As an Eagles fan, I was as upset as anyone by the outcome of the NFC Championship game. The Eagles’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals was not a complete shock, but I definitely did not think it would happen.
As many members of the media who do not actually know what it is like to be a Philly sports fan will tell you, the city hates Donovan McNabb. They would have you think that every Eagles fan was there booing McNabb when the Eagles drafted him. They might even make you think that it was our decision to bench McNabb at halftime against the Ravens earlier this year.
As much as the national media does not know what they are talking about when it comes to the topic of Philly fans, the truth still remains that there is a large percentage of fans that will never like McNabb and won’t rest until the Eagles get rid of him. Unfortunately, these same fans used the loss against the Cardinals as fuel for their argument that he does not have what it takes to win.
The problem is that these are the fans that really do not know the game of football and are quick to look at a couple of plays where McNabb was less than perfect and use that as the reason they lost. Anyone who watched the NFC Championship game saw the Cardinals march down the field with ease the entire first half and most of the fourth quarter. The reason the Eagles made it to where they did (besides miraculous wins by the Raiders and Texans) was their defense.
They kept the Eagles in every game down the stretch and were the primary reason that they won their first two playoff games. The coaches made little to no adjustments to attempt to slow down the Cardinals offense and it showed when they repeatedly moved the ball with ease. The defense is to blame for the loss, not McNabb.
To blame McNabb for the loss is unintelligent. He did miss some throws that could have potentially led to big plays; but give him credit for what he did. He threw three touchdown passes in the second half, had a total of 375 yards and led the Eagles back from an 18-point deficit.
He did all of this when the Eagles were forced to throw the ball and become one-dimensional. Arizona knew the Eagles had to come out and pass and they still could not defend against him. The throw to DeSean Jackson for the 62-yard touchdown, particularly, was one in tight coverage that could not have been thrown any better.
The thing that it comes down to regarding McNabb’s future is that there is no one on the Eagles roster who could have done any better than him, and it’s not even close. He is still one of the top quarterbacks in the league, and to think that Kevin Kolb could have done any better against the Cardinals with that group of wide receivers is absurd.
I am not saying anything ground-breaking when I say that the Eagles need a wide receiver. It was rare that he even had a receiver open last Sunday.
They have to help McNabb out and make it so that defenses can not just key in on Brian Westbrook.
When they did have a top-notch receiver (Terrell Owens), the Eagles went to the Super Bowl in 2004 and came close to defeating the New England Patriots. Jackson and Kevin Curtis are good number-two receivers, and I love Jason Avant in the slot and on third downs. Brent Celek’s 10 catches and two touchdowns against Arizona showed that he could potentially be a playmaker in the Eagles’ offense. But they need a number-one wide receiver if they are going to get any further and eventually win a Super Bowl.
So anyone that wants to throw McNabb out of town, go ahead.
But you’ll be sorry when he’s gone.