With the Eagles on a four-game winning streak and perched atop the NFC East, there is talk that this could be one of the best teams in the Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid era. McNabb, at the helm of an offense on pace to set the franchise record for points scored in a season, was asked to compare the 2009 Eagles to the 2004 version that went to the Super Bowl.
"I think (they are) totally different teams," McNabb said. "This is a younger team, a team that (has) young guys just flying around and having fun. I don't think it truly has hit them yet of just the adversities. For that 2004 team, we had a team together that had been together for a while and just added some different pieces to the puzzle that got us over the hump. We were playing off of just attitude and excitement. This year, I think it's more of just youth and just different talents that we're trying to expose and get guys an opportunity to make plays.
"I think we had eight or nine Pro Bowlers (in 2004). This year, obviously we may not have any of that, but we still have a great group that just plays well together."
One common denominator between the two teams though is the presence of a dynamic No. 1 receiver. DeSean Jackson has established himself as one of the most explosive players in the game this year, and he is just short of 1,000 receiving yards. In 2004, Terrell Owens caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards.
"With T.O. brought a lot of attention to our offense," McNabb said, when comparing the two offenses. "I think for rolling the coverages and being able to move (Owens) around because of his size, it still created mismatches which led now to (Brian) Westbrook having so many catches and so many yards; L.J. Smith, so many catches and so many yards; and then even Correll Buckhalter, I mean, coming in an spelling for Westbrook and picking up big yards ... Todd Pinkston I believe at that time led the league in catches over 20 yards.
"I think the difference for this year, obviously there's a different height situation with DeSean and T.O., but still the same explosiveness. We have Maclin, who is a bigger receiver, still being able to make plays on the other side. Brent Celek, who I think is having a Pro Bowl year. Leonard Weaver, having a Pro Bowl year. Our offensive line, the chemistry is where we need it to be. They seem to be getting that experience and they're playing well. So, there are some comparisons but there are also some differences."
But when McNabb was asked whether this could be considered his best year - he currently has thrown for 2072 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions and owns a QB rating of 95.8 (after 2004, the best mark of his career) - McNabb was much more guarded, preferring to answer it some time around February in Miami.
"I think it's kind of premature to do that," he said. "I think that's something you wait until the end of the year to do."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:08 p.m., December 16