Monday, January 04, 2010

Just Pitched My PlayOff Tickets

The New York Post puts Dallas -4 over Philadelphia for Saturday’s upcoming Wild Card game. It kind of makes you wonder if anyone in Las Vegas even saw the thorough 24-0 beat down Dallas administered yesterday afternoon that caused me to trash my Linc play-off tickets. The Eagles’ theme for Frank Helps You Think It All Out all year has been ten wins and “just good enough to lose another NFC Championship Game”. I’ll probably have to amend the latter to read “just good enough to lose to an NFC Championship Game participant”.

The defeat was pretty comprehensive. Where are the Eagles “better” right now than Dallas? Dallas has a better offensive line- by a lot- and defensive line. Dallas’ ‘backers are much better. The running backs are a wash- except the Eagles don’t use them when losing. I come up with kicker and wide outs.

Following that line of thought, perhaps most troubling observing McNabb complete his third straight game of crazily spraying the ball around, Tony Romo looks like the more polished performer. In fact, McNabb might be the worst of the six quarterbacks in the NFC play-offs. Brees is definitely better. Right now, the last few weeks, Romo is too. Are you really sure you would take McNabb over Warner (maybe against a fearsome pass rush?), Rodgers or Favre?

Obviously, the loss was not McNabb’s fault. They rarely are. But the career book on this character is rapidly drawing to a close- and it is going to put him in the “good”, rather than “great” category.

It is very frustrating- but McNabb is not the quality of player who can achieve true greatness. That doesn’t mean he cannot win a Super Bowl- but that he can’t will it himself. I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a play-off game where the Eagles rode McNabb to victory over a superior opponent. Can’t really come up with one. Maybe the Green Bay game with FredEx’s miracle grab- but was a road Green Bay really superior?

Instead, you are left with a quarterback that can, say, routinely elevate a team playing sloppily against a .500 team on the road, but not one in desperate straights. Down 14-0 yesterday, is anyone in that locker room seeking to hitch his wagon to McNabb? The Eagles boldest, rally aroundthe quarterback, run in the Reid era was the 2006 December sweep, in a row, of all three division opponents. Not surprisingly, McNabb was out for that. So yes, there is a reason why McNabb is not a pro Bowl candidate- he is simply not a great player.

No shame in that of course. McNabb has won a lot of games. But not championship, elite games. The road to the Super Bowl is complex without such capability.

It isn’t hopeless of course. Vegas’ confidence is perhaps not misplaced. Wade Phillips is still over there calling some of the shots. The whole game went Dallas’ way and they could still only muster 24 points- not great. But I’ll save that for the pick segment later this week.

Labels: ,