Rex Grossman completed part three of his three game audition to win the Washington Redskins starting quarterback job. Redskins Hog Heaven is grading his performance against four benchmarks. Here's our evaluation for today's game against the New York Giants.
Complete 70 percent of his passes. Completed 25 passes of 44 attempts. The 59 percent completion ratio was the best of his three starts and well above his three game average of 55 percent. Maybe that would be an upward trend over 16 games but far from what is required to be starter. Grade - C+
Pass for 911 yards over three games. Grossman passed for 336 yards against the Giants, the second 300 yard game of his three starts. He finished his run with 840 yards. The point of getting yards is to sustain drives and score. Grossman led the Redskins on a seven play, 80-yard drive ending in his touchdown pass to Fred Davis in the second quarter and tossed a beautiful 64-yard fourth quarter scoring strike to Anthony Armstrong to breathe life and hope into Washington's comeback attempt. Grade - A-
Throw at least two touchdowns and not more than one interception. Grossman met the this requirement with two touchdowns and one interception. If only it were that simple. We did not anticipate fumbles when we set this benchmark, but a fumble lost is as bad as an interception. Grossman had two fumbles deep in Giants territory that killed Redskins scoring chances. His second quarter fumble came two plays after Phillip Buchanon's interception of an Eli Manning pass. Buchanon was pushed out of bounds at the Giants 25 yard line. The Redskins had every right to expect at least of field goal from that area, though Graham Gano made that iffy.
Osi Umenyiora caused both fumbles. A video review may show that left tackle Trent Williams was a factor. Lost fumbles and the lost points that followed is a recurring theme for Grossman going back to the Detroit Lions game. That's no more acceptable for Grossman than it was for Jason Campbell. Grade - D+
Beat the Giants. The Redskins lost to the Giants 17-14. Last week, we noted that wins and losses count to coaches and quarterbacks and gave Grossman an A for the win in Jacksonville. Pass-fail is harsh, but that's why quarterbacks get the big bucks. We gave Grossman a B+ as extra credit in the loss to the Cowboys just for making the offense look much better than the blowout we expected. That's all the fairness Grossman gets. As Yoda said to Luke, "Do, or do not. There is no try." Grade - F
Mike Shanahan says he will review the game video on Grossman for all three games by Monday and "evaluate everything." That should mean that he looks at the play of everyone around Grossman, blockers, receivers, drives, defenders, down and distance and perhaps an assessment of how Donovan McNabb would have done.
That may sound farfetched, but we are still fathoming what Shanahan means when he speaks. Rex Grossman made one point in his post-game interviews that was very clear. He has played his last game under his current contract. Whatever you think of his performance, Grossman's play was good enough to land on a NFL roster somewhere. Whether or not that should be in Washington as starter is fodder for Redskins bloggers from now until April. Whether Grossman should sign a new contract to return as a back-up isn't anything he should rush into, either. It may be his best and only choice.