 dating to last season and have yet to run a play inside the opponent's 20 this year. They have only converted three third downs all year and have been outscored in the second half by 219 points in the past 29 games. And changing the coach might clean up this mess? Please, this is a mess from the top to the bottom and won't get better until the ownership group asks some very tough questions.
So if you live in the Show Me State, Saturdays might be the best day to watch football.