Donovan McNabb, Or Why I Should Always Stick With My First Instinct

Last week, Ted and I got into the point/counterpoint of whether it was time to bench quarterback Donovan McNabb and bring in either Christian Ponder or Joe Webb is what is now, all but officially, a lost season for the Minnesota Vikings.

Back in April, when it was first reported that McNabb was interested in coming to Minnesota, I said the following:

But I'm going to say the same thing about Donovan McNabb that I said about Brett Favre more than once last season while he was clearly in decline.

Donovan McNabb's biggest problem is that he thinks he's Donovan McNabb.

While McNabb is still a "good" quarterback, I don't think he would ultimately be taking this team anywhere, as unfortunate as that sounds.

And after the trade happened, I tried to convince myself that it was a good idea, even though I'm not sure if I totally ever bought into it. But by bringing in Donovan McNabb at quarterback, you know what we got?

We got Donovan McNabb. . .and that, in and of itself, may be the problem.

This season so far, we've bemoaned McNabb's lack of accuracy. Through the first four games of the season, McNabb has completed 65 of 111 pass attempts, good for a 58.6% completion rate.

His career completion percentage? 58.9%. In 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was a 59% passer, and he was a 58.3% passer with the Washington Redskins last year. He has only completed more than 60% of his passes four times in his previous 12 seasons.

So, when we got Donovan McNabb. . .we got Donovan McNabb.

To his credit, McNabb has not turned the ball over this year. Through four games, the Vikings have only three turnovers as a team, two of which have come from McNabb interceptions. (The other turnover really doesn't count, as it was a fumble by Percy Harvin on the final play of the Tampa Bay game while the Vikings were trying the old "short pass and 27 laterals" play that hardly ever works.) McNabb threw an interception on his first attempt of 2011, then went 90 attempts without throwing a second one until this past Sunday. Through the first four games of the 2011 season, McNabb's touchdown-to-interception ratio is 4:2. . .or 2:1, if you want to break it down further.

Donovan McNabb's career touchdown-to-interception ratio? 234:117. . .or 2:1, if you want to break it down further. McNabb has really never shown a propensity for turning the ball over, and his career interception percentage of 2.2% has him tied for third all-time with Tom Brady in that category. But much like he's never been known for turning the ball over, he's never really been known for the big play. . .he's only had more than 30 passing touchdowns in a season one time, and that was the great year he had with Terrell Owens when the Eagles went to the Super Bowl.

So, when we got Donovan McNabb. . .we got Donovan McNabb.

And that appears to be exactly what the problem is. It's not as though there haven't been guys open this year. . .McNabb has just been missing them and, in some cases, missing them badly. He's to the point in his career where he's not going to kill you, but he's not going to be a hell of a lot of help, either.

In short, to borrow a phrase from a guy that we know all too well around here. . .

He is who we thought he was. Or, more accurately, who we should have known he was all along.

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