It looked for about 40 minutes like the Washington Redskins were going to keep their win streak alive against the New York Jets. The Green Team's last win over the 'Skins came way back in 1993. In this game, Washington's defense did what it could to suppress Jets' scoring to the level the offense could beat. Then the offense and special teams sabotaged the effort.
You don't need the details in this litany. Special teams covered a kick-off poorly to give the Jets midfield position. Roy Helu and Rex Grossman lost fumbles. Helu's fumble killed a drive. Grossman's fumble sealed the win for the Jets. Graham Gano botched an onsides kick to preclude Washington's comeback that was low odds in any event.
Will Horton at the This Given Sunday blog best summed this puppy:
"Give the Redskins some credit: behind Roy Helu's running, they gave the Jets a game for a full three quarters. But then Rex Grossman rexed it up, and the Jets got a big win going away. After a 19-46 day passing and two turnovers, the best thing you can say about Grossman's day is that he didn't spoil his team's chance to replace him early in the draft."
Grossman gives the Redskins the best chance to win score and I give Mike Shanahan credit for accepting that he must work with imperfection of his own choosing. If he wants better options at quarterback, he has to make better roster decisions.
What could the Redskins do with Tim Tebow? I want some of that Tebow Magic at Redskins Park. Tebow "consistently outperforms the other team's quarterback," writes Kerry Byrne for a story on SI.com. Byrne is one of the statmasters behind Cold, Hard Football Facts. As evidence, he marshaled these facts from Tebow's recent games:
Week 7 -- Denver 18, Miami 15
Matt Moore: 92.6 passer rating; 69.6 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 91.7 passer rating; 80.5 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Tebow (+10.9)
Week 8 -- Detroit 45, Denver 10
Matt Stafford-Shaun Hill: 126.0 passer rating; 118.2 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 56.8 passer rating; 48.2 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Stafford (+70.0)
Week 9 -- Denver 38, Oakland 24
Carson Palmer: 79.7 passer rating; 69.4 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 98.1 passer rating; 108.2 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Tebow (+38.8)
Week 10 -- Denver 17, Kansas City 10
Matt Cassel-Tyler Palko: 73.2 passer rating; 67.9 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 102.6 passer rating; 122.7 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Tebow (+54.8)
Week 11 -- Denver 17, N.Y. Jets 13
Mark Sanchez: 67.9 passer rating; 62.2 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 61.3 passer rating; 87.1 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Tebow (+24.9)
Week 12 -- Denver 16, San Diego 13
Philip Rivers: 77.1 passer rating, 68.8 Real QB Rating
Tim Tebow: 95.4 pass rating, 94.4 Real QB Rating
Real QB Rating advantage: Tebow (+25.6)
Yesterday, Tebow led the Denver Broncos to another fourth-quarter comeback win over Minnesota, a game where both teams scored over 30 points. (How I wish....) Tebow's passer rating was 149.3 on 15 pass attempts. With Adrian Peterson out, Christian Ponder attempted 47 passes. He scored three touchdowns, but had two interceptions. He outgained Tebow by 179 yards. Ponder lost. The Tebow won. Rex Grossman attempted 46 passes for no scores, one interception and a fumble on the way to another loss.
Time to stop talking about Grossman's game experience, Ponder's youth and Tebow's unconventional skill set. The Vikings are so much better off with Ponder than the Redskins are with Grossman or Beck. And lets redefine Tebow from "unconventional" to "winner with a style of his own."
The question is not what Washington could do with Tebow. It is what would Shanahan do with him? Shanahan has yet to show the nimbleness to adapt his style and scheme to his players unless forced to do so. He did not do that for Donovan McNabb. He would not try with Jason Campbell. He drove Jake Plummer from football.
If Shanahan were still in Denver, Tebow would not be a Bronco. That may be just as true for current Denver coach John Fox who inherited Tebow. But, Fox did what Shanahan finds hard to do. He adapted his offense to accommodate Tebow. Fox has already won seven games. Shanahan will struggle to get there.
The Redskins will acquire a quarterback next season. We hope they avoid Snyderesque stupidity like trading Draft picks for Peyton Manning. Our friends at DC Pro Sports Report (Never met them. Exchange emails.) track mock Drafts. They see a consensus of Baylor's Robert Griffin emerging as the Redskins top Draft pick. That's worth a couple of blog posts by itself. To find success with whomever they bring in, both Shanahans should have a long talk with the man in the mirror.
Yes, Virginia. We are rushing to the offseason as fast as we can get there.