Is it time to give up on Donovan McNabb in Minnesota?

For many, he was never the man they wanted, from the day he was drafted. I still remember the “boos” heard when the Eagles took him at 2 in the 1st round. They ended up with a quick footed scrambler who threw 216 TDs and for 32873 yards for their team.

Never one to get a lot of respect he continued on, winning 101 games with the Eagles. Taking them to the NFC title game 5 years and getting them to the big game in 2004 against the New England Patriots, where they lost 24-21 in a great game.

He was a guy who never had quality WRs on his teams. He played with the likes of James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, Chad Lewis and Freddie Mitchell, need I say more? When he got the troubled but talented T.O. in 2004, he had amazing numbers throwing for career best, 31 TDs and 3875 yards.

His short stint in Washington was atrocious, playing with Santana Moss (another average receiver) and 2 more guys who work part time at Target.

Then the Vikes got him after his rocky relationship with Mike Shanahan finally was ended. The Minnesota Vikings have a record of mediocrity. They have had a small number of seasons in recent history where they had a chance, the 1998 15-1 season with Randall Cunningham. And most recently, the thrilling ’09 ride with aging Bret Favre. The Vikes are trying frantically to hang on to the window they know is closing, and closing faster than they anticipated.

How can a team that went 12-4 just 2 years ago, plummet to 6-10 in 2010, and have such a terrible start to 2011? They are scoring 19/gm they are 28th in passing defense. Their passing attack is awful, with 155/game. AP is clearly the heart and soul of the purple and gold, who should be getting more touches by the way.

This season, McNabb is 58% for 680 yards and 4 TDs. One word, poor.

The Vikes have better WRs than many give them credit for. Percy Harvin is a great slot WR, who can move like a sprinter off quick slants. WR Michael Jenkins needs to get more playing time, he is much better than Bernard Berrien, who they keep at the other side. Berrian is just plain terrible. Jenkins was overshadowed by Roddy White in Atlanta, now he can step in and get the balls thrown his way. He’s certainly not worse than anyone else McNabb has had to throw to.

I am in no way saying the entire 0-4 start falls to McNabb, the Vikings defense has given up in the 2nd half of games this season so far, losing leads of 10-0, 17-0, and 20-0. No excuses for that. But, it is a QBs job to keep his team on the move, to assure those comebacks don’t happen. When the opponent starts making their move, the QB needs to get his team together and score the ball, squash the other team’s optimism.

McNabb has not been that guy, not even close. In the 2nd halves in 2011, Donovan has been awful, 49% passing and 1 TD.

At what point does 1st round pick Christian Ponder get his turn to lead the team? They drafted him with high expectations for their future guy. In the rough NFC, when is the right time to bench McNabb…again?

Maybe Shanahan wasn’t wrong. With upcoming games against Kansas City, Arizona, Chicago, Green Bay and Carolina, the Vikes I would think need to be 4-4 at midseason for Donovan to keep his spot, which will be difficult. If by midseason, if they are looking at 2-6, 1-7? What do you have to lose with Ponder coming in?


Is this another year going by where the Vikings, the perennial “team that’s a QB away” realize maybe McNabb isn’t the answer.


Written by Mike Anthony for



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