ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 03: Colt McCoy #16 of the Washington Redskins throws a touchdown pass against Terrance Mitchell #21 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Welcome back to The Burgundy and Gold Report. Last Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans dropped the Redskins record to 6-4, but they’re still atop the East. If the loss wasn’t controversial and painful enough, quarterback Alex Smith was lost for the year after getting his leg caught in the grass during a 3rd quarter sack. Ironically, 33 years ago, Redskins legend Joe Theismann suffered a similar, gruesome, leg injury on a sack which ultimately ended his career.
To many teams, this would be a death blow which closes the door on the season, but not Washington. Luckily for the Redskins, backup signal caller Colt McCoy is a seasoned veteran. McCoy’s statistical history with Washington doesn’t scream confidence (9 games with 4 starts 1-3 record 104 for 151 passing attempts 1239 passing yards with 6 TD’s and 2 ints with 20 sacks). At 32 years old, one must wonder how the career backup will fare under the pressure of a potential playoff run. Although the Redskins failed in the comeback versus Houston, McCoy showed that the lights weren’t too bright and he had the Redskins on the verge of a last minute comeback.
As Skins fans, we all know how the game concluded, with the no call pass interference as Doctson was primed to make a big time catch. The missed call would have put the Redskins in field goal range. Earlier this week, the NFL announced that the referees missed the call on the last minute pass play to Doctson and a pass interference flag should have been thrown. Thanks for the memo, League Office!
The truth of the matter is McCoy had rookie receiver, Trey Quinn, open on the play near the first down marker. McCoy failed to recognize that he had Quinn on the comeback along the sideline with his defender behind him. The play might not have resulted in a first down, but Quinn could have caught the ball, run out of bounds stopping the clock to set up for a make-able field goal. Instead, the final result was the controversial, no-call, pass interference.
McCoy’s overall performance in just more than a quarter did provide Redskins fans more hope and that hope could lead to a Thanksgiving classic. Although its been a few seasons since McCoy has played any meaningful football, his last win was against. . . you guessed it, the Cowboys. That story line has been repeated over and over by various news outlets this week, but the B&G Report will provide a different prospective on the new starting quarterback.
Nothing to Lose
Many Redskins fans have come to love McCoy and many teammates have insinuated he was the guy they wanted to lead this team all along. Nothing against Alex Smith who has been a good solider, but the former Longhorn is the best option the Redskins have. Unlike other backup situations, McCoy can win enough games to get this team to the playoffs. Truth be told, this is likely McCoy’s last real shot to lead a team to the playoffs. Although McCoy still has a shot at being a training camp arm for other teams, Washington is one of the few teams that will give him an opportunity to be a backup. The chance to play behind a 34 year old signal caller who is now dealing with a lengthy rehab timetable, gives McCoy a shot to finish this season and beyond as the starting quarterback.
As fans, we can only speculate about what’s going through McCoy’s mind as he takes the field at “Jerry World”. McCoy has always been a gamer and a great leader on and off the field. The belief among many is that the team will rally behind McCoy, but more importantly the new signal caller will take more chances than his predecessors. With only a handful of plays against Houston, McCoy led the Redskins to two touchdowns and nearly brought the team back from behind. One thing is for sure, McCoy will take chances that others won’t, even if that means a long bomb that results in an interception. On his second play of the game, McCoy had arguably Washington’s best redzone touchdown of the year, connecting with Jordan Reed in the corner of the endzone. Although it was only one play, that momentum should carry over.
Unlike Alex Smith, McCoy will likely have more freedom to run Gruden’s offense with his twist on it. McCoy will utilize his familiarity with his teammates and the Cowboys to keep this team in the hunt for the division. This is McCoy’s biggest professional moment to date. A win puts Washington firmly in control of the division with a two game lead. Additionally, a reeling Eagles team has lost half of their starters to injury, most on the defensive side of the ball. McCoy has always relished these moments, dating back to his time at Texas University. The former Longhorn comes home to Texas with an opportunity to defeat the Cowboys in front of friends and family.
The teams identity has been questioned time and time again this year, but McCoy and the offense have a chance to help the defense by keeping Prescott, Elliot and the Cowboys offense off the field with long methodical drives. The quick game will be on display along with a determined Adrian Peterson. With Trent Williams likely to give it a go, McCoy and the offense could finally put four productive quarters together and sweep Dallas. Not often in football do relationships forged with backup quarterbacks and receivers lead to anything, but McCoy has put in the hours and the time with his teammates. The veteran signal caller understands whats on the line and staying healthy is all that stands between McCoy and and NFC East championship.
Look for McCoy and the Redskins to be aggressive and attack at the Dallas secondary early on. Although the defense has given up a ton of yards the last few weeks, the points have been put in check for the most part. This will be another NFC East grudge match, but the Redskins have the edge with McCoy taking the reins.
Final Score Redskins 27 Cowboys 19
By Adam Aniba
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