Yes, the defense had issues. They couldn’t tackle LeSean McCoy and they gave up big plays in the first half. But they played tough, recovered, held the Eagles to field goals, and got the turnovers in the second half that the Redskins needed to come back.
But four interceptions. None of them were the “accidentally tipped off the receiver’s hands” type, or “the DB made an amazing play” type. They were just terrible decisions, with Rex throwing the ball in areas he had no business throwing. The question wasn’t whether or not Shanahan should have benched him, it was if Shanahan should have benched him sooner.
The most egregious bad decision came after Mike Vick came out of the game for a few plays because he had “dirt in his eyes.” [By the way, is that what they're calling injuries these days? I can picture the injury reports next week: "Johnson - QUESTIONABLE (Dirt in eyes)." I mean, come on, that's not remotely believable.] Anyway, Vince Young may have been the only quarterback that looked worse than Rex on Sunday, scrambling around for a yard or two on his first play, and then throwing a terrible interception while getting tackled on his second. The Redskins had the ball deep in Eagles territory with momentum on their side. So what does Rex do? He didn’t even have the common decency to run a few plays before throwing an ugly pick. I mean, at least give the defense a rest. Although it was enough time for Vick to get the dirt out of his eyes.
I’ve written before about the feeling of sheer terror I get as Rex drops back — even when he’s playing well. This game is what I see in those moments. He has become a poor man’s Tony Romo, but he can’t even get his team ahead to blow a lead. There was no way to defend Grossman today. He flat out lost the game for his team.
All this being said, the Redskins are 3-2 and have some winnable games ahead. The NFC East is down this year. If John Beck can stay reasonably competent and not throw the ball directly into the defense’s hands, the Redskins can still win the division. But the Grossman experiment is over, and it lasted a few possessions longer than it should have.
More Redskins coverage from The Washington Post:
Photo gallery: Redskins fall to Eagles, 20-13