McNabb Not So Bad Late, Eh? And Shocking Onside Kick Related Item


Donovan McNabb is likely the most criticized man in Philadelphia over the past decade, so when he's playing well, he should be credited with doing so. After the "he can't win the big games" criticism and maybe a close third to the "balls at the feet" complaint, "he can't finish games" is one of the most common rips on Five. If you look at the numbers in the second halves of the loss to the Chargers as well as the Bears and Redskins victories, McNabb played rather well late.

Eagles beat reporter Geoff Mosher put together this statistic to bring the haters down a peg:

Remember three weeks
ago, when McNabb was a bad late-game quarterback? He's 43-of-64 for 546 yards in the second halves of last 3 games. 67% completion.

Not too shabby, eh?

Perhaps the only thing I've disliked about McNabb's late game performance over the last few weeks is listening to him, Andy, and the players talk about it afterwards. The McNabb-as-leader-in-the-huddle angle seems like such a forced storyline to me that the team is trying to feed us.

Despite those horribly frustrating three-and-outs in the second half, including Brent Celek's case of the dropsies due to injury, the offense looked fairly potent. Jason Avant is a legit go-to receiver in big situations and LeSean McCoy seems to be able to find four yards when he needs three and a half. Some promising things from the offense yesterday.

What's not promising is the report that Celek may have torn ligaments in his hand and that DeSean Jackson has a concussion.

Failing Communication and Onside Kicks

Whether you liked Andy Reid's Belichickian decision to go for the onside kick to start the game or not, what Howard Eskin reported after the game is laughable. The Eagles, who rotate captains each week, sent out Macho Harris, Will Witherspoon, and Todd Herremans to handle the pregame coin flip. This should be a simple heads/tails and kick/receive, right? You'd think.

According to Eskin on NBC Sports Final, Herremans had heard someone on the sideline (I forget who? Maybe a special teams player?) say that if they lost the coin toss, they were going to pull an onside kick. Even after the game, Andy hinted that they must have seen something that the Redskins did to have this plan in place, "Although it looked that way, we didn't just pull it out
of the sky," Reid said.

So Herremans, having heard that discussion on the sidelines before the coin toss, got confused and when the Eagles actually won the toss, he said they wanted to defer, whereas the plan all along was to take the ball if they won.

How you can mess something like that up at the NFL level is amazing. And if the onside kick had worked, Andy's a genius. It didn't and he should be fired immediately because of it. Right? Obviously.

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