Cousins vs. Grossman is the real Washington quarterback controversy

Robert Griffin III in Colts preseason game

Robert Griffin III delivered a reassuring performance against the Indianapolis Colts in Saturday’s preseason game won by the Redskins 30–17. Photo link from Washington Post gallery. 

We Redskins fans are feeling quite well after watching the Washington Redskins dominate the Indianapolis Colts at FedEx Field.

There is a quarterback controversy in Washington. This game exposed it. Robert Griffin III is not involved. He is firmly entrenched as the Redskins’ starter. In the battle is for No. 2, Rex Grossman answered Kirk Cousins’ play of last weekend with a perfect performance.

Grossman completed every pass. Two went for touchdowns. His average per completion matched his 15.9 average yards per attempt. The performance standard for pro quarterbacks is seven yards per attempt.  His passer rating was a perfect 158.3.

The Shanahan’s were never going to have rookie Kirk Cousins as first back-up to Robert Griffin. Coaches prefer veterans for that role, but Grossman’s 2011 performance was so disreputable that his prospects were in doubt.

He is toxic for marketing. Fans booed Grossman when he entered the game. He was booed at the Welcome Home luncheon Friday. Cousins’ performance against Chicago gave the coaches too much to think about.

The Grossman of 2011 gave us too many bad things to think about. Saturday, his throws were on target. He took no foolish risks. He led scoring drives of 26 and 81 yards. He made no turnovers. He gave the coaches nothing  bad to think about. That is good for Rex Grossman.

We need the right player to be first back-up to RG3, even if that person is RG3nOut. 

The Colts were not much of a test

Washington, the team Steve Prisco predicted would win two games in 2012 (since updated to three wins), beat the real two-win team that most sucked for Andrew Luck last year. Prisco predicted a single win for the 2012 Colts. It’s is easy to see why. The Colts are talent poor once you get past the starters.

Think Washington has O-line problems? The Colts endured 17 quarterback hits, five tackles for a loss and fout sacks. The Redskins allowed four QB hits and no sacks. Somebody lit a fire under the defense who showed poorly against Chicago. I doubt they will do so well against the Saints next month.  

Washington dominated Indy. For a team that failed so often to beat teams it should have beaten, The Redskins looked like a team that could beat the St. Louis Rams or Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The secret to winning a season is to beat teams you are supposed to beat. The Redskins have had trouble beating the St. Louis Rams. Perhaps, not this year.

Andrew Luck and Griffin 3rd showed why they were the top two 2012 Draft picks. Both were sharp in long touchdown drives for their teams. Both will lead their teams to somewhere near .500 this season. That’s a bigger challenge for Indy than for Washington. Even given the tough schedule against the NFC East and the AFC North, I do not see how the Redskins become a worse team during the offseason.

ESPN game recap found here.

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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