McNabb, Manning will be tough to stop

Carolina has the personnel to prevent Donovan McNabb from escaping the pocket.

Updated: January 12, 2004, 1:09 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Donovan McNabb has long been known as a quarterback that could kill you with his legs and with his arm. But his rushing totals slipped this year and he seemed to be making fewer explosive plays with his feet. That wasn't the case Sunday.

Donovan McNabb
The Panthers must keep Donovan McNabb in the pocket.
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Ed Donatell sent waves of blitzes at McNabb. But because the corners were then matched up in man coverage downfield with their backs to the line of scrimmage McNabb had more open space to run than a wild horse on the plains and he galloped for 107 yards on only 11 carries.

During the regular season, McNabb rushed for only 355 yards, a career-low since he became a full-time starter. That total ranked him second in the league to Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper, but it's less than we expect from a man who's averaged 524 yards over the last three seasons. And he was no longer breaking off big plays that make opposing defenses lose sleep at night. He had only three runs of 20 yards or more. He matched that figure Sunday.