Donnovan McNabb has spent a lot of time on the ground in recent weeks, 16 times in the past four weeks to be exact. We all know that we need Donovan to be healthy and playing well in order for this team to finish the season strong, but he is really going to struggle if the offensive line continues to let him get pressured like he has been. To make things worse we go into the Monday night matchup against an Eagles team that ranks 5th in the league in total sacks with 24 and they are getting their stud DT Brodrick Bunkley back from injury.
The O-line has been a mess in recent weeks, from Casey Rabach playing like a rookie, stepping all over Donovan’s feet, to the rest of the line continuously getting schooled by the four man rush of the Lions. Really only two things have changed since the sacks started piling up against Green Bay two weeks ago, Clinton Portis has been out and Derrick Dockery has been a healthy scratch all four games. The whole Dockery situation seems to be a thing of the past; Kory Lichtensteiger has the blessing of the Shannahans and appears to be our starting left guard for the rest of the year unfortunately. It’s definitely an area that won’t be improved overnight or this season, but if there is one thing that might be able to help patch up some of the holes, it’s the return of Clinton Portis.
Clinton Portis has established himself as one of the best if not the best blocking back in the league. As long as he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he is fearless when it comes to taking out bigger blitzers or helping the O-line with his bruising chip blocks. He won’t be there every time, but his contribution in the passing game with his protection could be the difference in maintaining drives or putting points on the board, especially against a blitz happy team like the Philadelphia Eagles. Portis was listed as questionable on Saturday but if he can go, even if it’s just for pass protection on third down I would love to see him out tomorrow.