What a way to start a season for Rex Grossman! In the Redskins 28-14 season opening victory over the New York Giants, Grossman completed 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not too shabby. In fact, his quarterback rating of 110.5 was his highest since December 11, 2006. The question is, can Rex keep it up?
Many people point to Rex’s history in Chicago. Though he did start in a Super Bowl, it’s become fashionable and far too easy to criticize his penchant for throwing interceptions and fumbling the football. Well there’s no denying that Rex threw almost one interception for every touchdown while playing for the Bears but is it possible that he’s matured and become a much improved quarterback with the Redskins? Rex is entering his 8th season and is 31 years old now. I’m buying that he’s matured and is a better quarterback now he was during his first few years in the league.
Coach Mike Shanahan keeps saying that he doesn’t judge players on how they fared on other teams in other systems. Maybe we should follow his lead and quit talking about the “old” Rex Grossman? Maybe we should judge him for what he’s been doing for the Washington Redskins when he’s been given a shot? And right now, that’s been pretty impressive. In three starts last season Rex Grossman threw for over 300 yards twice and finished with seven touchdowns. Then during the preseason Grossman completed 64% of his passes while throwing two touchdowns with just one pick. His quarterback rating was 92.3, good enough to earn him the starting job.
Now Rex has posted his third 300-yard plus game as a Redskins starter. The evidence is mounting. Rex has 9 touchdowns in just four starts. Meanwhile last season Donovan McNabb had just 14 touchdowns in thirteen starts. McNubb also had fifteen interceptions. Right now Rex’s TD-INT ratio as a Redskins starter is 9-4. Maybe he won’t keep that up or finish with a quarterback rating in the hundreds but I think we’re seeing that the Shanahan’s were right. McNabb may have been the problem.
Ultimately only time will tell. The Redskins appear to have a better offensive line and more weapons for Rex. Still, he took a ton of hits in the opening victory. This week he’ll have a great opportunity to go for over 300 yards once again as the Redskins face an Arizona Cardinals defense that allowed rookie Cam Newton to throw for 422 yards. If it were the “old” Rex Grossman he might have a horrible game and throw three interceptions but this Rex Grossman might just be different. Kyle Shanahan brought him over from Houston for a reason and Mike Shanahan decided to bring him back for a second season in Washington. Maybe, just maybe, the Shanny’s know what they’re doing and Rex can play.