And, no, it probably isn't Donovan McNabb, when you get down to it. But McNabb is neither as good as his worshipful legions would suggest nor as bad as his detractors insist.
Everyone else has had a swing, so you can read, judge and react to my take on McNabb/Super Bowl Failure/Last-Minute Drives/And So On in Friday's editions of the Inquirer and online at Philly.com.
Doing the research I came across some interesting things about other quarterbacks and their Super Bowl histories. It's true that nine Super Bowl MVPs are quarterbacks who went on to make the Hall of Fame (Starr, Namath, Dawson, Staubach, Bradshaw, Montana, Aikman, Young, Elway), but this list was also the SB MVP: Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien.
Overall -- not just on that one day, because Simms and Williams had career days in the Super Bowl -- would you take any of those four over McNabb? I wouldn't. But they not only won the SB, but were considered Most Valuable. That is the line missing from McNabb's resume, and, until he fixes it, that is all that matters.
How often does a Super Bowl win require a last-minute drive? Only nine Super Bowls in the last 25 years were decided by seven points or less, but six of those occasions came in the last 10 years. So, perhaps as a result of greater parity, the games are getting closer and teams are within a late drive of becoming champions. It happend that way for the Giants last year, obviously, and both Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger were up to the challenge this past Sunday.
Guys who didn't get it done late in games, along with McNabb, include Jim Kelly (1991) and Brett Favre (1998). Kelly got the Bills close enough for the 47-yard field goal that Scott Norwood famously missed, but McNabb would have been ripped for not moving the ball further.
Jim Kelly and Brett Favre. That's not terrible company. Better than Jim Plunkett and Mark Rypien. Right?