In the past two weeks of watch parties, we’ve celebrated both Terrell Owens’ short, but nonetheless spectacular, career in Philly and the low-key juggernaut that was the 2001 Eagles team. I’m going to continue on with the themed watch party polls this week, taking a look at three of the greatest performances Donovan McNabb ever had as an Eagle. The watch party will commence on Friday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m. EST.
As a reminder:
The website we used to watch old games on YouTube is called Watch2Gether, where we can all do a live-running text thread discussing the game as the video plays. While there are a ton of old Birds games available to watch on YouTube, a lot of them are copyright-protected, meaning that we won’t be able to view them through Watch2Gether.
While Carson Wentz’s arrival in Philadelphia was welcomed with open arms and Nick Foles has since been christened the patron saint of the city, McNabb still stands as statistically the best quarterback in team history. Booed the minute that the Eagles selected him with the second-overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, McNabb rebounded and led the Eagles to an unparalleled run of success for the franchise, making six Pro Bowls and leading the team to the NFC Championship Game five times.
As I discussed last week on an episode of the From the Bleachers podcast, the McNabb era defined who I am an Eagles fan. I can thank both Andy Reid and McNabb for that.
Given all of that, let’s take a look at this week’s three nominees:
2000 Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns
In a trip to Cleveland, McNabb faced off against the quarterback he studied under as a rookie, a journeyman by the name of Doug Pederson. McNabb certainly got the better of ol’ Dougie P that afternoon, as McNabb threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-24 victory.
Bobby Taylor and Brian Dawkins each picked off Pederson once, while Hugh Douglas, Jeremiath Trotter and Corey Simon all recorded a sack. Now that is the type of Eagles defense that I miss!
2002 Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals
Look. I know this game is going to win. It’s likely the most memorable performance of McNabb’s entire career, but just for the sake of writing an article and doing a poll like usual, I had to give some other options for you all.
You know the story by now. McNabb broke his ankle on just the third play that afternoon, but remained in the game after a quick tape up job back in the locker room. Despite hobbling all over the Vet, he threw four tuddies. Duce Staley (man, how underrated was that guy?) racked up 211 yards from scrimmage while also catching one of Donovan’s touchdown tosses in this legendary 38-14 win.
2004 Week 15 against the Packers
Throwing for 464 passing yards and five touchdowns (one of only two times he did it in career), McNabb was at the peak of his dominance, as the Birds took down the Packers 47-14. Brian Westbrook illustrated why he was one of the greatest multi-faceted weapons of his generation too, as he totaled 137 receiving yards (plus 37 yards on the ground) and three touchdown receptions.
I have a feeling we’re going to see multiple 100-yard receiving games from Miles Sanders this season (if there is a season). I’m getting those Westbrook vibes from him right now.
Against a Packers team that made the playoffs, both Darin Walker and Corey Simon sacked Brett Favre twice. Brian Dawkins and Sheldon Brown each added interceptions for good measure too. This was just a complete throttling from one of the greatest Eagles teams ever.
Come along for the fun!
What game should we watch?
This poll is closed
2000 Week 15 against the Browns
2002 Week 11 against the Cardinals
2004 Week 15 against the Packers