On the 33rd anniversary of Joe Theismann breaking his leg, quarterback Alex Smith broke his against the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon. Backup Colt McCoy came in and had the team on the verge of a comeback but a Dustin Hopkins 63-yard attempt came up just short. To make matters worse the rival Dallas Cowboys beat the Atlanta Falcons to move within one game of the NFC East. Now the two teams face off on a pivotal Thanksgiving match that can decide the NFC East.
As crazy as it sounds, Washington fans should not worry. McCoy has been in head coach Jay Gruden’s system for five years now and knows it well. This was shown when McCoy was able to help lead two scoring drives against the Texans. His first pass of the game was a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed. Washington will receive a boost, as cornerback Quinton Dunbar, receiver Jamison Crowder, running back Chris Thompson and offensive lineman Trent Williams will return soon. These weapons cannot come soon enough.
Thursday afternoon, McCoy has a chance to prove to the world that he is capable enough of leading his team to the playoffs. Here are a few reasons not to be worried and to trust in McCoy.
History against Dallas
On October 27, 2014, McCoy made his first start for the Redskins and beat the Dallas Cowboys on prime time. Dallas was 6-1 going into the matchup and were the heavy favorites. Unfortunately for Dallas, McCoy was not afraid of the big stage and finished with 299 passing yards, one interception and ran for a touchdown. He was crucial in leading the game-winning drive in overtime as he went 5-5 for 49 yards. He threw a 16-yard yard pass to tight end Jordan Reed who was able to get his toes down as he fell out of bounds that helped set up the game-winning field goal.
McCoy has improved since then due to becoming more comfortable with the system. He thrives playing in Texas, as he played high school football in Tuscola, Texas. He also played for the University of Texas where he was a Heisman finalist.
The team trusts him
According to teammate Josh Norman, after the game, McCoy told him “You’re in good hands with me”. From an interview with Redskins.com, Josh Norman stated, “I see how the guy prepares, he goes out there and works and he prepares as if he’s going to come in if something happens,”. “Something did happen so that’s why he’s here, that’s why he got what he got and he’s here now, he’s taking to him, we’re all behind him fired up and ready to go. Okay, I can’t wait for come Thursday.” Now more than ever, the team will need to rally together and it helps that they have a guy they can trust.
From the same interview, center Chase Roullier stated, “Colt’s always ready. Colt is the strongest competitor I think I’ve ever seen. He’s ready to go on any snap, he prepares like he’s a starter every single day. I have all the confidence in Colt going out there. As soon as he comes in, it’s just the next man up and we’re ready to go.”
The front office trust’s McCoy enough to make him one of the highest paid backup’s in the league. Now he has the chance on Thursday to prove the front office and his teammates right.
McCoy is not the same quarterback that went 6-15 as the Browns starter or the guy that went 1-3 as the Redskins starter. He has matured and showed this on Sunday. From his touchdown strike to Reed, to not forcing anything that’s not there and he also is able to extend plays, McCoy has upped his game. He was able to move an offense that for the majority of the season that has been stagnant.
He is not the game manager that Smith is but instead he takes more chances downfield. This can be a double edge sword, but it can lead to more wins. McCoy will be able to move the offense more frequently which will help benefit the defense. If McCoy can pick up where he left off on Sunday, then the defense will have enough to time to stay rested and shut down opposing offenses without wearing themselves out.
This is the biggest game of McCoy’s career since he played in the BCS Championship with Texas. It will be up to McCoy to show that he deserves to be here still.
Featured Image From Washington Times.
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