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Redskins @ Lions – Fourth Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on October 31, 2010 – 4:36 pm

I’d like to say that this loss doesn’t feel nearly as gutting as last year’s — that it makes a difference that the Lions are a bit better, that they’re not coming off a thirty year winless streak, etc. etc. etc.

But it wasn’t true even when things just looked plain BAD — with the Redskins were just trailing by 6 with 1:50 left on the clock and no timeouts. Even at that point, this loss was looking bad. Instead of heading into the bye week 5-3, near the division lead and seemingly coming together as a team, the Redskins were already looking like they would be heading into the bye 4-4 and still unable to win must-win games.

Then Rex Grossman came into the game, and everything got even worse.There have been a few people calling for Grossman to take over for McNabb and, to be fair, McNabb was looking rusty (at best) today. But McNabb also wasn’t the main problem, as Grossman quickly showed. The main problem was an overwhelmed offensive line that got Grossman sacked on his first play. He fumbled, the Lions scored a touchdown, and the game was even more over.

Really, though, it wasn’t Grossman’s fault that things got worse. The game didn’t just turn when came in because he didn’t succeed. In fact, that was almost entirely beside the point. It was the very choice to put Grossman in, in a crucial situation of a still-winnable game … that’s what turns the bye week from a chance to rest and get away into a non-stop questionfest with a simmering quarterback controversy.

Shanahan did his best to defuse this after the game, saying that McNabb was still the starter and that Grossman had just been put in because of his increased comfort level with the two-minute offense, but once you’ve opened that door, the controversy is going to be there.

Somewhat perversely, it probably helps that Grossman didn’t play well, because it makes it even clearer that the problem extends beyond the quarterback position. But that didn’t make the ending of that game any more pleasant to watch.

So, yeah, there’s no way around it: this to the Lions loss was just as bad as last year’s, if not worse, and it was worse in an entirely new and different way.

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