On July 28, following the NFL's 136-day lockout, Washington agreed to trade Donovan McNabb to Minnesota in exchange for 6th round draft choices in 2012 & 13. The trade became official on July 30. Donovan enters the 2011 season with 97 regular season wins as a starter - 14th best in NFL history.
Started on opening day for the 12th straight season - the longest streak among active QBs [both Brett Favre (18) and Peyton Manning (13) had their streaks end.]. In week 3 vs. Detroit, moved into 13th place on the NFL's all-time list for completions, and the following week at Kansas City moved into 21st on the same list for TD passes.
Led Minnesota to a 34-10 win vs. Arizona on 10/9 giving Donovan 98 wins as a starting QB thus tying Drew Bledsoe and Dave Kreig for 12th on the NFL's all-time list.
After 6 weeks and a 1-5 record, the Vikings inserted 2011 1st round draft choice Christian Ponder as the starting QB.
On December 1, Donovan asked for and was granted his release from the Vikings.
After the Eagles declared that they were entertaining offers for their quarterbacks, the Washington Redskins stepped up and surrendered two draft choices - a 2nd round choice (37th overall) in 2010 and a future conditional selection in 2011 for Donovan. The trade was finalized on Easter Sunday, April 4, and Donovan was introduced by new Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan on April 6 as the Redskins new starting QB. By midseason after leading the Redskins to as many wins as they had in all of 2009, Donovan signed a 5-year contact extension (11/15).
With his first snap, achieved something no other NFL player had - becoming the first player to start three straight games against the same opponent. This time the outcome was different, as Donovan and the Redskins defeated the Cowboys in the season opener. The following week against the Texans, Donovan threw for 426 yards, the 4th highest total in Washington history and the most in over a decade, but the Skins lost in OT, 30-27.
On October 3, Donovan returned to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time as a visitor. The much hyped homecoming began with a thunderous standing ovation. An early 14-0 lead by the Redskins quieted the crowd and the Redskins and Donovan left Philadelphia with a 17-12 victory.
Recorded his 24th career 4th qtr. comeback and 4th win in OT leading the Redskins to a 16-13 victory. Washington trailed Green Bay 13-3 entering the 4th stanza before Donovan hit Anthony Armstrong with a 48-yard TD pass and was then 3-4 for 47 yards on the game-tying FG drive.
At Ten on 11/21, led a decimated Redskins team that entered the game without three starters and lost seven players during the game to injury to a come-from-behind OT win. Marched 50 yards to a game-tying FG with 5:24 remaining in regulation and 57-yards for the game-winning OT FG.
After being held without a TD pass on opening day, has thrown for at least one score in each of the next 12 games - a career-best.
Continues his climb in the NFL Record Book - started the season ranked among the all-time best in attempts and completions (19th), passing yards (23rd), and TD passes (21st). He has leaped significantly in attempts and completions (13th), and passing yards (15th).
On the way to his sixth Pro Bowl appearance, Donovan led the Eagles to an 11-5 record and a berth in the playoffs for the eighth time this decade. In fact, in the 9 season in which Donovan has started 10-or-more games, the Eagles have earned a spot in the playoffs 8 times, won 10+ games 7 times, won the NFC East 5 times and earned a trip to the NFC Championship Game 5 times. Donovan entered 2009 as the Eagles record holder in almost every major passing category despite starting 8 fewer games than Ron Jaworski (he surpassed Jaworski's mark of 142 games played when he started vs. Washington on 11/29). After a cracked rib suffered in the season opener sidelined him for two games, Donovan returned to the starting lineup and continued his assault on the record books. In his 11th season, his completion percentage and passer rating were among the best of his career. On October 26 at Washington, he reached the 30,000 passing yard and 200 TD pass plateaus becoming only the 21st player in NFL history to do so.
An up and down season was capsulated in one game – the final one of the season, the NFC Championship Game. It was the fifth NFC Championship Game in the past 8 seasons for the Birds. In similar fashion to the whole season, the Eagles sputtered early and backed themselves into a corner then made a miraculous comeback.
The team sputtered through the first 11 games of the season and made a drastic move at Baltimore by removing Donovan from the lineup for the first time in his career. That proved to be a wake up call for the entire team as Donovan and the team posted an impressive win against the eventual NFC Champion Cardinals on Thanksgiving Day. Wins in 3 of the next 4 games, along with some help along the way, put the Eagles into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Two impressive road wins took the Eagles to Arizona for the Championship Game. Donovan led the Eagles from a 24-6 deficit to take the lead, 25-24, late in the 4thquarter. Unfortunately, Kurt Warner led the Cardinals to another score and the Eagles season ended.
Along the way, Donovan set franchise records in passing yards (3,916), completions (345) and attempts (571). He also moved past Ron Jaworski in all major career passing categories.
It was a tale of two seasons for Donovan. Following a miraculous comeback from ACL surgery in less than one year, Donovan opened the season in modest fashion. The Eagles 1-3 start was highlighted by a nearly flawless performance by their QB. Against Detroit in week 3 when the Eagles celebrated their 75thAnniversary, Donovan, who was named the best QB in franchise history, threw a perfect game. His perfect 158.3 passer rating and career-high 80.8% completion rate was the result of 26-21-381-0-4TDs passing. However, it was the bye in week 5 that provided the turnaround for Donovan. After that week’s rest he led the Eagles to 7 wins in his next 10 starts, including the final 3 to close out the season. In those last 10 games, Donovan was 337-212-2,381-6-14TDs passing for a completion percentage of 62.9 and a passer rating of 90.4. He missed two games in November due to ankle and thumb injuries and those two losses proved costly as the Eagles finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game.
Donovan came back strong from his sports hernia injury in 2005 and started the season once again as one of the elite signal callers in the NFL. He led the Eagles to victories in 4 of the first 5 games making history along the way. With 1,602 passing yards and 11 TD passes he became the 1st QB in NFL history with 1,500+ yards and 10+ TDs, with no more than one INT through the first five games of a season. He threw for 247+-yards and 2+-TDs in 8 of the first 9 games and had a passer rating over 90.0 in 7 of those 9 contests. Unfortunately he suffered a torn ACL while escaping the pocket in week 10 vs. Tennessee and his season ended abruptly. Entering the Titans game was ranked among the league leaders in the following categories: passing yards (2nd - 2,534), passing TDs (t-2nd - 17), and QB rating (6th - 96.6). Overall the Eagles went 10-6, won the division, and won a home playoff game vs. the Giants.
A sports hernia suffered before the regular season started hampered Donovan all year until a groin tear in week 9 vs. Dallas ended his season. At the time of his injury, Donovan ranked 1st in the NFL in attempts (357), 2nd in yards (2,507), 2nd in completions (211), and t-3rd in passing TDs (16). Despite the injury, started the season in spectacular fashion – earned NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for September after leading the Eagles to a 3-1 record, was 174-110-1,333-3-11TDs passing completing 63.2% of his passes for a 100.6 passer rating. Included in those numbers were three straight 300+-yard passing games – the only Eagles QB ever to do so. Led the Eagles to a 4-5 record but the Eagles finished 6-10 overall after their leader went down and missed the playoffs for the first time since Donovan’s rookie season.
Donovan led the Philadelphia Eagles franchise to their best season ever – a 13-3 record, the best record in the NFL, and a berth in Super Bowl 39. Armed with the strongest offensive talent in his days as an Eagle, Donovan turned in his best season to date in terms of wins (13), passer rating (104.7), completion percentage (64.0), and passing yards (3,875). During the regular season it was never a question of will the Eagles win, it was only by how much. Donovan threw at least one TD in 14 of 16 games; posted a QB rating of 110.0-or-more in 10 games; and surpassed the 300-yard passing plateau 5 times. The highlight of the regular season was a 12/5 game vs. Green Bay. Donovan earned NFC Player of the Week after passing for a franchise-record 464 yards, including 5 TDs in the first half (the 8th such occurrence in NFL history). The post season was no different for Donovan – he completed 62.2% of his passes and registered a 94.6 QB rating in the postseason. His passing numbers vs. New England in SB39 ranked among the best in Super Bowl history – yards (357 – 3rd), attempts (51 – 2nd), and completions (30 – 3rd).
The opening of a new stadium – Lincoln Financial Field – and facing the previous two Super Bowl winners – Tampa Bay and New England – to start the season proved overwhelming for the Eagles as they started off 0-2. However, Donovan led the Eagles to 9 wins in their next 10 games, and 10 of 12, as the Eagles finished the season 12-4 and atop the NFC East for the third straight year. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month after leading the Eagles to a 5-0 record in November - the only time in franchise history that the team had won 5 games in the same month. During that time, he posted a streak of 127 straight attempts without an INT and became the first Eagles QB to go 4 straight games without an INT since Ron Jaworski (1979). Donovan proved masterful again in a NFC Divisional Playoff win vs. Green Bay, earning NFL Offensive Player of the Week honors by going 39-21-248-0-2TDs passing. That day he brought the Eagles back from a 14-0 1st quarter deficit setting the NFL playoff record for rushing yards in a game by a QB (107) along the way. That game will be remembered by Eagles fans forever as Donovan connected with WR Freddie Mitchell on a 4th-n-26 to keep the game-tying drive alive late in the 4th quarter. The Eagles eventually won 20-17 in overtime.
Donovan led the Eagles to a 7-3 record before missing the final six games in a 12-4 Eagles season. He returned to lead the Eagles to a 20-6 Divisional Playoff game win vs. Atlanta before eventually losing the NFC Championship game to Tampa Bay in the final game at Veterans Stadium. Ironically, his most masterful performance came in the week 10 game vs. Arizona – the one in which he played over three quarters on a broken right ankle. Early in that game while escaping the pocket, Donovan was tackled by Adrian Wilson and LeVar Woods and caught his foot in the turf. Early diagnosis was that it was just a sprain and Donovan went on to complete 80% of his passes (20-25) for 255 yards and 4 TDs. He was truly becoming the NFL’s ultimate weapon having accounted for 23 TDs in those first 10 games. He was equally adept at beating teams with his arm – 200+ yards in 8 of 10 games and five games with at least 2 TDs – as well as his legs – two 100+ yard games and six TDs.
Donovan continued his ascension leading the Eagles to an 11-5 record and their first of four straight NFC Championship Game appearances. The season started with a loss to St. Louis and ended with a loss to the Rams as well. But along the way, the Eagles grew to become one of the elite teams and Donovan blossomed into one of the premier players in the NFL. The NFL schedule makers were aware of what was happening and placed the Eagles in prime time on national TV four times – each one resulting in an Eagles victory. Donovan shined in the spotlight and threw at least two TD passes in 10 of the 15 games he played. The Eagles won multiple playoff games for the first time since their 1980 Super Bowl run. Included in that was a special homecoming for Donovan. He was named NFL Offensive Player of the week after the Divisional Playoff game at Chicago (1/19/02) after going 40-26-262-2TDs passing and adding 37 yards and a TD on the ground. That rushing TD was the final score at the old Soldier Field. Donovan last started at that stadium in the 1995 City High School Championship.
In his first full season as a starting NFL QB, Donovan led the Eagles to a surprising 10-6 record and a Wild Card victory in the playoffs. He accounted for 74.6% of the Eagles offense with nearly 4,000 yards (3,365 passing and 629 rushing) and 27 touchdowns. That output nearly earned him the NFL MVP – he was second to Rams RB Marshall Faulk. On the way he broke the Eagles' single season record for most attempts (569) and completions (330). On 11/26 in a victory at Washington, he accounted for 90.7% of the offense, including 125 rushing yards which were the most by a NFL QB since the Bears Bobby Douglass (127 on 12/17/72). On New Year’s Eve, Donovan and his teammates had Veterans Stadium rocking as they crushed Tampa Bay 21-3 in the Wild Card playoff game. Donovan completed 72.7% of his passes (24-33) for 161 yards and 2 TDs and added 32 yards and another TD on the ground that day.
Was the #2 overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft. Each of the first three picks were QBs – Tim Couch (1st, Browns) and Akili Smith (3rd, Bengals), and five first round selections overall were signal callers (Daunte Culpepper, 11th, Vikings; and Cade McNown, 15th, Bears). During Donovan’s rookie year in Philadelphia he was to be an understudy to Doug Pederson while learning head coach Andy Reid’s complex West Coast offense. By week 10 Donovan’s obvious talents were too much to ignore and he earned his first career start vs. Washington on 11/14 and led the Eagles to a 35-28 victory. He started 6 of the final 7 games giving Eagles fans a glimpse of what was to come.
One of the most decorated athletes in Syracuse University history, Donovan was a four-year starter at quarterback and a key reserve on the school's nationally ranked basketball team. On the gridiron, he was named the Big East Conference's offensive player of the decade (1990's) and year an unprecedented three times from 1996-98 as well as the 1st-team all-conference QB in each of his four seasons. Set the Syracuse and Big East career records for TD passes (77), TDs responsible for (96), passing yards (8,389), total offensive yards (9,950) and total offensive plays (1,403). Set the school's all-time records for total yards per game (221.1), passing efficiency (155.1) and yards per attempt. (9.1). Finished his career ranked 2nd in school history with 8,389 yards passing, 548 completions, 938 attempts and a 58.4 completion percentage. Started every game during his career, compiling a 33-12 record.
As a senior, led SU to an Orange Bowl berth vs. Florida as he completed 157 of 251 passes (62.5%) for 2,134 yards. His 22 TD passes tied the school's single season record set by former Eagle Don McPherson (1987). Also was 135-438-8TDs rushing. Ranked 6th in the nation with a 158.9 passing efficiency rating and 22nd in total offense (233.8 yards/game). Tied a school-record with 4 TD tosses vs. Cincinnati and accounted for 5 TDs vs. Miami (3 rushing and 2 passing). Amassed 2,892 yards in total offense in his junior season to set a school record. As a freshman, was the Big East rookie of the year and tossed a 96-yd. TD pass vs. West Virginia, the longest in Su history. He redshirted in 1994.