As if there wasn’t enough quarterback controversy to begin the season, Sunday added another element to the situation. Donovan McNabb returned to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded to the Washington Redskins in the off season. McNabb was a franchise player for the Eagles for 11 seasons and he was given a standing ovation during introductions. Unfortunately, that was about the most cheering the fans would do all game.
We were expecting to see a dynamic game between Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. That match-up came to a screeching halt when Vick left the game in the first quarter with a rib/chest injury. With Vick out, all eyes again turned to the successor of McNabb, Kevin Kolb. This was Kolb’s chance to once again show his ability. The game became a personal match-up with McNabb going against the man who took his spot.
Kolb came into the game and was hesitant to throw the ball down the field. He hit all of his check downs and finished the day 22-35 for 201 yards and a touchdown. The stats are misleading because Kolb did not look all that impressive as he wasn’t able to read the defense well enough to have an impact on the game. He was afraid of making the big mistake, and the Eagles offense sputtered throughout much of the game.
When analyzing McNabb’s game, it was one of those games that Eagles’ fans know far too well. There were balls thrown into the ground and behind open receivers. However, when McNabb struck, he struck with big plays whether it was through the air or picking up key first downs with his legs. McNabb finished the day just 8-19 for 125 yards with an interception and a touchdown. His performance was far from glamorous but his team was able to get the victory and that is all that matters.
We all knew that this was a personal game for McNabb, despite what he said through the media about this just being another game. He wanted to stick it to the Eagles and let it be known that the organization made a big mistake when they decided to go a different direction by trading him within the division. McNabb was able to get the victory and during his locker room speech he let it be known how he really felt by saying, “We all make mistakes and they made a big mistake last year”. Now that we know how McNabb feels, I wonder how the Eagles personnel feels.