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NFL Preview Week 4 –
The week of the comeback kid   Share

 29 September 2010

First, my colleague Leroy gave you some predictions on this weekend’s upcoming college football games.  Let me be the first to say he’s lost his mind in picking Texas over Oklahoma.  I’m an Oklahoma Sooner homer, so its expected I want my team to win, and I would not be a true fan if I did not comment on his blasphemy.  Boomer Sooner.  Now onto the NFL.
If you cheer for the underdog, the comeback kid, or even the guy convicted of running a dog-fighting ring, this is your week.  Read a little further to see why.

Donovan McNabb

Washington Redskins at the Philadelphia Eagles
This one could get sporty.  First, before last season, the Eagles took on Michael Vick, a former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons that found himself in federal “meet bubba your best new friend” prison.  He was convicted of running a dog-fighting ring and was sentenced to hard time.  Before his incarceration, he was one of the most exciting players in the NFL, often known as the one-man highlight reel.  He was signed by the Eagles as part of his rehab to get back into the NFL and would serve in a back-up role.

The season goes by and then this past off-season, the Eagles let go their franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb.  This was a surprising move because McNabb won a ton of games for the Eagles and was considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL.  The Eagles decided he was getting old and they wanted to go with their young back up (the guy one spot ahead of Vick on the depth chart) Kevin Kolb (pronounced Cobb).  Furthermore, the Eagles traded McNabb to their division rivals, the Washington Redskins.  See where this is going?  At any rate, after the second game of the season, Kolb got hurt and Vick played the rest of the game.  He did so well, the Eagles decided to keep Kolb on the bench and start Vick.  This was also a surprising move.  The Eagles let go their franchise player for this Kolb kid.  Then they bench him after Vick has a good outing?  Ok, whatever.  At any rate, now McNabb is leading a Redskins team back to where he grew up in the NFL, Philadelphia, for the first time.  It will be interesting to see the response because Philly fans booed McNabb when he was selected in the draft because they wanted somebody else.  Philly fans are known to turn rabid on their professional athletes on a dime.  And you thought your 13 year-old daughter was fickle.

So this game pits a comeback kid in Vick against a hometown kid in McNabb.  You can bet the storyline is more interesting than the game will be.  Philly will crush the Redskins.  McNabb will get booed again, but what should he expect?
One Liner:  “McNabb may finally complete some passes to some Eagles.” Referring to the likelihood that Donovan McNabb will throw some interceptions to the Eagles’ defense.

Baltimore Ravens at the Pittsburgh Steelers
Ok, so I talked about the Steelers last week, but this one is too juicy to gloss over.  This week, Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers star quarterback, will start play for the season.  If you’ll remember, he was suspended by Roger Godell, the commissioner of the NFL, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.  Read the details on “Big Ben” and his indiscretion here.  At any rate, his team was able to win all of its games thus far without him, a feat that surprised most “experts.”  Now that he’s back, the sky’s the limit.  Pittsburgh’s defense looks as tough as ever and their offense should be able to perform at a much for efficient level now that Roethlisberger is on the field again.  In terms of this weekend, though, they face a tough Baltimore Ravens team that boasts an up and coming offense and a defense that can shut down just about everybody.  It’s been since the pre-season that Roethlisberger has played, so you can bet he’ll have some rust to scrape off.  Despite his return, I think Pittsburgh loses with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback as he settles back into a rhythm.

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