After Rex Grossman’s four interception game against the Eagles a decision was made. With the great power of hindsight that now looks like a poor decision. When John Beck took over for Rex Grossman people were excited to see what Beck could do, and for at least one game Beck looked like the much better option. He was mobile in the pocket, and moved the ball down the field. Then a few more games happened and Beck managed to do the impossible, he made people long for Rex Grossman.
Since taking back over as the starting quarterback the Redskins offense has looked competent. Grossman still has all the problems that come with Grossman. He turns the ball over, he sometimes holds onto the ball too long and takes a sack, and he has trouble with the pre-snap duties of a quarterback. Rex Grossman has always been inconsistent. His game against the Eagles was the worst that Grossman can be.
Against the Giants Grossman wasn’t good. He threw for 185 yards on 15 completions out of 24 attempts with one touchdown and two interceptions. The two interceptions happened early in the game and from that point on Grossman was accurate and took advantage of the soft coverage of the Giants. The Redskins running game wasn’t as good as it had been in recent weeks. Roy Helu failed to rush for 100 yards, but as a team the Redskins rushed for 123 yards on 40 attempts.
The real strength of the Redskins in this game was the defense and the slippery fingers of Hakeem Nicks. Early in the first quarter with the Redskins up by three Nicks burst down field and beat both the corner back and the safety who were assigned to cover that part of the field. Manning saw Nicks and threw a pass so well that it hit Nicks in the face mask. Nicks must have been confused by how well the ball was thrown as he was never able to get it into his hands and under control.
After that miscue the Giants offense couldn’t manage much of anything. The Redskins picked off Manning three times. OJ Atogwe and DeAngelo Hall played their best games of the season, and Josh Wilson had a key interception in the end zone. The Redskins front seven did their job once again putting pressure on Manning and accumulating three sacks. Bowen, Kerrigan, and Orakpo all made it into the backfield and took Manning to the ground. The Redskins front seven have played well this season and will all be back next season along with second round pick Jarvis Jenkins who tore his ACL in the pre-season.
The Redskins young offensive line played well once again limiting the Giants to only one sack. With the Redskins off-season only two weeks away their needs look to have shrunk as the season has gone along. The Redskins need a shutdown corner, a number one receiving threat, and a quarterback. It will be seen in the next few months if the Redskins can gather all that in one off-season.
With the possibility of the NFC East being won by an 8-8 team the Redskins decision to bench Grossman and go with the consistently inept Beck could be the difference between the Redskins being the team that achieves that 8-8 record and where they currently stand likely to finish with a record between 7-9 and 5-11. Both of the Redskins remaining games against the Vikings and Eagles are perfectly winnable, and if the Redskins are able to win them the decision to bench Grossman will look even worse.