The Redskins havent had any deep post season runs in a while and were bounced out the first round the last two times they were there but in one of the most overlooked story lines of the off season Alex Smith has a chance to break that trend.
Redskins 2017 Record: 7-9
Believe it or not Alex Smith is the best QB that the Skins have had in the last 20 years now thats not saying much considering the revolving door at the position but never the less i feel they have finally found their guy. Alex Smith has been the most underrated underappreciated overlooked in the league for the last few years but he does one thing very very well and thats win.
Over the last 5 years or so the only QBs in the league that have had more wins then Smith is Russel Wilson and the Great Tom Brady but not alot of people know that, Smiths game is not flashy or exciting and hes not going to throw the ball all over the place like say Peyton Manning or Drew Brees who regularly throw for 4500+ yards and 40 Touchdowns but what Smith can do is play smart consistent ball control turnover free football which may not be exiting but it gets the job done, THE most important thing a QB can do is not turn over the ball and Smith has been the best at that over the last few seasons.
The knock on Smith was that hes just a check down system QB and that led to guys like Colin Kapernick and Patrick Mahomes to replace him as they were seen as guys with greater potential who could take the team to the next level and offer more but Smith destroyed those accusations by finishing in the top 3 in most deep passing yards stats last season which again alot of people probably didnt know and finished with over 4000 yards 67% completion percentage and an incredible 26-5 Touch Down to interception Radio….Those numbers are outstanding and he was in the conversation for MVP when the Chiefs got off to a hot 5-0 start and he was clearly playing the best ball of his career but again was forgotten about when the Chiefs struggled mid season.
He has led the Chiefs to the playoffs in four out of his five last seasons but was on the other end of some great come backs from opposing teams and again he was the fall guy for the Chiefs this past postseason after blowing a 18 point vs the Tennessee Titans but if you spot your defense 18 points you should win, that game was on the defense not on Smith and who knows how far they would have got had they not lost that game.
But with early first round pick Patrick Mahones waiting in the wings the Chiefs decided to trade Alex Smith to the Redskins and in turn let KURT Cousins go which was met with mixed reviews from fans and analysis but im here to tell you that hes BETTER then Cousins because first of all Kirk Cousins doesnt even have a winning record as a QB and hasnt won a playoff game, he throws for alot of yards and has good stats but those stats dont mean anything if you arent winning he reminds me of Matt Stafford….he will make alot of plays but he will not make THE play when you need it most and he has a horrible record on stand alone games I.E Monday Night Thursday Night and Late Sunday Night and on top of that he cant win the crunch time games, all in all his record is somewhere around 2-14 for so called ‘Big Games’ and as a franchise QB thats simply not good enough. Hes had chances to be in a WIN and IN situation but always fails to deliver when the pressure is on and this is a big reason why the Redskins didnt want to commit 5 years and 140 million to him and this is why they feel that Alex Smith is the better cheaper option.
The Redskins finished 7-9 last season and had a very tough schedule and a slew of injuries and in a division that always seems to be wide open they might not be as far away as it seems, i worry that they are thin in the secondary but they still have all pro Corner Back Josh Norman coming back healthy so thats one side of the field on lock down and have break out star and tone setter Safety D.J Swearinger but they still must address the defensive backfield either in the draft or in free agency, it would be huge to bring back Bashaud Breeland if they can manage it and they still have veteran Deangelo Hall sticking around.
They have studs up front lead by underrated Line Backer Ryan Kerrigan and last years first round steal Jonathan Allen who will be back for a full season and leading tackler Zach Brown among others so i think on defense they will play well enough to compliment a ball controlled offense that Smith brings to the table.
Another move that isnt getting attention is free agent wide receiver Paul Richardson, some people think hes being over paid but thats only because they didnt watch him carefully enough in Seattle and he struggled with injuries early on but once he got on the field and got extended playing time you can see what he can do and call me crazy but he reminds me of Antonio Brown….before you roast me im not saying hes AB but they are similar size and he has the same kind of quickness and can make the circus catches in traffic and on jump balls but we just didnt see enough of him in Seattle but i believe he can be a very effective weapon for the Skins. They also have former first round pick Josh Doctson who showed signs of coming along last season and slot receiver Jamison Crowder with the great Jordan Reed at Tight End and the ageless productive Vernon Davis who reunites with Alex Smith once again but Jordan Reed must prove he can stay healthy. The Running Back position must be addressed but starter Rob Kelly should be returning along with versatile Chris Thompson. The offensive line was riddled with injuries last season but if they are all back healthy they are an above average unit with pro bowler Left Tackle Trent Williams and former first round pick and rising star Offensive Guard Brandon Scherff.
While theres a bit of uncertainty if all these players on offense can do what they were brought in to do this offense has the potential to be very explosive but they will need guys like Reed to stay healthy and Josh Doctson to will have to show his 1st round pick status but they have the right guy at the helm to get the job done. Alex Smith will spread the ball around and throw to the open target rather then locking on one read so if they are all healthy and on the field at the same time i dont see why he cant be just as productive as he was last season and he seems to be getting better with age, dont forget his underrated scrambling ability, the more i think about this the more i like this offense and im going to give them 10-6 with the chance of possibly winning the division or sneaking in as a wild card.
The division has question marks with the Cowboys and Giants a bit of a question mark but obviously we cant ignore superbowl champions Philadelphia Eagles but its so hard to repeat and again this division can be wide open and with the Skins on nobodys radar and Smith being overlooked i think they can sneak up on some teams so lets see what happens.