It seems as if Rex Grossman and John Beck have at least one, unassailable quality that they share.
No matter the differences the two of them might have off the field or anywhere else in the grand scheme of life, neither quarterback has been able to get the Washington Redskins into the end zone over the past two weeks.
And really, Graham Gano can only do so much.
Despite a sudden quarterback shift, it was deja vu all over again at Sun Life Stadium on a sunny Florida Sunday.
Meanwhile, this is a totally legitimate question that I want your answer to: If I were to tell you in August that, after Week 10, the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles had identical records, would you have thought Washington was awesome or the Eagles were struggling?
Think about that while you digest another horrid football weekend in our area.
TAKEN FOR A SWIM – Sure, it felt like the Redskins were still within striking distance early in the 4th quarter, only down 13-9.
However, by the looks of the way the offense was moving yet again, a four-point deficit could have been 40.
In the 3rd quarter and early moments of the 4th in Washington’s 20-9 loss to the MIami Dolphins, Grossman and the offense could only move the ball for 84 yards. Their three drives ended with a short field goal, a punt and an interception.
That Karlos Dansby pick sprung Miami on a time-consuming, 81-yard drive which ended with Reggie Bush’s second touchdown of the game, an 18-yard scamper which put the Dolphins ahead for good.
It would be unfair to say that Grossman didn’t at least perform admirably at some points. His passes had the kind of zip that Beck lacked in the ‘Skins last three losses. He quickly found a groove with Leonard Hankerson, who caught eight of Rex’s 21 completions for 106 yards.
But just a week after Roy Helu rumbled against the league’s stingiest run defense, the Redskins’ running game could only muster a meager 61 rushing yards that had been allowing more than 100 per game this season.
Think positively (or not), though, Washington fans, because it inevitably gets more difficult with the Dallas Cowboys coming to town on Sunday.
SEAHAWKED – In the waning moments of the Baltimore Ravens’ 22-17 loss in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday afternoon, CBS color commentator Dan Dierdorf tried desperately to paint a pretty picture for fans of the purple and black.
Don’t fret about this one, Ravens fans, he insinuated. It’s a loss to an NFC team. It doesn’t mean as much, he kept saying.
Methinks the Baltimore fans who had to watch a subpar Seattle Seahawks team go up 22-7 on their guys weren’t listening too closely to ol’ Dan.
Not to say that the Ravens didn’t rally, though. Once Marshawn Lynch was nearly completely gashing the normally stout Baltimore defense for 109 yards, Joe Flacco and his guys nearly pulled off yet another comeback.
In fact, just minutes after an Ed Dickson touchdown catch made it a five-point game, the Ravens’ D had Seattle pinned on a 3rd and 5 out of field goal range. However, Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was able to hit Lynch in stride for a first down, effectively ending the game.
One of the main scapegoats in the Charm City on this morning after has to be kick returner David Reed, who fumbled twice on kickoff returns, leading to a crucial six points going the other way.
"You can’t throw the ball to the other team and fumble the ball to the other team — and the Ravens did that three times in the first half," WNST’s Drew Forrester said on WNST.net.
This coming Sunday will be a match-up of two AFC North teams looking for redemption when the Cincinnati Bengals visit M&T Bank Stadium.
On the next page, a glance around the rest of the league, the Terps get crushed on national television and the Cavaliers move to 7-3.
NFL Hot Reads
You say who’s 8-1? – Much like our Redskins/Eagles query, we pose this to you: we tell you in August that there are two teams, the 49ers and Colts, and on Nov. 14, one will be 8-1 and the other is 0-10. Which record do you assign each team?
Well, after Sunday’s dramatic 27-20 win over the New York Giants in San Francisco and another lackluster 17-3 loss to Jacksonville in Indy, it’s the Colts that are, give or take, five losses away from the first overall pick.
Bizzaro football world, indeed.
Roar not restored – Remember a few weeks ago, when the Detroit Lions were the darlings of the football world? That’s probably over now. Matt Stafford threw four picks and a brawl marred the end of a 37-13 blowout loss at the hands of Chicago.
Buffaloed – Different verse, same as the first when it comes to hot starts turning into sputtering finishes. This version belongs to the Buffalo Bills.
DUKE-ING IT OUT – Yes, it was the lowly Duke Blue Devils. Of course, the now 7-3 Virginia Cavaliers should have beaten them as they did, to the tune of 31-21. But hasn’t the problem for the Wahoos been that they haven’t won the games they’re supposed to?
Instead, Mike London’s squad got 132 receiving yards from Donovan Barner and yet another touchdown from Perry Jones as the Cavaliers moved themselves into an even stronger bowl position.
As Jerry Ratcliffe of the Daily Progress points out, Virginia has improved in every aspect of the game in 2011, from total defense to the run game and everything in between.
The road to an eighth win will be dicey, though, with games against #25 Florids State and #8 Virginia Tech to round out the season.
IRISH EYES ARE SMILING – The crew at Daybreak 5th Quarter fought really hard against doing a recap of the 45-21 debacle at FedEx Field against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The reason? Mainly because the eyes of our writers (read: me) were nearly burned out by the combination of the Terrapins "Pride" uniforms and those psychedelic helmets the Irish sported.
Here’s all you really need to know: The Irish were up 38-7 before the Terps offense made any sort of noise, and a broken arm will keep Danny O’Brien out for the rest of the season, which includes road games at Wake Forest and N.C. State.
BEGINNER’S LUCK – Before Saturday night’s snowy game against Arizona State in Pullman, Washington State freshman Connor Halladay had never thrown a collegiate pass. By the end of the evening, he had torched the Sun Devils’ secondary for 494 yards and four touchdowns en route to a stunning 37-27 win.
COWPOKED – But if you’re ASU, or anyone else that lost this past weekend, frankly, at least you weren’t Texas Tech, who was down by 49 at the half of a 66-6 loss to #2 Oklahoma State.
THRILLER IN THE LITTLE APPLE – If you haven’t seen highlights of Kansas State’s 53-50 quadruple-overtime victory over Texas A&M, take a few minutes of your day and watch the glory. This was college football at its finest.
On the next page: Longtime NFL executive Gil Brandt’s exclusive commentary on the Penn State sexual abuse scandal
"At the end of the day…it’s about those kids"
Former Dallas Cowboys player personnel ace Gil Brandt, who helped shaped the team’s successful fortunes in the 60s,70s and 80s, met Joe Paterno on Nov. 9, 1957, when the former was an assistant at Marquette and the latter was an assistant at Penn State.
“And over the years we would have dinners together, as friends, but he was always a different kind of guy,” Brandt told WJLA.com Monday morning.
“With the Cowboys, we would always send letters to the coaches at various school we wanted to visit their players at such-and-such a time. Most coaches would call us back on the phone but Joe would always just send a letter to us saying that was fine. Kind of odd. He never really let anybody in, you know what I mean?”
Asked about the ongoing scandal that cost Paterno his job, Brandt takes a few seconds to measure his response.
“Well, all I can say is I know what I would do in that situation, at least I think I do, and that would be to notify the police,” he says. “But in his defense, I guess you go back to what exactly he was told. Was he told everything? Still, the whole thing is tragic for those kids. At the end of the day, it’s about those kids.”