1. First thing's first...the Redskins are 3-2 and very much alive in the NFC. If anyone here was offered a 3-2 start back in August, we all would have jumped on it. Granted, the difference between 3-2 and 5-0 for this team could boil down to a few plays made or not made by both the quarterback as well as the defensive coordinator--and I hesitate to write that, since I am ultimately okay with Jim Haslett's blitz call on 3rd and 21 at Dallas but I can't ignore the fact that it was a high risk/high reward call that hurt us.
2. I do believe that Rex Grossman will be the starter against Carolina on Sunday. I have not come across many folks who are rushing to agree with that. I understand that my whole argument can be flipped upside down and used as an argument for Beck, but I'll go ahead anyway. While Carolina can't be underestimated, it is a game we probably should win at this point. It is an important game to get because we follow it with two very tough opponents (Buffalo and San Francisco.) The problem with benching Grossman now to me is that if we feed Beck to the Bills and 49ers, we risk having to go back to Grossman, which would mean potentially three quarterback changes before the halfway point of a season that still has promise. Listen, Grossman has earned himself a spot on the sidelines next to the offensive coordinator on Sundays. On top of that, it is not like the head coach has to decide to bench a legend or even a huge fan favorite. And what's more, we all know Shanahan doesn't fear many personnel decisions. But if this season is still very much for the taking in this upcoming stretch of games, then I think Shanny will err to the side of keeping Rex Grossman installed as the starter in the hopes that that tiny bit of stability propels our team to a 4-2 record. As usual, I provide for your consideration the fact that I am a big, dumb idiot.
3. Quarterback changes do have the ability to provide a team with a spark. While neither Beck nor Grossman are en route to Canton, they both are capable of helping our team win. Maybe that spark would be valuable at this point of the season...but you only get to use that spark once. You don't get the spark every time you change your quarterback. And it is the possibility of quarterback flip-flopping that depresses the hell out of me right now. I would rather push off what may be an inevitability with an opponent on our schedule that you have to believe we can beat without a career day from our quarterback.
4. We had the Fred Davis performance pegged all week. One wonders what the outcome would have been if Fred had stepped across the safety and made that catch. When you watch teams like the Patriots, for example, and the way their tight ends move in the secondary, you get a true appreciation for how doing those kinds of little things leads to victories.
5. Losing the left side of our offensive line is just an uppercut to the ol' bean bag. Our running game was really being driven by Kory Lichtensteiger and Trent Williams. Was it just me or did we not even really try to get anything going over the right side in our rushing attack? I thought the Eagles were more vulnerable on that side and it seemed like we kind of didn't push hard enough to establish anything there.
6. The rebuild is still on track. Our defense continues to keep us in games. In the next three weeks, we will have the opportunity to match up with other young, up-and-coming teams (Bills and 49ers.) Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are the kinds of things for which we should feel fortunate. I am all for realizing all the potential there is for this 2011 Redskins team. Even if we scrape into the playoffs before getting shown the door by a team like Detroit, I will celebrate Mike Shanahan's ability to get it all out of this team. But I am not going to spend any time this week fretting over a 3-2 record heading into a game where we should be favored. Our best football remains ahead of us. All the golden possibilities for this team remain in play. We talk about players having to shake off games like this quickly and focus on the next one. This is one of those games where fans have to do the same thing.