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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rush was wrong... about Donovan McNabb?

In order to save face, ESPN had to do it.  They had to fire Rush Limbaugh as co-anchor on Monday night football, for what on the surface appeared to be racially charged remarks aimed at Donovan McNabb, then the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Rush had made the comment, during a live broadcast of MNF, that he did not believe Donovan McNabb to be a very good quarterback.  In fact, he would go on to say that he believed McNabb got to where he was because in part "the media was desirous of a black quarterback to do well."  Limbaugh's co-anchors would not press him on this issue, as I am sure they thought it to be too divisive.  ESPN, understanding the political background that Rush had come from, wanted nothing to do with this and quickly dismissed him.  But the question still remains largely unanswered: was Rush right about McNabb, or is he actually a good quarterback?  These days quarterbacks are judged largely by what they have done in the postseason, and, in that department, McNabb has fallen somewhat short, having failed to win a Super Bowl(he does have one appearance, a loss in SB XXXIX to the Patriots), and five losses in NFC title games as well.  But does that mean he is not a good quarterback?  For an answer to that, we need to look at his body of work in comparison to quarterbacks who put up similar numbers that are in the hall of fame.  McNabb is most often compared to John Elway, in part because Elway finished his career playing for Mike Shananhan, and the prevailing notion is that McNabb will finish his career also playing for Shananhan, in Washington not Denver, however.  If we look at stats alone*, it would appear that McNabb has a slightly higher completion pct(59.0 to 56.9) and touchdown to interception ratio(2.16 to 1.33) than Elway, while Elway, threw for slightly more yards per attempt.  Elway, on the other hand, has two SB rings to McNabb's zero, and a couple of more SB appearances to add to those rings as well.  So one could argue that Elway is better than McNabb based solely on postseason record.  However, McNabb's numbers are eerily similar to Dan Marino, another hall of fame quarterback, and one who doesn't have a Super Bowl ring.  In fact, Marino only has a slightly higher career completion percentage than McNabb(59.4 to 59.0), while McNabb has a better touchdown to interception ratio than Marino(2.16 to1.67).  So, based on those two comparisons, I would have to argue that at this stage of his career McNabb is at least as good as Elway and Marino were.  I also think that answers the question "Is Donovan McNabb a good quarterback?" with a definitive yes, at least in my opinion.

*Stats are provide courtesy of

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