Donovan McNabb thinks he belongs in the Hall of Fame
Donovan McNabb joined Mark Kriegel and Rich Eisen on the FOXSports.com show “Barfly” to discuss his Hall of Fame chances. Both Kriegel and Eisen talked about how winning the big game affects the perception of a player. McNabb agreed and said he shouldn’t be denied a spot in Canton because he didn’t win a Super Bowl. He indicated that winning a ring is an unfair standard to judge quarterbacks for the Hall of Fame.
“Peyton never won the big game until he won the Super Bowl finally. Dan Marino never won the big game. But does that mean his career is a failure? No. Not at all,” McNabb said.
Asked by Kriegel if he would vote for himself for the Hall of Fame, McNabb gave a confident response.
“Absolutely,” McNabb said. “See, one thing that people don’t realize — I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it. I played the game to win. I’m a competitor. When I step out on the field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field. Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, ‘Oh, he’s done, or whatever.’ I’m 34, 35 years old but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there. And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame.
“When you sit and look at the numbers — and that’s what it is when it comes to the Hall of Fame — my numbers are better than Jim Kelly, better than Troy Aikman, better than a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame, but the one thing they do have is a Super Bowl,” McNabb said.
Donovan did get things wrong when he called Jim Kelly a Super Bowl winner. Kelly reached the Super Bowl four times but lost all of them. Hall of Fame voters still saw enough in his career accomplishments to give him the nod, but I don’t think that will be the case for McNabb.
McNabb has several factors in his favor. His Eagles teams won consistently for a decade with him at quarterback. He racked up good stats despite having average receivers. He hardly turned the ball over. He made plays on the ground and through the air. Statistically, he’s top 25 in his career in completions (14th), passing yards (17th), and passing touchdowns (22nd). He also reached six Pro Bowls, five NFC Championship Games, and one Super Bowl.
But McNabb has a number of factors against him. Though he was always one of the better quarterbacks in the league, he was never the best, and he didn’t win a Super Bowl. He was also involved in many controversies which may hurt him with voters. He had poor completion percentages and may have been a product of Andy Reid’s offensive system. He failed miserably his final two seasons in Washington and Minnesota.
Prior to McNabb leaving Philadelphia, I believed he was a Hall of Fame player. After watching how poorly he performed in Washington and Minnesota, I believe he’s a borderline candidate whose could be kept out.
Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk for the transcription