- Instead of being able to celebrate his five-year contract extension, Donovan McNabb struggled, throwing three interceptions in a 59-28 loss to the Eagles. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Donovan McNabb had all the elements needed for a storybook performance on Monday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Two weeks to stew and study, a chance to physically recharge, a date with his former team on a national stage and then a $78 million contract extension.
But instead he and the now 4-5 Washington Redskins were a royal flop, getting their doors blown off in a 59-28 defeat to the Eagles, and instead of being able to revel in his newfound security and celebrate the signing with a victorious showing against Philadelphia, McNabb could only hang his head in shame.
McNabb used terms like, “embarrassed,” “angry” and “pissed off” to describe his emotions following the game in which he threw three interceptions (one for a touchdown), was sacked two times and went 0-for-10 on third down conversions.
So, understandably, the contract extension was nowhere in McNabb’s thoughts until he was asked about it after the game.
“You know what, that really wasn’t the focus coming into this game,” said McNabb, whose final statline read 17-for-31 for 295 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and a 69.4 passer rating. “I was just excited, coming off the bye, the week of practice we had. Obviously, an opponent that we needed to have a must-win attitude to boost ourselves up in the NFC East and to have one in the win column, but obviously everything kind of snowballed.”
Reaching an extension with the Redskins had been something that both McNabb and team management wanted ever since the Eagles on Easter Sunday traded the soon-to-be 34-year-old quarterback to Washington with only one year (the 2010 season) left on his contract.
All season long, the quarterback had to answer questions about his future on the regular. Then when Mike Shanahan decided to bench him with 1:50 left in the Week 8 loss to Detroit with the game still in reach, McNabb suddenly had to deal with a media onslaught that featured a new rumor about Washington’s displeasure with him seemingly on a daily basis.
Before the game, McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said that he believed his client was relieved to be done with contract negotiations and speculation about his future.
But when asked after the loss for his feelings, and if he did indeed feel relief, McNabb said, “At this point, no. Because my focus is just on the game. I guess that’s one question I don’t have to answer any more, but this game, I’m embarrassed. With everything that was tied into it, it just snowballed in the wrong direction, and it was just embarrassing.
“At this point, I’m angry, and I think everyone in the locker room is,” McNabb also said. “The contract is great, I always said I wanted to be here. But there’s nothing I can do later right now. I’m focused on the present time and eager to look at the film and looking forward to moving on and getting ready for Tennessee.”