Donovan McNabb saw it immediately and clapped with delight. Probably because he’d seen it so many times in his 11 seasons with Andy Reid.
With the first half about to expire, the Eagles were flagged for a delay of game penalty at the Redskins’ 1-yard line. Reid, who had called a timeout prior to the play, was planning to go for it on 4th-and-goal. After the penalty, the coach opted for a 23-yard field goal.
“I goofed,” said Reid. “We had a play called for [4th-and] inches and the inches weren’t inches when the play clock started.”
Poor clock management. An unwillingness to stick with the run. Red-zone inefficiency. Failure to convert key third downs. All the staples of the Reid-McNabb era were on full display yesterday in a 17-12 loss to the Redskins. The key twist, of course, was that No. 5 was on the opposite sideline.
”Even though I had a different uniform on, it felt like I had just crossed the Walt Whitman and parked in the players lot,” McNabb said. “Although Mike [Vick] had taken my parking spot.”
McNabb finished 8-of-19 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Was it a great performance? Far from it. Was it vindicating for the best quarterback in Eagles franchise history?
“Everybody makes mistakes in their lives, and they made one last year,” McNabb said.
Off the field, fans debated his legacy in the parking lots, and a local radio station led a “Boo McNabb Parade.” Inside the Linc, however, the Eagles faithful gave McNabb a standing ovation during pregame introductions. McNabb stood at midfield and saluted the crowd in appreciation.