The Folsom Point: Dono Darko

40:18:23:07

With one minute and fifty seconds left and Washington down by six in the Redskins game eight against the Detroit Lions quarterback Donovan McNabb was benched, the resulting breach in the Primary Universe created a Tangent Universe, one that will collapse back on itself in just under a month in a half.

Unless our hero can solve the riddle of time and set things back the way they were, possibly sacrificing himself in the process.

How else to explain the past three weeks?  First there was the benching, and the increasingly pathetic excuses and reasoning, Rex Grossman was better prepared to execute the two minute drill blah blah, Donovan is too hurt to practice the two minute drill yada yada, he's not in condition to run a hurry up etc etc, we don't like his practice habits and so on, oh by the way did I forget to mention that in the five weeks before the Lions game that NO Redskins quarterback practiced the two minute drill?  Kind of makes the whole Rex is more preparered thing seem even sillier dudnit?  Do you believe in time travel?

Eventually we would settle on a plausible and totally believable narrative that Donovan was benched not by Mike Shanahan, but rather by Kyle, and that all the scrambling and hole digging and borderline disrespecting was all the father covering for the son.  I'm not afraid anymore!

Then right when all the cultural cues and rules of football said we have to move on and judge the team by its performance in the post-benching final eight games, Donovan signs a (not really) giant money contract out of nowhere and the Redskins immediately lay a Monday Night Egg that is so far outside the boundaries of a normal football performance that now I am thinking something is seriously wrong, like cosmically wrong.  No amount of Redskins pregame trashtalking or Eagles gameplanning could have produced that game.  We gotta find ourselves a Smurfette.

So when the Redskins went to Tennessee to play the Titans, a good team on a two game losing streak and with their own personnel issues, but also no problems handling NFC East teams this season, I just assumed the Redskins were going to mail it in and go back to what they traditionally do best, cash checks and stall until January.  Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Instead they fought a war of attrition against a better team, they hung in there.

Couple of pretty serious extremes the past two weeks, the Donovan contract, the Eagles racking up 59 points against a defense that appeared to be comprised totally of paranormal apparitions and then an overtime win over the Titans in a game featuring a single offensive touchdown and a crapload of injuries.

I have been racking my brain and I am not sure I can remember a game with so many injuries, the guys in white and gold (a uniform combination I hated in 2007 but ended this game ok with) kept going down and the reserves kept coming and and playing just well enough to keep the Redskins in the game.

Did you hear that the coaches asked Albert Haynesworth if he was ready to play on the offensive line?  Were you watching the broadcast when Derrick Dockery went down, Derrick's first game action in six weeks, and the camera cut to the sideline scene of a coach talking to third tight end Logan Paulsen, Logan slowly snapping his chinstrap as if to say, "You... want me to play... guard?"

Already without safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Carlos Rogers, Redskins players kept going down and guys kept coming in, I know wartime metaphors for football are out of favor right now, it seemed to me that guys were going over the top and getting mowed down and the coaches were lining up the next bunch of guys.

And still the offensive line held, Clinton Portis was having a great game back until his groin flared up and Keiland Williams never seems to look as good as he is actually playing.  The line gave up three sacks, which is right on average, but nothing too devastating, no game changers, no injuries, and this was with the backup center and the backup utility tackle at right guard, Stephon Heyer has never played guard at any time in his football life!

Four ties, five lead changes, two more Graham Gano missed field goals, that puts Graham at 73 percent for the season.  AND WAS THAT DONOVAN RUNNING THE TWO MINUTE DRILL?

It did not hurt that Vince Young never had his head in the game and actively helped to sabotage the hole field once he was pulled from the game, it is very telling to me that Jeff Fisher insisted on telling anyone that would listen even if Vince did not need season ending thumb surgery that Jeff felt better with a rookie sixth round pick under center than with Vince.

Now with Brad Childress out in Minnnesota, and the Vikings coming to Washington this Sunday, what unexpected ripple in the continuum can we expect?  Will Minnesota get the one game the guy we all hated is out so let's play a good game boost?  When a guy like Chris Johnson gets more than one hundred yards rushing and it feels like we contained him, that seems like good preparation for Adrian Peterson.

=====

If the Redskins were cast as a quirky almost relegated to direct to video new age science fiction cult hit, here is how I would cast the movie:

Donovan McNabb:  Donnie Darko
Mike Shanahan:  Jim Cunningham
Vinny Cerrato:  Frank
The Offensive Line:  Sparkle Motion

=====

Ben Folsom agrees less Wilbon is better and is the editor of The Curly R, a blog covering the Redskins and the NFL since 2006.  The Folsom Point appears Tuesdays at Hogs Haven.

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