It’s the match-up Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles fans and players have been waiting for all year: The battle between the Eagles new quarterback, Michael Vick, and their former quarterback who is now a Redskin, Donovan McNabb.
In a battle between two Pro Bowl-caliber quarterbacks, Michael Vick is the clear favorite to win this battle for a number of reasons. After earning his spot as the starter from Kevin Kolb who lost his position as a result of an injury, Vick is the comeback story of the league.
Vick was once the black sheep of the league stemming from animal abuse charges, but has emerged to prove that he’s still one of the premiere athletes of the league. In the past two games he’s started, Vick has impressed everyone around the league. He’s thrown for six touchdowns and no interceptions in a three-game span while McNabb is still getting adjusted to the maroon and gold uniform, throwing for only two touchdowns and one interception.
If circumstances were different and this was the Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick against McNabb with Philadelphia Eagles, I would go with McNabb as the winner in the match-up. But, in the first three games of the season McNabb has not looked like the superstar quarterback he was with the Eagles. Different team means different receivers and different protection for the quarterback, which he has struggled with so far.
Another reason McNabb will fall to the Eagles is that players always put too much pressure on themselves to do the impossible in big games. And for McNabb, this is a big game. Who wouldn’t want to completely demolish his former team that betrayed him after giving so much of his blood, sweat and tears? Not McNabb. He’s human just like all of the other quarterbacks who have tried to overdo it when they were in the same situation.
When the former Eagles quarterback steps on Lincoln Financial Field today, butterflies will be racing through his stomach as if this was his first game. Going back to the field that was once a place where you were seen as a god and cheered for even when things were going bad to being booed for just stepping on the field is not going to be easy for McNabb to deal with. Expect a few nervous-looking, questionable passes and a couple interceptions from McNabb in the game.
The fans of Philadelphia have been known as some of the most die-hard patrons devoted to their team and committed to making all challengers feel as uncomfortable as possible, and McNabb will be no exception. This isn’t Michael Jordan coming back to the Bulls in a Wizards uniform. McNabb never won a championship for the Eagles so their loyalty to him doesn’t lie as deep, and there’s a new quarterback in town who’s giving them Super Bowl dreams — and not just Chunky soup commercials.
My predictions: McNabb throws for two interception early in the game and never really gets into a rhythm, pushing the Eagles to a big win, 35-14.