Thursday, December 18, 2014

End of the line for Donny Mack?

More from the NFL's opening week

End of the line for Donny Mack?

Donovan McNabb is the new starting quarterback for the Vikings. (Andy King/AP)
Donovan McNabb is the new starting quarterback for the Vikings. (Andy King/AP)

Less than three years removed from the NFC title game, Donovan McNabb looks more and more like a guy who’s at the end of the line.

SI.com’s Don Banks said McNabb's massive fade is the worst he can recall.

“Has anyone in recent memory suddenly lost more luster off their resume than McNabb, who put up a statistical line in San Diego that seemed like it had to be a typo?" Banks asked on Tuesday.

“In an NFL that's more wide-open in the passing game than ever, McNabb somehow managed to play an entire game and throw for just 39 yards (7 of 15 with one touchdown and one interception) in the 24-17 loss to the Chargers, a game the Vikings actually led 17-7 into the third quarter.

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Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb both started and won their games in Week 1, but McNabb, the one-time Eagles franchise QB, looks like a shell of his former self.”

BRADY WAS UNBELIEVABLE. As great as Tom Brady was on Monday night, when he threw for the fifth-highest yardage total in NFL history at 517, he could have been even better.

An illegal formation penalty cost New England a 41-yard completion to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the first quarter.

If his teammates had lined up properly, Brady would have been at 558 when he left the game and broken Norm Van Brocklin's record of 554 yards passing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1951.

MORE VAN BROCKLIN. Ironically, the Dutchman’s record performance also came on opening day, when the Rams blitzed the New York Yankees (this is not a mis-print), 54-14.

Van Brocklin, then in his third season, started that day only because veteran Bob Waterfield was injured, but he made the most of his opportunity. He completed 27 of 41 passes and tossed five touchdowns — four to Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch.

OH, JAWS! Verbosity has its place and former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski has made a second career of high volume chatter about football.
But the Monday Night Football analyst had to apologize on air after accidentally dropping a crude word during the broadcast from Miami.

Talking about an incomplete pass by Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne in their blowout loss to the Patriots on ESPN, Jaworski casually uttered a gross word before saying, “You have to get rid of this ball.”
Jaws apologized later in the fourth quarter.

A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING. Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard and played last season in Buffalo. So when he finished Sunday’s improbable 41-7 win at Kansas City by taking a knee to run out the clock, he told coach Chan Gailey it was the first time he had ever finished a game by kneeling down.

STAT OF THE DAY. Kevin Kolb was 18 for 27 for 309 yards on Sunday for Arizona and his 11.44 per pass attempt was the NFL's highest in Week 1.

MILESTONE OF THE WEEK.  This from Peter King of SI.com: “On a day Kerry Collins got pulverized and was almost wholly ineffective, he had 197 passing yards and passed Joe Montana into 10th place on the all-time passing-yards list, with 40,638.”

Collins is a graduate of Wilson High in Berks County, as is Chad Henne of the Dolphins.  How many other high schools in the U.S. have ever had two starting QBs in the NL at the same time?

FINALLY. It wasn’t just the Eagles who drafted a guy who couldn't get on the field on opening week. The Birds’ top draft pick, guard Danny Watkins, didn’t dress for the opener, but he wasn’t alone — nine of the 32 first-rounders didn’t play Sunday, with five of them inactive.

But the Eagles probably were the only team with its three top picks all relegated to inactive status.  Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett of Temple and cornerback Curtis Marsh of Utah State didn't pass opening day muster, either.

It's waaaaay too early to label anybody a bust.  But com'on guys!  0 for the first 3 rounds?

On the other hand, Chris Neild, a nose tackle from West Virginia taken by the Redskins with the next-to-last overall pick in the whole draft, had two sacks and forced a fumble despite playing just a handful of snaps.

Contact Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com

Don McKee Inquirer Sports Writer
About this blog
Don McKee arrived at the white Inquirer building the same month (August of 1974) that Richard Nixon departed the White House, but claims no connection. He has covered Penn State football, the Flyers of Fred Shero, the Eagles of Dick Vermeil and backed up several beats. After 25 years covering high school sports in three cities and two states, he says the only teams he is allowed to root for are Conrad Weiser High School and Penn State, his two alma maters. LIKES: Straight talk. HATES: Spin doctoring and mindless devotion to conventional wisdom. Reach Don at dmckee@phillynews.com.

Don McKee
Don McKee Inquirer Sports Writer
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