Donovan McNabb has been through this before – in Week 12 of 2008 to be exact.
After a dismal first half in Baltimore, one in which McNabb completed just 8 of 18 passes for 59 yards and two picks, head coach Andy Reid decided to pull his veteran quarterback from the game and go with second-year man Kevin Kolb for the second half.
Now a member of the Redskins, McNabb has once again gone through the frustration and embarrassment of being pulled from a game. This time, it was Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman who replaced McNabb for the final drive of Washington's 37-25 loss at Detroit two weeks ago. After insinuations by head coach Mike Shanahan that McNabb was out of shape and unable to grasp the team's two-minute offense, the bye week came at just the right time.
As the Redskins get back to work this week in preparation of a pivotal Monday night matchup against the Eagles, McNabb said he has put those final minutes in Detroit, and the comments that followed, behind him.
"What I said early on is what I stand by, what I continue to roll with," McNabb said on his weekly radio show on ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. "For both parties as well as the guys in the locker room, the best way to handle it is moving on."
As the Redskins offense tries to get back on track, one area they must improve on is third down efficiency. Through their first eight games, Washington has only been able to convert on 23.7 percent of third downs. That's good for 31st in the NFL, and almost 20 percent lower than the Eagles (42.5 percent).
It can only help that McNabb's injured hamstring, something that has slowed the 12-year veteran this season, is beginning to improve following the Redskins' bye week.
"The time off was beneficiary," McNabb said. "It was an opportunity to get away from things and refresh your mind and your body. … Physically, I feel a whole lot better than before I left. That's what bye weeks are for – an opportunity to rest your body, heal and get back and kick this thing off again."
McNabb's mobility will certainly be tested Monday night when he faces an Eagles defense that has excelled this season at pressuring the quarterback. Through eight games, the Eagles' D ranks seventh in the NFL at sacks per pass attempt, and they were just the second defense to sack Peyton Manning three times since December of 2007.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 12:20 p.m., November 10