Thursday, October 05, 2006

McNabb Starring On and Off The Field

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL at this time and one doesn't need to look at his 106.0 passer rating to see how much he is enjoying the game.
McNabb, who appeared to be miserable a year ago while fighting a losing battle with a sports hernia and a fractured relationship with Terrell Owens, is playing like his old self. He's also smiling like his old self.
And while he doesn't enjoy the constant T.O. questions as Dallas comes to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, McNabb can't wait for the challenge.
He more than held his own during his weekly press conference and dropped just one verbal volley Owens' way.
When asked about coach Andy Reid's comment that the Eagles are playing against a team and not one player, McNabb responded, "One guy doesn't make a team; break a team, maybe."
That was the only shot he took at Owens.
For McNabb this game is much bigger than a grudge match with his former favorite receiver. It's almost a must-win game for the Eagles to regain total credibility among NFC contenders.
The Eagles are 3-1 and their one loss was to an NFC East team, the New York Giants. That means seven consecutive defeats to NFC East teams.
Since the seventh of those losses came at home against the Giants this year, the Eagles can ill-afford to go 0-2 at home against NFC East opponents and expect to do much better when they leave Lincoln Financial Field.
McNabb realizes this. And he also knows that he is able to do things he couldn't perform a year ago due to his sports hernia injury.
"I think the comfort level is definitely there," McNabb said.
If Dallas didn't have enough to worry about, McNabb showed in Monday's 31-9 win over Green Bay, that he indeed will run out of the pocket and be effective doing it. He gained 47 yards on five carries, scored two touchdowns and was barely touched when he ran.
It provides another thing that Dallas has to worry about.
So while there will be plenty of people playing up the revenge factor with T.O., McNabb remains the person with the biggest potential impact on this game.
And if he performs on Sunday the way he did at the podium, then the Eagles just may be able to snap this nasty NFC East streak.