The Redskins are 4-5 and a long shot to make the playoffs, while the Rams are 7-2 and firmly in command of the NFC West.
Which has Cakes of The Sports Junkies wondering if the Redskins might have kept the wrong coach. McVay, 31, was in the Redskins’ building for seven years, first under Mike Shanahan as an assistant, and then under Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator.
Over the offseason, the Rams hired McVay to replace Jeff Fisher, who was fired after a 4-12 season in 2016, making McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history for the team’s debut season in Los Angeles.
The Redskins lost 38-30 in a shootout to the Vikings Sunday. With the Eagles 8-1 and atop the NFC East, the Redskins are unlikely to play their way back into the division race.
Their best hope is to squeak into the playoffs with a Wild Card berth, but there are currently six teams ahead them in that race, with Seattle (6-3) and Carolina (6-3) at the front of the pack.
Cakes: Maybe they should have kept Sean McVay. Look what Sean McVay is doing!
Lurch: So they should have fired… fire Gruden and hire McVay. Is that what you wanted to do?
Cakes: Yes. Sean McVay is a coaching superstar. Is Jay Gruden?
Lurch: No. No he’s not.
Cakes: There you have it!
JP: Jay Gruden is Marvin Lewis. You can stick with Marvin Lewis. He made it to the playoffs a bunch of times. Hovers around .500. But never really go anywhere.
Cakes: Look, I’m not the guy banging the drum to fire Jay Gruden, but if you feel like you have a better in-house guy, and you just let him go to the LA Rams, and he leads them to the playoffs, and your guy’s just muddling around .500, you might have to look inward at yourself. Look in the mirror.
Lurch: Well, they didn’t feel that way.
Earlier in Monday’s broadcast, JP Flaim took D.J. Swearinger’s comments — in which the safety questioned the defense’s readiness for the game — as a point to predict a lot of scrutiny will surround Gruden this week.
“Comments like that make me go back to what I think the theme of the week is gonna be,” Flaim said at the time. “I think there’s gonna be a lot of scrutiny on Jay Gruden. Big picture, Jay Gruden is coaching a .500-ish team — not awful, not great.”
Going back to the Gruden-McVay argument, Eric Bickel added, “Here’s the question. So you think Sean McVay, if he was coaching this team, they’d be better than 4-5?”
Cakes: Possibly. They might be.
EB: So, you think Sean McVay would have scored 39 today?
Cakes: You think Kirk Cousins doesn’t miss Sean McVay, and his leadership and his tutelage? I think he probably does.
EB: Maybe, but I think he’s doing okay. Do you think they would have scored 39 yesterday? I mean, that’s what they needed. They needed 39 yesterday.
Cakes: I don’t know. I can’t predict that.
JP: I will say, based on the small sample size, yes. They might just be 5-4 versus 4-5, but at least so far, he’s proven to be a better head coach. He’s taken over a Rams team and completely turned them around. Turned them around!
Cakes: I’m a McVay guy. And the Skins have a win over them!
EB: I’d like to see their schedule. Was it the same as ours? We have the toughest schedule in football going into yesterday’s game.
Lurch: They lost to them head-to-head.
EB: If you think Sean would have eked out a couple more victories, maybe you’re right.
Lurch: They did beat Dallas, though.
Cakes: It’s food for thought.
Lurch: Okay, well, I don’t think they are going to fire Gruden. I’m with you. It really doesn’t matter if they fired him and they brought someone else in. I think you’re gonna get more of the same. I just don’t think they’re gonna fire him. Unless they completely disintegrate here down the stretch, and it’s clear that he loses the team, but I just don’t see that happening.