Monday, December 20, 2010

Clausen steps up for Panthers; Grossman steps in for Redskins

Jimmy Clausen got his first win as a starter as the Panthers defeated the Cardinals 19-12 while Rex Grossman got his first start for the Redskins but despite rallying from 20 points down the Skins fell at Dallas 33-30.

Clausen went 13 of 19 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown while Grossman went 25-of-43 passing for 322 yards and four touchdowns.

While Clausen wasn't as spectacular as Grossman, he also didn't make as many mistakes as Grossman, who threw two interceptions and fumbled once.

"All of the hard work - coming in early, staying late and watching tape - has paid off," Clausen said. "I think it showed today. Now we just have to keep that mentality for the last two games of the season and into next season."

Grossman, taking over for the benched Donovan McNabb, ran the offense better than the All-Pro McNabb. His four touchdown passes were two more than McNabb had in any game and the 30 points were the most the Skins have put on the board this season.

While Grossman's proclivity to turn the ball over will probably keep him from being the Redskins' starter next year, he may have earned a backup roster spot. McNabb, who figured to be an upgrade over Jason Campbell, hasn't worked out in the Redskins' new offense. As a result, Campbell in Oakland has a better quarterback rating than McNabb and the Skins only have one more win than they had last season.

Ironically, the Panthers go into next season with a more stable situation at quarterback than the Redskins who had figured to have McNabb at the helm for several more years.

McNabb probably won't be back next season. The Redskins and the Panthers could be trade partners next year, especially if the new Panthers coaches believe they have their franchise quarterback in Clausen. Insiders indicate that the Redskins covet Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck but the Panthers will likely have the first pick in the draft.

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