Audibles: NFC East Week 16 preview

December, 19, 2008
12/19/08
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

If you listen to Donovan McNabb long enough, you'd think the Eagles shouldn't have lost a single game over the past two seasons. It's maddening to hear him say time after time how the Eagles were the better team but managed to beat themselves. But on Wednesday, he took it to another level when he suggested that he's had a "great" season in leading Philadelphia to an 8-6-1 record.

Never mind that a rash of turnovers led to his benching at halftime against the Ravens. McNabb's latest statement is ludicrous, but it's part of his M.O., which is to rarely admit fault and to always play the victim. Asked to assess his season, McNabb responded:

"I think I've played great," McNabb said. "I don't look at the stats aspect of it, but if you do, then it is better than it has been in years. Offensively, we've been able to do some good things, and some things, obviously, we would love to change. I don't regret any of the things that I've done this year. I'd love to do better in this game coming up ... Certain things are just an inch away, not getting a first down here, or whatever it may be. Obviously, if we were able to get that done, we wouldn't be sitting in this spot right now."

He'll be reminded of that "I think I've played great" line for years to come. And Les Bowen of the Daily News does a really nice job putting it in perspective. McNabb says things like that because he likes to stick it to the local media, but it often comes back to haunt him. I'm not sure Andy Reid would've benched a man who was playing "great" -- especially when you consider how close to the quarterback he is. McNabb believes he has to set the tone for the Eagles' locker room, but this season he's seemed somewhat disconnected with his teammates. He vehemently disagrees that Reid's benching had anything to do with the Eagles' three-game winning streak. But veterans such as Jon Runyan believe that Reid was on the money with his decision.

It's looking more and more like McNabb will be back in Philadelphia next season, but he could end up talking his way out of town. As Les points out, demanding a new contract could be McNabb's ticket out of town. Much more to come on this topic in the coming weeks.

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