The Redskins have found themselves a QB

For the fans around the country who went to bed at a reasonable time and will check out tomorrow’s box score for this game and see how it impacted their fantasy team(s), I’m sure that virtually no one will be impressed with Donovan McNabb’s stat line of of 15 of 32 for 171 yards and no TD’s.

For any Redskins fan – or Cowboys fan – who watched this game, we learned one thing tonight: at least for the time being, the Washington Redskins have found themselves a quarterback.

Yes, the Redskins failed to get an offensive touchdown in this game, making it 15 straight quarters that they haven’t done so. I’m fully cognizant of that. But the fact of the matter is this: if it were not for the heroics of Mr. Donovan McNabb – with a big assist from the Cowboys never-ending attempts to self-destruct – this game would been a lot uglier.

Fully knowing that the Redskins offensive line is still a major weakness, and the team still has a ton of kinks to work out in this new offense, Dallas blitzed the Redskins almost as relentlessly as the Redskins blitzed Dallas.

Yet time and time again, McNabb evaded the rush and made plays with the football. His ability to actually “feel” the rush and deliver the ball at the very last second is an incredible breath of fresh air compared to the last couple of season’s with Jason Campbell, who couldn’t feel the rush even if the LB was breathing in his face and blowing a bullhorn on the way.

While Campbell was a mobile quarterback, McNabb showed us what the benefits of a mobile quartberback really are. When he scrambled out of the pocket, he’d draw the downfield coverage away from his receivers, opening up the intermediate passing game to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley.

Yes, it’s obvious that this offense still has a long, long way to go, and McNabb didnt exactly look like Peyton Manning out there. But it doesn’t exactly help when your receivers drop bushels of countless perfectly thrown passes. Anthony Armstrong dropped both fade passes in the endzone (though admittedly, Dallas CB Mike Jenkins had him in a virtual headlock on the second one), which was followed by Josh Bidwell’s own attempt at blowing this game. Mike Sellers had two big drops. Santana Moss’ drop with 8 minutes left in the game was a backbreaker, even if he did have an otherwise pretty good game. As Cris Collinsworth pointed out, he makes that catch, and the Redskins can bleed off another 90 seconds to two minutes. Oh yes,  and it doesn’t help when the geriatric Joey Galloway and I had the same amount of receptions in this game as well.

McNabb must have thought he was in some kind of time warp and had gone back to earlier in this decade, when he was throwing to the likes of James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, and Freddie “FredEx” Mitchell (at this point, I think I might take ol’ FredEx over old man Galloway).

Regardless, at multiple points in this game, right when it seemed like Dallas would try and recapture the momentum, McNabb remained cool, confident, and decisive with his throws. When was the last time we’ve seen that from a Redskins quarterback?

As I said: he did everything he possibly could to get this offense to put points on the board, short of running routes himself and catching his own throws.  Even when he wasn’t throwing the football, he was putting the team in a position to win. His hard count on third and short in the fourth quarter would have gotten the Redskins a first down, considering a third of the Cowboys defense jumped offsides themselves, but Silverback Williams’ also jump and thus nullified it all.

So for the time being – or at least until the Houston game – it’s safe to say that the Washington Redskins have found their quarterback for the next few years. Now, it’s the rest of the offense that the team has to focus on.


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