Why did Shanahan bench McNabb for Grossman?

DETROIT - OCTOBER 31: Kyle Vanden Bosch  of the Detroit Lions hits Donovan McNabb  of the Washington Redskins during the first quarter of the game at Ford Field on October 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Donovan McNabb has been to six Pro Bowls, has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Year and has led a team to a Super Bowl.

Rex Grossman has never been to a Pro Bowl, has never been the NFC Offensive Player of the Year and although he did lead a team to the Super Bowl, it was primarily due to his defense and Devin Hester’s return abilities – not his play at quarterback.

So it’s natural that Mike Shanahan would choose Grossman over McNabb to run his two-minute offense down a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

I’m not kidding. You think I’m kidding? I’m not kidding.

With just under two minutes remaining in the Lions’ 37-25 win over the Redskins on Sunday, Shanahan benched McNabb for Grossman, who promptly fumbled on his first play, which led to a 17-yard touchdown return by Ndamukong Suh to ice the game for Detroit.

The details are sketchy at this point, but McNabb definitely wasn’t hurt. He had taken six sacks and threw an interception that led to the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but his offensive line and running game didn’t do him any favors either. Suh, Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril completely dominated the interior of Washington’s offensive line so there wasn’t much McNabb could do. The interception was ill timed, but he still completed 17-of-30 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. Those aren’t Hall of Fame numbers but he wasn’t Jay Cutler out there either.

Unless McNabb was turning the ball over at a Brett Favre-like pace, there’s really no reason to ever sub Grossman into the game – any game. What did Shanahan think, that Grossman was going to lead the Skins back with a heroic touchdown drive? Grossman hadn’t taken a snap all season and yet there he was, in for McNabb at the most crucial moment in the game.

Look, I could see Shanahan making a move if he had a better option at backup. But this is Rex Grossman we’re talking about. It’s not Kerry Collins, Charlie Batch or even Chris Redman – it’s Rex Grossman. Just why…what the…huh…are you serious?

Shanahan has some explaining to do as the Redskins gear up for their bye.

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