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Washington showed up yesterday and won a game off Tennessee that was not necessarily a step in the right direction, but more importantly a step. After last week's demoralizing loss to Philadelphia, nobody was sure they would be able to get out of bed, and nobody would have been surprised, if they had kept swirling in the maelstrom created by the Eagles.
For the time being, it seems they are still willing to play for Shanahan. Thanks, in large part yesterday, to the ineptitude of the Titans, the determination of the offensive line and perhaps the season changing strip for a fumble six plays into the game by Lorenzo Alexander.
Defensively, they had a good plan and executed it very well. They did not allow Chris Johnson to get behind them and they frustrated Vince Young the entire afternoon. However, this was not a well played game by Washington's offense; they played their usual underwhelming game. As well as the line played, they could not get McNabb to step up to their level of play, and this is going to be problematic into the foreseeable future.
As this game went down to the wire and eventually into overtime, McNabb's comportment never rose above the Alfred E. Newman, "What, me worry", and it's not that he needs to worry as much as he has to be in the immediacy of the moment. If he does not possess this simple but elemental quarterbacking characteristic by now, do you really think Santa's going to bring it this year for Christmas?
After 10 games he is who I thought he would be, sporadic and under involved with the offense. His growth as an NFL quarterback has been stunted, and he is inchoate. One could opine he is an unwitting Trojan Horse, sent to Washington with malice and prejudice by the Eagles organization. I did say opine.
Of course everybody is going to resurrect all the platitudes, when talking about Donovan McNabb. Is it possible three weeks ago in Detroit, Shanahan knew after eight weeks what it took Andy Reid 11 years to admit; McNabb isn't as edgy a quarterback as a lot of people would like to think.
I shouldn't be too critical though, as it doesn't look like the "Gunslinger" will be back in the Twin Cities next year, and considering the way they like to promote and market in Ashburn; I'm feelin' a whole lot better about Number 5's extension, in fact.