UPDATE: Chad Henne, who the Redskins face November 13 when the Redskins visit the Miami Dolphins, completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 416 yards and two scores against the New England Patriots and still lost Monday night…because Tom Brady completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 517 yards and four touchdowns. Double whoa!
One week does not a season make, but a look at NFL week-one quarterback performance shows that the Washington Redskins defense faces a deadly string of signal-callers this season. And I don’t just mean Michael Vick and Tony Romo.
Cam Newton, the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, entered the league with many questions about his fitness for the pros. Unlike Tim Tebow, Newton silenced his critics–emphatically–when he completed 64.9 percent of his passes for a league-high 422 yards and two deep scoring strikes to Steve Smith.
Newton’s Carolina Panthers entertain the Redskins in a 1:00 PM contest October 23. Newton’s efforts were not enough to overcome Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals who beat the Panthers 28-21. Kolb completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 309 yards and two scores for a 130.0 QB passer rating, the league’s third best performance after Sunday’s games.
The Cardinals are the next team up for the Redskins when they visit FedEx Field this Sunday.
After the Cardinals, Washington faces Tony Romo (101.9 QB rating) and Sam Bradford in games before the Bye. Romo is maligned for critical errors, but he is a high output quarterback. He completed 63.9 percent of his passes and two touchdown passes last night against the New York Jets.
Bradford is the St. Louis Rams franchise quarterback. He struggled against the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday. The Redskins have found the Rams as hard to beat as the Detroit Lions lately.
I had the Buffalo Bills as a gimme game for the Redskins. Who knew that Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the top-rated quarterback coming out of the weekend? Fitzpatrick completed 68 percent of his passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns for a QB rating of 133.0 in the Bills 41-7 beatdown of the Kansas City Chiefs. A pat on the back if you can name a Bills receiver without looking it up. The Bills traded WR Lee Evans to Baltimore in August.
The Redskins play Fitzpatrick and the Bill in Toronto October 30.
San Francisco 49er quarterback Alex Smith, Washington’s opponent November 6, had a respectable 90.4 QB rating in the ‘Niners 33-17 win over Tavaris Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks. The Redskins face the ‘Hawks November 27.
Then, Washington opens December with games against Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets and Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Jets are still carrying Sanchez at this point in his career, but Tom Brady is Tom Brady.
I expected Donovan McNabb to benefit from the Snyder Jinx that lets discarded players return to beat the Snyderskins. If many more game like McNabb delivered yesterday against the San Diego Chargers, McNabb won’t survive as a starter to face the Redskins on Christmas Eve when the Minnesota Vikings visit FedEx Field.
In that case, the ‘Skins will be up against Christian Ponder. Limited game tape on players you have no experience against can make them the most dangerous opponent of all.