WE LOVE HIM. We love him not. We love him. We love him not.
Donovan McNabb needs to stay, because, regardless of what Joe from Fishtown thinks, he's one of the league's 10 best quarterbacks, and at 32, still has 4 to 5 productive years left.
He needs to go, because he wants a new contract and the Eagles don't seem inclined to give him one, now or ever. And the only thing worse than a wide receiver who thinks he's underpaid is a quarterback who thinks it.
He needs to stay, because we have no earthly idea whether Kevin Kolb will be the greatest thing since sliced bread, or Bobby Hoying.
He needs to go, because he hasn't won a Super Bowl and hasn't been a particularly good big-game quarterback, throwing only six touchdown passes and eight interceptions in four NFC Championship Games (three losses) and one Super Bowl appearance.
He needs to stay, because he has the best career interception percentage in NFL history and won't throw costly picks that get returned for TDs.
He needs to go, because he and coach Andy Reid, who isn't going anywhere no matter how many novenas you say, seem to like each other right now about as much as Madonna and Guy Ritchie.
He needs to stay, because he holds every significant Eagles passing record except playbooks left at home before big playoff games (Randall Cunningham, 1).
He needs to go, because, if his passer rating and yards-per-attempt average are any indication, his best days are behind him. His rating has gone from 95.5 in '06 to 89.9 in '07 to 85.3 this year. And his 6.8 yards-per-attempt average is his lowest since '03.
He needs to stay, because, regardless of the fact that he doesn't own a Super Bowl ring, he's a winner. The Eagles have had only one losing season and been to the playoffs six times in his eight seasons as a starter.
He needs to go, because he's not very accurate. He has a .589 career completion percentage and has been above 62 percent only once in his career. He's 18th in the NFL.
He needs to stay, because Kolb's parents aren't nearly as quotable as Sam and Wilma. Hell, Donovan isn't nearly as quotable as Sam and Wilma.
He needs to go, because, 10 years later, he still can't let go of the fact he was booed by a handful of drunks on draft day.
He needs to stay, because if he goes someplace else, you just know he will lead them to a Super Bowl.
He needs to go because, as much as he claims to be a leader, he's really not. Very good quarterback? Yes. Leader? No.
He needs to stay, because he can run.
He needs to go, because he won't. He's averaging only 2.4 rushing attempts per game this season, the fewest of his career.
Around the league
* While the Rams will interview outside candidates for their head-coaching position, they are expected to hire interim coach Jim Haslett. There are two reasons: Recently promoted general manager Billy Devaney likes Haslett, and owner Chip Rosenbloom, who is trying to sell the team he inherited from his late mother, Georgia Frontiere, doesn't want to overpay for a new coach.
* Don't look for any big changes in Detroit. According to league sources, Lions chairman William Ford Sr. will not bring in a new front-office czar to replace Matt Millen, who was fired this season. He will continue with the system in place now; general manager Martin Mayhew oversees football operations and executive vice president and chief operating officer Tom Lewand handles the business end, including contracts. They are expected to add only a college scouting director to run the draft.
* The Browns are expected to offer their head-coaching job to Bill Cowher as soon as they finish the season Sunday against Pittsburgh. But Cowher is expected to tell them thanks, but no thanks. The Jaw has repeatedly said he's happy - at least for now - working as a studio analyst for CBS and isn't sure he wants to return to coaching in 2009. His former boss, Steelers owner Dan Rooney, doesn't think Cowher will coach for anyone in '09. "Every time I talk to him, he says that he's very, very happy with what he's doing, where he is," Rooney told the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi. "It would not surprise me [if he didn't come back]. It would surprise me the other way.''
FROM THE LIP:
* "We've got to win, I know that. We need a little help. Fortunately, I've got some good friends in Philadelphia. The bottom line is we're a 9-6 football team." - Bucs coach Jon Gruden, whose team can make the playoffs with a win over the Raiders and an Eagles win over the Cowboys.
* "Some will fight it. And some, I call pussycats - they feel a little pain and they want to get off the field." - Former Eagle Chuck Bednarik, on the different pain thresholds among players.
* "We were just excited. We were just happy. And I don't care who we play, if they come [to our stadium] with 15,000 fans and we happen to be the victors that day, yeah, I'll probably stomp on their towels, too." - Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck on he and his teammates stomping on those lovely Terrible Towels that Pittsburgh fans are so fond of waving, after Tennessee's win over the Steelers Sunday.
* "Nobody knows the future. If anybody knew the future, I probably wouldn't be here right now, because a lot of people predicted I wouldn't be here after the preseason. The fact is, nobody knows where I'm going to be next year. We'll have to wait and see." - Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who will be an unrestricted free agent.
BY THE NUMBERS:
* Brian Westbrook has had only four games this season with more than 100 rushing and receiving yards. Last year, when he led the league in yards from scrimmage, he did it 13 times.
* The Titans, who lead the league in scoring defense (14.1 points allowed per game), have held their opponents to 17 points or fewer in 13 of 15 games.
* The Patriots, who put up 47 points against the Cardinals Sunday, have four 40-point games this season, which ties the team record for 40-point games set last season.
* The Giants are 18-1 in their last 19 games when they haven't had a turnover.
* The Patriots have won 11 in a row in the month of December.
* With 25 completions against the Bills Sunday, Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler replaced Hall of Famer John Elway as the club recordholder for completions in a season. With one game left, Cutler has 351; Elway had 348 in '93.
* In the first 8 weeks of the season, home teams were 74-42-0 (.638). Since Week 9, home teams are 60-63-1 (.484).
* In the NFC South this season, the home team has been the winner in all 11 intradivisional games. If form holds true, the Saints should beat the Panthers Sunday in the Superdome.
* Texans running back Steve Slaton leads the NFL in fourth-quarter rushing with 391 yards. His 1,190 rushing yards are a franchise record.
* The Bills, who will play New England Sunday, have lost 10 in a row to the Patriots and 15 of their last 16 meetings. They have been outscored, 308-96, in that 10-game losing streak.
Thumb things to ponder
* To the Atlanta Falcons, who wasted little time taking advantage of their surprising success. They acknowledged this week that their average ticket cost will increase 9 percent in 2009. Seventy percent of the seats in the Georgia Dome will be unaffected. But the other 30 percent, which all are in prime locations, will go up in price significantly. Because they have such a big heart, though, they're pushing back the deadline for initial payment on season- ticket renewals from Dec. 31 to Jan. 30. Oh, and they didn't lay off anybody this week, either.
* To former Rams running back Marshall Faulk, who is campaigning to be the team's next head coach. Faulk, who retired in 2006, is an analyst for NFL Network, and not a very good one at that. He doesn't have one iota of coaching experience at any level, but still seems to think he can step right in and captain this sinking NFL ship.
PANTHER DRAFT PICK WATCH:
Last Sunday: lost to Giants, 34-28
This Sunday: at 7-7 Saints
Current draft position: 29th
Current position of Eagles' own pick: 17th
1. Titans 13-2
2. Giants 12-3
3. Colts 11-4
4. Steelers 11-4
5. Panthers 11-4
6. Falcons 10-5
7. Patriots 10-5
8. Dolphins 10-5
9. Ravens 10-5
10. Cowboys 9-6
11. Bears 9-6
12. Vikings 9-6
13. Bucs 9-6
14. Redskins 8-7
15. Chargers 7-8
16. Eagles 8-6-1
17. Broncos 8-7
18. Texans 7-8
19. Saints 8-7
20. Jets 9-6
21. Cardinals 8-7
22. 49ers 6-9
23. Packers 5-10
24. Bills 7-8
25. Jaguars 5-10
26. Seahawks 4-11
27. Browns 4-11
28. Raiders 4-11
29. Chiefs 2-13
30. Rams 2-13
31. Bengals 3-11-1
32. Lions 0-15