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News » Second guesses: Reid has only two options with McNabb


Second guesses: Reid has only two options with McNabb


Second guesses: Reid has only two options with McNabb
The Philadelphia fans should be careful what they wish for. But it sure seemed like Eagles coach Andy Reid was listening to those unhappy fans when he benched Donovan McNabb at halftime Sunday in the loss to the Ravens. Yes, McNabb had three turnovers in the first half and the Eagles were trailing. But the game wasn't lost yet. It was lost when backup quarterback Kevin Kolb fired a goal-line interception that Ed Reed returned a record 108 yards for a touchdown.


It shocked me that Reid, who professes to be so close with McNabb, didn't inform his quarterback of his decision. He had quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur give McNabb the ugly news.

Now, there are two ways of looking at this. One, Reid was looking desperately for a spark for his beleaguered offense. He has watched McNabb struggle for two games now. Two, Reid is feeling the pressure himself, sensing that his career in Philadelphia may be coming to end. No one really knows what is going on right now, but it's definitely one or the other. Right now, Reid has to figure out whether he wants to patch up his 10-year relationship with McNabb.

We kid ourselves when we say the quarterback position is like any other position on a football team. It isn't. McNabb has been the leader of this team for a long, long time. If Reid believes it is over for McNabb, he will start Kolb the remainder of the season and see what happens. But if he still believes in McNabb, and is also confident of his standing with owner Jeff Lurie and president Joe Banner, he patches up his relationship with McNabb and gets ready for Thursday's game against the Seahawks and old friend Mike Holmgren.Otherwise, the Eagles' season will continue to go down the drain while we all wait for the next shoe to drop.

Harbaugh changes culture

Speaking of Reid, it had to be very tough for him to acknowledge the performance of John Harbaugh, one of his prized former assistants, who has done a spectacular job in his first season as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. No one really knew what kind of coach Harbaugh would be, butright now he still has a shot at the playoffs and he's done it with a rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has prepped Flacco very well and the kid has shown a lot of toughness and resiliency. Flacco opened Sunday's game against the Eagles, going 2-for-10. He finished by completing 10 of his next 16 attempts for two touchdowns. He also didn't have an interception.

NFL Week 12

Week 12 action

    Steelers 27, Bengals 10 -- Recap | Box
    Jets 34, Titans 13 -- Recap | Box
    Patriots 48, Dolphins 28 -- Recap | Box
    Ravens 36, Eagles 7 -- Recap | Box
    Cowboys 35, 49ers 22 -- Recap | Box
    Bucs 38, Lions 20 -- Recap | Box
    Vikings 30, Jaguars 12 -- Recap | Box
    Bears 27, Rams 3 -- Recap | Box
    Texans 16, Browns 6 -- Recap | Box
    Bills 54, Chiefs 24 -- Recap | Box
    Raiders 31, Broncos 10 -- Recap | Box
    Giants 37, Cardinals 29 -- Recap | Box
    Falcons 45, Panthers 28 -- Recap | Box
    'Skins 20, Seahawks 17 -- Recap | Box
    Colts 23, Chargers 20 -- Recap | Box
    Packers-Saints -- Preview | Notes

Analysis

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With the cameras running, the first thing Harbaugh did in the locker room was thank his players. This was huge for him to beat his mentor, a coach who gave him his NFL chance. Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti has to be thanking his lucky stars that Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett turned him down. He backed into a solid young coach who can command the locker room and definitely changed the work ethic of the veteran Ravens. And the beautiful combination is that Harbaugh and Flacco are now a package deal. The Ravens have been looking for a quarterback ever since Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl. In five of his past six starts, Flacco hasn't thrown an interception. Now, the Ravens have a future. It's just too bad Ray Lewis may not be around to play in the next Super Bowl.

Favre, Jets turn it around

OK, what's going on? How did the Jets lose to the Raiders five weeks ago? How did the Falcons lose to the Broncos last week in the Georgia Dome? How did the Raiders whip Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler in Denver? These are some messed up developments. But the key element is that those Jets, the ones with Brett Favre looking old and tossing up some stupid interceptions in Oakland, have won five straight and just knocked off the unbeaten Titans.

Favre has quit throwing stupid interceptions, too. The bottom line is that he apparently has figured out the New York offense, one that was totally foreign to him after all those seasons in Green Bay. It's understandable. It makes sense. Favre has obviously busted his butt to make it work with the New Jersey Jets. And his presence has elevated the Jets into the playoff race. I'm not sure they are the best team in the AFC, but they are not bad.

They have beaten two playoff teams in Tennessee and Arizona and they have split with the Patriots. Now, there will be talk of a New York-New York Super Bowl although both franchises really live and play in New Jersey. It doesn't sound like a sure thing to me, but the schedule does favor Favre down the stretch.

His team hosts the mediocre Broncos on Sunday and then has two travel dates in San Francisco and Seattle. Those should be two or three wins. The Jets host Buffalo and Miami in the Meadowlands to wrap up the season. Yes, Favre is proving that he's a remarkable star at his age. He never misses a game, either. I never thought all of these moves would have worked for Eric Mangini, but they have. He pretty much has saved his job and the opportunities are there for the taking.

Tough customers

Clinton Portis is one tough customer. He wasn't supposed to play a week ago, but did against the Cowboys. He nursed his knee sprain all week and then had 29 carries for 143 yards against Seattle, giving the Redskins a 17-minute edge in time of possession Sunday. Portis would have scored a touchdown, but his hip tightened up and he needed some stretching on the sidelines.

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Portis is now a member of my all-warrior team. I respect his physical toughness and willingness to play hurt. His teammates do, too. Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin is also on my warrior team for his comeback from facial surgery and simply being one of the toughest receivers to bring down. One defender cannot stop him.

Atlanta's Michael Turner has shown the same toughness in his first full season as a starter. Favre is a lock, too. And there is also no quit in Cowboys running back Marion Barber. Men like these make watching NFL football a lot of fun. They are always exuding passion. They are fearless. They are ultimately winners.

Browns' QB woes

The Cleveland Browns have a quarterback headache again. Romeo Crennel benched Brady Quinn in a loss to the woeful Houston Texans and what does he do now? Crennel had to expect that Quinn would throw poorly, considering he has a broken index finger on his throwing hand. A tendon may be torn in the same finger. Every quarterback needs that finger to direct his passes. It's a lot more important than Tony Romo's pinky.

Cleveland is definitely a mess now because Crennel wanted Quinn to be successful, hoping to save his job. The smart money is to rest Quinn, the future of the franchise. Why cause any further damage to the finger? It makes no sense to play him in a season lost.

Maybe Derek Anderson can resurrect himself, too. The Browns are in flux and the rumors will continue to swirl that owner Ted Lerner will pursue ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Such a move makes a lot of sense given Cowher's track record and his connection to the Browns as a player and an assistant coach. There was so much hope for these Browns, who won 10 games and missed the playoffs last season. Well, they will miss the playoffs again and maybe go looking for a new head coach.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 24, 2008

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Justin Sandy Name: Justin Sandy
#28
Position: DB
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Northern Iowa
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