If you watched the Washington Redskins’ offense closely yesterday, and I know you did, you saw something the numbers don’t necessarily reveal. If you heard the post game show on ESPN980.com, you may have heard a comment about it. Donovan McNabb does exactly what my good friend Sachin, a die-hard Eagles’ fan, has told me for years. He puts up decent numbers and avoids interceptions, but he misses short passes way too much and dumps the ball off to the safety valve too much. Effectively, under his game management, if the offense gains 350 yards, it probably could have gained 500.
What Jim? You’re not ranting about Graham Gano or Special Teams in general? Gano stunk, and Special Teams got a D- overall in my book. But, what about the horrific officiating at times? The so-called hold on Brandon Banks’ sweet return that wasn’t a hold? The mangling of Brian Orakpo that everyone except the officials saw? Other blown calls too? Yep, the refs stunk at times, especially on the Orakpo hold. No home-field advantage for the ‘Skins today. I’m not ranting about that stuff because, while those subplots may be the story of the game on the surface, the anemic Redskins’ offense is the plot of the season (along with poor tackling, of course.)
Look, I like Number 5. I root hard for him to do well every Sunday. I feel bad for him when I see him hang his head low. Watch his post-game presser – he was definitely depressed. But, listen to him talk about how the break-downs weren’t just Gano’s. McNabb isn’t just being a stand-up guy, he’s admitting something. He missed multiple opportunities to make big plays, even on short passes. He appeared to be throwing off his toes, as ball after ball sank to the turf.
Donovan McNabb took this game hard. He wanted to lead a Redskins’ December playoff push so badly he could taste it. His heart is broken. You could see it on his face on the sidelines, well before the last drive and the missed extra point. He knew he left yards and points on the field. Forget the overall QB stats – watch the game if you recorded it and tell me I’m wrong. Tell me the Redskins’ offense didn’t perform like an 8 cylinder engine with two dead cylinders. Tell me McNabb didn’t fail to execute at strategic moments. Tell me I’m dead wrong if you like. But, don’t tell me about Special Teams or the referees being the reason the Redskins lost. Because, as true as that is, it misses the point. The Washington Redskins need a quarterback who doesn’t play afraid to lose.