It's not that I think the Redskins would have actually won had he not pulled McNabb from the game this past Sunday. I'd been saying since halftime that we were gonna lose the game. I picked us to win the game but... After seeing how Donovan was inaccurate and the Lions defensive line was playing out of their d@mn minds, I just couldn't see us mustering up the momentum to pull out a win. Even with Banks's kick-off return (they better pay this kid $1M/year just to return punts and kick-offs if they're smart) I just didn't see us being able to stop Megatron and Matt Stafford from scoring.
Then, with the Skins down by 6 POINTS (not even a full touchdown), Mike Shanahan pulls Donovan McNabb for REX-FOCKING-GROSSMAN!!! Seriously! Rex Grossman. That's like pulling Jay-Z for Memphis Bleek! No offense to Rex but he's nowhere near as experienced and polished a QB as Donovan, even on an off day like Donovan was having. Besides, we brought McNabb in during the off-season for these exact type of moments - the moments where Jason Campbell didn't quite have enough to win it. Shanahan's words after the game about why he put Rex in:
"I felt with the time and no timeouts, he was the best chance to win in that scenario."Now we all know that's some bowlshyt. No one on the NFL level besides Lovie Smith has ever felt like Rex is their best chance to win, anything! Not even flip-cup in the locker room!
Then what happens? Rex goes into the game and - through no fault of his own - proceeds to get bum-rushed by the Lions defensive front (which they had been doing all game by the way), fumbles and Ndamokung Suh (who looked like an absolute BEAST yesterday) returns the fumble for a TD.
Sidebar: It was hilarious to me that Santana Moss (who is by far my favorite Skins receiver since he signed with us) had a full head of steam and ran up on Suh and tried to bump him and knock the ball out and Suh basically turned around and said "Awwww, nice try little man!"
After the Rex fumble, I KNEW it was over. I'm sure everyone at home was lambasting Mike Shanahan like I was and I'm sure I'm not the only person that knew the game wasn't over at that point but it was actually over long before then.
Even though I think Shanahan was on an ego-trip when he took out McNabb, I can understand what he was trying to do. He was trying to say: "Look, you've been off all day and we're down by 6, maybe Rex can give us something. And maybe this will piss you off enough to get your swag back after the bye week and play like I know you can." Andy Reid did this to Donovan several times over the course of McNabb's time in Philly and he was trying to do the same thing. The issue I have with Shanahan's decision in this game is that although McNabb was inaccurate all game, he had absolutely NO PROTECTION throughout the game either. It's hard to be accurate when you've got 2 guys in your face every time you drop back. Shanahan couldn't bench his offensive line so he chose to bench Donovan and erase any hopes of a win that the Redskins had??? Ummmm, where they do that at coach? Any person with sense would have just took their chances with Dane-avan McNabb.
It was a boneheaded and egotistical move by Shanahan if you ask me (sure you did). You undermine the confidence your team has in its QB and perhaps even your QB's confidence in himself just to prove a point to him that you've got the moxy to bench him in a close game. That was stupid and although I don't think it cost us a win (I don't think we'd have won anyway), it still wasn't the right move. If I'm Donovan I'm pissed right now and wondering if I really want to play with a coach that would bench me at that point in a game.