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.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Reid could follow McNabb out of Philly at season’s end

Andy ReidAfter he was benched at halftime of the Eagles’ embarrassing 36-7 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, there’s little doubt that the writing is on the wall for quarterback Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

But what about head coach Andy Reid?

After a couple of dreadful performances (and I mean dreadful), it’s hard to back McNabb at this point. His play last week in a tie against the Bengals was downright embarrassing and even hard to watch. It seriously looked like he was trying to throw into double and triple coverage just to see if he could still complete the pass. And his brilliant outing Sunday against the Ravens was JaMarcus Russell-esqe: 8 of 18 for 59 yards, two interceptions, one fumble.

But Reid deserves plenty of criticism for throwing an unproven Kevin Kolb to the wolves after the Eagles had just cut their deficit to 10-7 at halftime. They were still in the game and while McNabb didn’t necessarily deserve to go back under center, Reid’s decision was inexplicable. It’s not like Kolb had a full week to prepare – he was thrust into a horrible situation, unprepared and against one of the nastiest defenses in the league. Reid essentially sealed his, and his teams’ fate by benching McNabb when a win was still very much in reach.

So now what, Andy? Go back to McNabb in hopes he can save your fleeting playoff hopes? Or go with a second-year quarterback and pray he does his best Matt Cassel impression?

Everyone likes to criticize Mike Martz for not running the football more, but what about Reid? He’s had success throwing the ball over his career, but he also continuously kills his team by not creating offensive balance. He might be the most overrated coach in the NFL and his decision to bench McNabb might not only cost him the playoffs this season, but also his job in Philadelphia. If McNabb goes, shouldn’t Reid, too?

Is this the beginning of the end for McNabb in Philly?

For the second week in a row, Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb looked absolutely atrocious as the Ravens crushed Philadelphia 36-7 on Sunday. But unlike last week, McNabb didn’t even finish the game as he was benched for Kevin Kolb in the second half.

McNabb was just 8 of 18 for 59 yards, two interceptions and also lost a fumble. Kolb didn’t fare much better, completing 10 of 23 passes for 73 yards and two interceptions, but one has to wonder if McNabb’s benching may signal the beginning of the end for his time in Philadelphia.

At 5-5, the Eagles’ playoff hopes are fading fast and the Eagles might want to start preparing for the future with Kolb. Chances are McNabb will remain the starter until Philly is completely knocked out of postseason contention, but it’ll be interesting to see if Andy Reid makes the switch to Kolb towards the end of the year and then the team parts ways with McNabb in the offseason.

As for Baltimore, this was quite a rebound performance after the Giants dismantled them last week in New York. Rookie Joe Flacco was efficient, completing 12 of 26 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, but more importantly, the Ravens’ running game was solid again (Le’Ron McClain finished with 88 yards and a touchdown) and the defense was dominant. They remain in the playoff hunt, but they could use a San Diego win over Indy to keep the Colts a game behind in the Wild Card race.

Related Posts