NFL

Vick, McNabb heading for an unfair fight

McNabb shares his thoughts on returning to Philly.
McNabb shares his thoughts on returning to Philly.
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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

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This won't be a fair fight, Donovan McNabb vs. Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, Donovan McNabb vs. his Philly critics.

Three weeks into the NFL season, Andy Reid's decision to ship McNabb to a division rival makes perfect sense.

Sending McNabb to Oakland would have looked and felt cold and cruel, a career death sentence for a franchise quarterback whose worst crime was failing to get along with Terrell Owens.

Washington? Warden Daniel Snyder has nearly as many bodies on his jacket as Al Davis, but Snyder has somehow avoided the assassin reputation.

This -- Redskins vs. Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field -- won't be a fair fight. McNabb is headed home for war unarmed, flanked by overmatched troops and with no ground support.

We can agree now the Washington Redskins are a horrendous mess, as bad as any team in the league. Losing by two touchdowns to the St. Louis Rams removes all the false shine from Washington's lucky season-opening victory over the Cowboys, doesn't it?

The Rams, losers of 14 straight at home before Sunday, played most of the game without the services of star running back Steven Jackson (groin injury). Despite Jackson's absence, the Rams produced 24 first downs and ran 25 more plays than the 'Skins. Defense was supposed to be the strength of this Washington outfit.

Offensively, McNabb has two tools, receiver Santana Moss and tight end Chris Cooley and nothing else.

 

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Clinton Portis is old, weird, washed up and running behind one of the league's worst lines. It's a bad recipe. Portis, backup Ryan Torain and McNabb ripped off one good run apiece – for 27, 36 and 26 yards, respectively. Other than those runs, Washington accounted for 27 rushing yards on 14 carries.

Consistent third-and-longs contributed to a 1-of-10 third-down efficiency.

The Redskins are a bad, bad team, playing in a decent division and led by an owner who never met an overvalued free agent he wouldn't lavish with a ridiculous contract.

Andy Reid knew exactly what he was doing sentencing McNabb to the Redskins. Philly fans are going to get two up-close looks at McNabb leading a terrible squad. Reid planned to contrast McNabb's plight with Kolb taking the field with DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy.

Reid never anticipated a fair fight.

And I haven't even talked about Philly's new top gun, the secret weapon that fell into Reid's lap, Michael Vick.

Proving yet again that no good deed goes unpunished, McNabb's 2009 rehabilitation project -- Vick -- is the 2010 obstacle that makes it virtually impossible for McNabb to extract revenge on the Eagles for dumping the franchise's all-time best quarterback for an unproven second-round pick.

Next Sunday's showdown was supposed to be McNabb vs. Peter McNeeley, not McNabb vs. Evander Holyfield.

Put McNabb in against Kolb, and McNabb has a puncher's chance. Maybe he can connect with Moss on a few big plays and get lucky again.

I don't see it with Vick on the field. Vick Doggy Dogg is trying to put together an MVP season. He wants another $100 million contract. He tossed three TD passes and ran for another score on Sunday against Jacksonville. He's yet to throw an interception this season.

Right now, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu is the league's player of the year/MVP. Vick is No. 2 followed by Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews and Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler.

I hope football media are willing to look beyond Peyton Manning's sure-to-be gaudy stats and identify the other players around the league who are making major contributions.

So far, no player has had a bigger impact on an organization than Vick. His play made the Eagles eat $10.5 million in guaranteed money given to Kevin Kolb. Vick's play has energized the entire Philly roster. He's clearly the emotional leader of that football team.

Everybody loves an underdog (pun intended). Oh, God, what a nickname. I would pay big money for an Eagles No. 7 jersey with "Underdog" on the back. "There's no need to fear, Michael Vick/Underdog is here."

Vick is going to treat McNabb and the Redskins like they stole something from Sweet Polly Purebred.

This won't be a fair fight. It reminds me of Larry Holmes vs. Muhammad Ali. Holmes took no satisfaction in whipping "The Greatest," but he had to do it. Now it's time for the greatest Philly QB to get what he doesn't deserve.
 

Tagged: Rams, Eagles, Redskins, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Steven Jackson, Kevin Kolb, DeSean Jackson

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