Confusion key for Pats' D

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

Donovan McNabb didn't waver in his belief that last night may have been his first Super Bowl experience but not his last.

If only the footballs the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback let fly had flown so true.

Confounded by the menacing, multi-look defences of the New England Patriots, McNabb had a rough conclusion to what had been the most efficient season of his career.

3 TDS, 3 INTS

He threw a trio of touchdown tosses to keep his Eagles in the game, but also threw three interceptions -- which easily could have been four or five -- to take the Eagles out of it.

"There are a lot of ways you can put your head down, but I'm going to continue to hold my head high," said McNabb, who was intercepted just eight times in the regular season.

"I don't look at the touchdowns, I don't look at any of that. I look at the interceptions.

"As a quarterback, you can't make turnovers."

McNabb also was unable to move the ball on the ground, getting sacked four times for combined losses of 33 yards.

But it was the interceptions that will haunt him the most, especially one in the first quarter that was snagged by Rodney Harrison at the New England four-yard line.

"We definitely had some wrinkles for them," Harrison said. "Coach Belichick came up with some plans to force some turnovers."

"The key was confusing him," Pats linebacker Willie McGinest added. "Any time you let a guy sit back there and throw passes, he'll pick you apart."

It started on the first series of the game when the Patriots showed a four-three front as opposed to the three-four look they used most of the season.

"They are a good football team, you can't turn the ball over as much as we did," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

McNabb wasn't shy about throwing it -- airing the ball out 51 times with 30 completions adding up to 357 yards. But he lacked the efficiency of his Patriots counterpart, Tom Brady.

PERFECT IN POST-SEASON

Brady, who never has lost a playoff game, did have an uncharacteristic unforced fumble but completed 23 of 33 attempts for 236 yards.

Included in that total was a two-yard touchdown toss to linebacker Mike Vrabel, who was lined up as a tight end, and a four-yard pass to Donald Givens.

"As a quarterback in the NFL, you want what Tom Brady has," McNabb said. "What they have done in the past four years is greatness."


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