Rex Grossman looked to follow up his Week 1 performance with another strong outing, but after one half against the Arizona Cardinals, the quarterback wasn’t exactly solid.
Against the Giants, Grossman completed 61 percent of his passes while throwing for 305 yards and two touchdowns while posting a quarterback rating of 110.5. But against Arizona, Grossman came out in the first half and threw two interceptions (one at the goal line) in addition to a touchdown and 147 yards while completing 12 of 21 passes. Grossman’s rating after that half was 55.2.
The Redskins were 1-for-4 in the red zone, and had only 10 points to show for five trips inside the Giants’ 40 yard line.
That showing didn’t rattle Grossman, however.
“I told him to keep throwing, and he kinda looked at me like he had already forgotten about the interceptions,” running back Tim Hightower said. “So it was good to see.”
Grossman redeemed himself in the fourth quarter when he completed 12 of 17 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. His final statline read 25-for-43 for 291 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 74.9.
“It was just one minor mistake here or there. But we got it done,” said Grossman, who has now thrown multiple touchdowns in three of his five games as Washington’s starter (three of them were last season). “That’s all that matters. I felt like on offense, we dominated yards-wise, but we had only 10 points to show for it. That’s something we’ll look at film and work to improve on, but we won the game, and that’s what matters. We didn’t capitalize on some of our drives, but we did when it counted.”
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan praised Grossman for his poise late in the game.
"You’re going to have interceptions,” Shanahan said. “You're going to make mistakes like that. The one on Anthony Armstrong, it was a perfect read. I thought the guy did a good job tugging him a little bit. He should've been wide open. We don't need to get into that. At the end of the day, you got to find a way to win. He showed poise after having a couple of interceptions early."
Grossman exhibited his gumption on the fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Santana Moss. On that fourth-and-3 play, the quarterback had an open receiver in the flat, but elected to go for Moss in the corner of the end zone instead.
“I watched the corner, and the play was designed to go to the flat and he kind of settled his feet and jumped toward the flat, and I’d rather have a touchdown,” smiled Grossman, whose last fourth-quarter comeback victory came on Nov. 25, 2007 when he and the Chicago Bears rallied to beat Shanahan and the Denver Broncos, 37-34, in overtime.
Grossman said he expected that he and his teammates would grow significantly from Sunday’s rally. Next week, they head to Dallas where they face the Cowboys, against whom Grossman made his first start as Redskins’ quarterback in Week 15 of last season.
Grossman had a chance to lead Washington on a victorious comeback in that game. The Redskins rallied to tie the game at 30, but Grossman was intercepted while driving the Redskins downfield with less than a minute left.
Grossman said things have changed drastically since then, however, and last season’s performance isn’t one that looms in his mind.
“This is a completely different scenario,” he said on Sunday. “That was a unique set of circumstances, and this one is more positive. We’ve got a good vibe, being 2-0 feels good. We’ve already matched our home record of last year. We feel like we’re going in the right direction. A lot to get better on, but at the same time, we feel excited that we’re headed in the right direction.”