For the first two games of the season, Rex Grossman appeared to be the man for the job to keep the Washington Redskins’ quarterback position sturdy. But after a four-interception performance on Oct. 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 20-13 loss at FedEx Field, the Redskins now appear to be headed in a different direction for the remainder of the year.

Grossman’s late third-quarter interception, his fourth of the day, prompted head coach Mike Shanahan to pull the plug on the Grossman experiment and insert popular summer story, John Beck, into the game. With Washington’s offense struggling for most of the day, Beck directed the club’s only touchdown of the day two drives later but it was too little, too late.

The Eagles built a 20-0 lead in the first half, prompting memories of last year’s debacle at FedEx, a 59-28 Eagles’ victory, but the Redskins would fight back this time. After scoring 13-straight points to narrow the deficit to a touchdown, Washington had a chance to stop the Eagles with just under three minutes remaining but some nifty runs by Philadelphia third-year running back LeSean McCoy kept the Eagles’ final drive alive and the ball out of Washington’s hands.

Sitting at the bottom of the National Football Conference East Division at 1-4, the Eagles’ trip to D.C. was a “must-win” game, according to several sportsniks. Washington, sitting atop the division before the game with a 3-1 record, had a chance to stay in the division lead and put Philadelphia in a deep hole with a potential 1-5 record.

Now Washington falls to second in the division after the New York Giants survived a 27-24 thriller against the Buffalo Bills and could potentially fall into third place depending on the outcome of the Dallas Cowboys’ game with New England.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO