How did Rex Grossman do starting at quarterback for the Washington Redskins? Surprisingly well. Shockingly well. Astoundingly well. Not that he was perfect.
When head coach Mike Shanahan promoted Grossman to starter, Redskins Hog Heaven asked what we must see from Grossman to buy into the idea. Here's the list along with Grossman's performance.
Complete 70 percent of his passes. Grossman completed 25 of 43 pass attempts, for a completion ratio of 58 percent. He needed seven more completion to hit the mark. Seventy percent completion ratio is a high standard, perhaps impossibly so. It is premised on the idea that Grossman must perform 20 percent better than Donovan McNabb to keep McNabb's job. McNabb completed 58 percent of his passes this season.. It's not fair, but Grossman comes with a lot of baggage. Grade - C
Pass for 911 yards over the remaining games. Grossman threw for 322 yards and is on a pace to meet this standard. One of the TV announcers said it was Grossman's first 300-yard day in his career. I'll have to check that. But we award extra credit to Grossman on the assumption that it's true. Grade - A
Throw at least four touchdowns with no more than three interceptions. Talk about a sign of the low standard set by McNabb and the low expectation for Grossman. Four touchdowns was the combined benchmark for all of the remaining games. Grossman threw four touchdowns today to power Washington's biggest offensive output of the season. After this, we'll reset the bar to two touchdowns per game. Grade - A+
Beat the Cowboys. You can't pin the loss to the Cowboys solely on Grossman. He kept the Redskins in the game, especially the third-quarter comeback from a 27-7 deficit. Two dropped passes by Santana Moss on critical plays would have helped immensely. But I digress. Grossman's play kept the Redskins in the game. He would have become legendary in these parts if Washington won. Grade - B+
Overall Grade - B+
I didn't think Grossman had it in him. It remains to be seen if he can sustain it over the next two games. There's no reason to think he cannot after what we saw today.
No one is happier for Rex than Kyle Shanahan.