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Donovan McNabb

On McNabb and Campbell, Two Weeks In

There was a moment Sunday when the Redskins were flying high, up 27-10 on the strength of a command performance from Donovan McNabb, while Jason Campbell was hitting rock bottom, benched by the Oakland Raiders. You can bet I was hearing a lot about both via just about every form of modern communication.

Which leads us to this morning’s Thomas Boswell column in praise of McNabb. Seeing as how it pretty much summarizes every point of the pro-McNabb/anti-Campbell camp, I’ll give it the call-and-response FJM treatment:

“This defeat will, in time, be seen as the day when the Redskins realized how much they’ve improved since last year at the game’s most important position.”

The Redskins blew a big lead and lost, despite having the ball in a tie game at the end of regulation and again in overtime. Wasn’t that always the knock on Campbell? (He doesn’t “find a way to win.”)

“McNabb didn’t just complete 28 of 38 passes with no interceptions or fumbles. He also heaved a 65-yards-in-the-air bomb that slipped through Joey Galloway’s fingers in the end zone for a should-have-been 54-yard touchdown. Mike Sellers could have caught another deep pass up the sideline.”

Yes, it was the receivers’ fault that those balls were overthrown.

“As courageous as former Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell was, he never had a day when he looked remotely as good as the spry 33-year-old McNabb in his second game for Shanahan.”

Campbell threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints last year. It was one of six games in 2009 in which he posted a QB rating of 100 or higher. He had four more in ’08, all victories. Point being: It’s one game, people. Actually, three quarters.

“In fact, Campbell was lifted at halftime by his new team, the Oakland Raiders.”

Oakland is a hot tranny mess.

“One blown victory matters a lot. But getting this kind of vintage McNabb for a measly second-round draft pick and a third- or fourth-round pick means a lot more.”

Was this week (119 rating) “vintage McNabb” or was last week (63 rating) “vintage McNabb”? His career mark is a lot closer to last week.

“Those who believed McNabb was past his prime, especially fans in Philadelphia who booed, nagged and gainsaid him for years, have been notified that they were spectacularly incorrect.”

Does anyone doubt that McNabb is still in his late-period prime? What’s unknown is how long he can sustain this level of play and good health. The man turns 34 in two months and now has Stephon Heyer blocking for him.

Also, nice use of gainsaid.

“Seldom in his superb career has McNabb passed more accurately, moved more quickly in the pocket with veteran decisiveness, or sensed the presence of pass rushers breathing near him as precisely as he did Sunday.”

It has been a superb career, and it was the 18th regular-season game in which McNabb has posted a rating of 119 or higher.

“McNabb reads defenses, and sees the field so much better – and faster – than any Redskins quarterback in more than 10 years.”

No one denies this.

“For years, Eagles fans and critics have complained that McNabb’s passing arm was inaccurate, that he bounced balls or overthrew deep passes. There may be days like that in the Redskins’ future.”

Like the day he had just last week, when he posted a lower Week 1 rating than Campbell did in Oakland.

“Donovan McNabb is still as good as he has ever been. And he’s a Redskin, now and probably for a long time.”

If it’s possible to agree with that first sentence while also living in fear of the second, that’s where I’m at.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. Donk Donkerson

    September 20, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    You have to agree that McNabb is a better leader of men than Campbell……

  2. CptChaosSidekick

    September 20, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    a hot tranny mess…classic

  3. Tony Park

    September 20, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    I have no idea why this site is so pro campbell. It’s not just the numbers, its his demeanor and something intangible that was always missing from campbells play. Maybe confidence? He was great off the field but on it there was a component missing in his game. I think Mcnabb for the next 3 years is a huge upgrade, but time will tell.

  4. Mike Bradley

    September 20, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Cambpell got benched by the Raiders. Nuff said.

  5. Brendan

    September 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Seriously? Campbell is a bad QB, there were a lot more knocks on him than just not winning. I’ll never understand how you two think McNabb isn’t a huge upgrade over Campbell, the rest of the NFL does.

  6. Jules

    September 20, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Bless Campbell’s heart. There’s no doubt that McNabb is a better QB than Campbell; however, I think JC is a serviceable QB that never got a fair shake. He was never groomed properly. I was hoping that he would put his past with the Skins behind him, eventhough he went to the Raiders, but I’m afraid he’s going to get even more beat up there. For those who talk about his leadership, yes he’s not an outspoken leaders like McNabb is, but he’s a classy guy who leads by example. Having said that I can’t deny that I’m glad that McNabb is here now.

  7. Puttz

    September 20, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Did anyone not notice what happened when Trent Williams went out and Heyer came in? The offensive had nothing and they had to complete change the play calling. Even McNabb didn’t have much of a chance at that time.

    BTW, if it was Campbell yesterday with the exact same numbers and final score, he would have been ripped for not leading the Skins to a victory. But McNabb gets a lot of credit even though the Skins lost.

  8. pearlbullets

    September 20, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    “But getting this kind of vintage McNabb for a measly second-round draft pick and a third- or fourth-round pick means a lot more.”

    McNabb for 16 games is better than 2 players who could play for the Skins for 10 years?????

  9. Chris Mottram

    September 20, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I don’t think this post was meant to be pro-Campbell or anti-McNabb. It was more to point out the absurdities in Boswell’s column, many of which have been echoed by fans.

    And for the record, neither of us would argue that McNabb isn’t an upgrade over Campbell.

  10. DFox

    September 20, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    What can McNabb do about Heyer’s hold? He completed a 3rd and 20! If you rewatch the Galloway miss, Joey slowed up a bit before realizing that McNabb was actually going to get it there; before speeding back up. Perfect pass.

  11. Joe

    September 20, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Are you still defending Campbell? Grow up. We have moved on to bigger and better

  12. Jamie Mottram

    September 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    I was just going to remark on how terrific these comments were, but then Joe had to stop by.

  13. SuperSkin

    September 20, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Since when did misterirrelevant start adopting Eagles fans as Guest Writers?

  14. Terps77

    September 21, 2010 at 12:33 AM


    For God’s sake, please just let Jason Campbell rest in peace. You look silly taking up the cause/defending/discussing/comparing a future HOF’er to the Oakland Raiders (aka Hot Tranny Mess) back up QB.

  15. GrtWitHntr

    September 21, 2010 at 3:27 AM

    Excellent take on the situation. McNabb is the media darling. Ever since Limbaugh got canned for caqlling him out the rest of the so-called sports media handles the guy with kid gloves. The fact is McNabb was booed by a handful of fans at the draft who wanted Ricky Williams. Aftre that the fans in Philly cheered loudly and often for him for about 5-6 years. Then he kept losing the games that counted. And he kept losing them, and he kept losing them. Then the fans got sick of it. If McNabb had ever actually won anything he’d still be a hero, he didn’t, so now he is a Redskin.

  16. DocJay

    September 21, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Imagine what McNabb would have done those 2 years with Zorn in charge. Campbell actually produced decent numbers with no running game, no receivers(other than Moss and Cooley) and no o-line. I would have like to have seen what Campbell could have done in the right situation, now he is in that black hole they call Oakland.

    And McNabb took the Eagles to the playoffs 8 times, if he had taken the skins to the playoffs 8 times, 5 championship games, 1 Super Bowl, a shitload of winning seasons, we would give him the respect he deserves. If the Eagles had tried to establish a running game 1 of those years, or given him 2 decent receivers for several seasons, he might have won a Super Bowl.

  17. Terps77

    September 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    GrtWitHntr, I think I speak for everyone who reads this blog.

    Fuck Philly.

  18. KB

    September 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    What did Campbell do to give you such a boner? Campbell is mediocre at best. And Galloway was not overthrown, it went right through his hands.

  19. snyper94z28

    September 21, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    not that it should come down to this guys but remember this, we have the right to use the “franchise tag” on mcnabb. so lets say all hell breaks lose and we dont sign him, franchise tag him. ok now back to a more likely scenario. mcnabb and b allen both said a deal will get done. not a deal might get done, WILL get done. mcnabb has always been forthcoming when it pertains to his career moves. he said honestly i will end my career here in washington. bruce allen said mcnabb will be a redskin for years to come so everyone needs not to worry. those are both mcnabbs and bruce allens words not mine. why give mcnabb a contract extention now? let him play his year out see how he fits in this system. you also have the CBA fight between the union and the nfl with a possible lock out next year. mcnabb will get the same money now or at the end of the year so no need to sign him now to try and save money later. the bar has been set with tom bradys contract so the redskins know now what they have to fork over either today or next year and its going to be the same amount of money either day. mcnabb will get around 18 mill a year or so. i see a 5 year contract for him that will/should end his career here in DC.

  20. snyper94z28

    September 21, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    GrtWitHntr– that comment shows exactly how little philly fans know about football. mcnabb dont play defense, or ST, hes not the RB who fumbled, hes not the receiver who dropped the ball. the QB gets all the credit for the win and all the credit for the loss. the fact that you said mcnabb keeped losing made fans not like him shows your ignorance. and afew fans booed? more like 80%. shows how much you guys knew about football huh, where is ricky williams now? what kind of career did he have in the nfl? philly fans are by far the worse fans ever, and im not just talking about football. when the baseball team won the world series they were greeted by philly fans at the gates to cheer then on. when they lost there was not one fan there, not a one. the tv cameras were shocked noone was there but them. when the redskins won the sb (the 1st one) they were greeted by several thousand fans, after they lost to oakland? they wre greeted again by several thousand fans to say we still support you. you philly fans have alot to learn about how to support your team. to be the onyl pro franchise to have a judge, jail and police station right in the stadium shows you guys are morons. umm also they stop serving beer in after the third quarter at philly games…wonder why?? its all the dunk inbredness coming out. i mean really? the city of brotherly love? lol ewww. nasty.

  21. GrtWitHntr

    September 21, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    You guys crack me up. The Philly defense didn’t puke in the 4th qtr of the Superbowl. McNabb lost that game pretty much on his own. Go back and watch it sometime, he flat out sucked. 3 Interceptions, 2 overthrown passes (that I remember) to WIDE open recievers etc. The guy is a choker that’s full of excuses. Just wait and see….

  22. horseydeucey

    September 22, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Great Wit Hunter,
    Sit down, man.

  23. GrtWitHntr

    September 29, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    horseydeuecey, sorry about that bud. Was I blocking your view of his 1-2 start with a 59% completion ratio? Or was it the 2 TD’s and 1 Interception after 3 games that I was in your way for? The guy aint a superstar. Daniel Snyder got duped once again. Live with it, accept it, it’ll be easier once you do……

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