McNabb will start again for Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - November 24, 2008 The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was benched for the first time in his career at halftime of Philadelphia's 36-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. Second-year pro /*Kevin Kolb*/ played poorly against the Ravens, and Eagles coach /*Andy Reid*/ said Monday he's going back to /*Donovan McNabb.*/

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"Sometimes you have to step back to step forward in a positive way and Donovan will do that," Reid said. "This has nothing to do with Kolb's performance or Donovan's performance."

The /*Eagles*/ (5-5-1) are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third time in four years since losing the 2005 Super Bowl. No matter how they finish, this could be McNabb's last season in Philadelphia.

McNabb, who turns 32 on Tuesday, is signed through 2013, but there's no chance the Eagles will pay him $9.2 million next year to be a backup. He's 22-21-1 as a starter since leading Philadelphia to four straight NFC championship games from 2001-04.

"As I sit here right now, he's my starting quarterback," Reid said. "I need to coach better. Donovan needs to play better and the guys around Donovan need to play better."

McNabb was 8-for-18 for 59 yards with two interceptions and a fumble in the first half against Baltimore. But the Eagles only trailed 10-7 when Reid decided to have quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur tell the veteran he'd be replaced.

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Last week, McNabb threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in an overtime tie with Cincinnati. Overall, he's completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,770 yards, 14 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 81.1

"I think I know Donovan McNabb better than anybody in this room," Reid said. "I know (seven) turnovers, that's not him. That's no part of his game. You back up an inch and you evaluate it and you should be able to step forward a mile after that."

Kolb, a second-round pick in 2007, had thrown only nine career passes before entering a game that was critical to Philadelphia's slim playoff hopes. He was 10-for-23 for 73 yards and two interceptions, including one returned an NFL-record 108 yards for a touchdown by Ed Reed.

The Eagles were down 22-7 and had a second down inside the 1 with just under 8 minutes left when Kolb threw the costly pick to Reed.

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