Today's Pioneer Press had an interesting article about Ron Jaworski's opinion of McNabb's performance in San Diego on Sunday. His view is pretty much the same as my own view after I rewatched the game with a bit more detachment than I was capable of during the game. Jaworski's view is that of a former QB, so it gives me some additional encouragement. In Jaworski's opinion, McNabb suffered a bit from a lack of good blocking and receivers that weren't getting open. Anyway, here's the text of the article and the link to it:
After breaking down film of the Vikings' 43 offensive snaps in Sunday's 24-17 loss at San Diego, Ron Jaworski walked away with one conclusion:
He's not pinning the 39 passing yards on quarterback Donovan McNabb.
"I don't think he was protected," said Jaworski, the "Monday Night Football" analyst and, like McNabb, a former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. "He had one, maybe two throws he let get away. The rest was on protection and his wide receivers not winning one-on-one matchups."
Jaworski, who methodically breaks down video every week at NFL Films, said he went into his review of the Vikings' game wanting to evaluate McNabb's strengths and weaknesses from all angles on all 15 throws, seven of which were completions.
This is what he saw:
AN OFFENSE DISRUPTED
San Diego surprised Jaworski with the amount of man-to-man coverage it showed while "locking up pretty good" on receivers.
The Chargers applied pressure up the middle, which McNabb couldn't overcome while in the pocket.
"That bugged the heck out of McNabb," Jaworski said. "There were very few opportunities for Donovan to show what he can do because he was constantly under pressure."
McNabb missed Adrian Peterson on a screen pass that probably should have been completed, Jaworski said. The Chargers also were able to limit McNabb's rollouts.
"He still can move and stayed in the pocket long enough," Jaworski said. "He didn't have much of a chance."
A STEP TOO LATE
Both players were targeted on curl routes in the third quarter, and the results were almost identical: Quarterback throws low, receiver dips for the catch, ball bounces to the side for an incompletion.
McNabb needed receiver help on those plays, Jaworski said.
"I don't think they were accurate; I don't think they were totally inaccurate," Jaworski said. "They would have been hard catches to make, but in the NFL you have to make those catches."
The Vikings took one deep shot in the fourth quarter when Berrian outran cornerback Antoine Cason. McNabb underthrew Berrian after outside linebacker Shaun Phillips beat right tackle Phil Loadholt and got a piece of McNabb's arm in midthrow.
"When you need to throw the ball 50 yards, you have to have that back foot planted," Jaworski said. "He wasn't able to on that play."
McNabb's throwing motion did not raise any red flags with Jaworski, who evaluated arm strength, footwork and knee bends, among other things.
"I had no issue with him mechanically," Jaworski said. "Donovan's arm is still as strong as ever."
Jaworski watched McNabb's knees because of a mechanical flaw that had affected his accuracy in the past.
"One issue I used to have with Donovan was that he'd lock his knee and the ball would sail into the dirt," Jaworski said. "I thought his knee was flexed, and his throws were good."