Donovan McNabb in the Hall of Fame?

September 19, 2013

Donovan McNabb playing for the Redskins against the Rams in 2010. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
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As the Eagles prepare to host the Chiefs tonight, Kansas City Coach Andy Reid is getting most of the hype in anticipation of his return to Philadelphia.

But Reid is only one recent Eagles icon who will be reappearing at Lincoln Financial Field.

Donovan McNabb (I know, I know) will have his No. 5 retired at halftime, becoming only the ninth player in team history to receive that honor.

Now, McNabb’s time with the Redskins was mostly forgettable, and his time since playing for the Redskins has been mostly annoying, but now that he is officially retired, it is interesting to consider whether his career is worthy of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Even if you roll your eyes while doing so, let’s take a quick look.

Only 23 modern-era quarterbacks are Hall of Famers, and only six – Troy Aikman, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Warren Moon and Steve Young – debuted within the past 30 years (We’ll ignore Brett Favre and the other soon-to-be enshrined signal-callers for now).

On gut feeling alone, it doesn’t seem like McNabb should be included in that company.

The numbers, though, show that he might have a case.

McNabb threw for more yards (37,276) than Kelly (35,467) and Young (33,124), more touchdowns (234) than Young (232) and Aikman (165), and fewer interceptions than each member of that group except for Young. His career passer rating (85.6) is better than Kelly’s (84.4), Aikman’s (81.6), Moon’s (80.9) and Elway’s (79.9).

The biggest knock on McNabb is he never won a Super Bowl, but neither did Marino, Kelly or Moon, and McNabb has more playoff wins (nine) than Young (eight), Marino (eight) and Moon (three), and the same number as Kelly.

So, what do you think? Is Donovan a Hall of Famer? Why or why not?

Greg Schimmel is a copy editor who will contribute his NFL insights to Opening Kick on Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter at @Greg_Schimmel.

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Around the Web:

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to break the news of the rather shocking trade Wednesday evening between the Browns and the Colts. Cleveland sent running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a 2014 first-round pick. Thoughts on the deal?

Grantland.com’s Bill Barnwell provides a quick-hitter look at the major story lines for every NFL team through two weeks. Barnwell took an in-depth look at the Redskins’ problems earlier in the week.

NFL.com’s injury roundup Wednesday led with the note that Lions running back Reggie Bush did not practice, and is “no sure bet” to play against the Redskins on Sunday.

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Mark Maske · September 18, 2013

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