Is Washington Alex Smith’s last stand

Washington’s tired trash is now frozen treasure in Minnesota, but if the Redskins had enough of Kirk Cousins, wait until they get a load of Alex Smith.

In his last three seasons as starter in Washington, Cousins went 24-24-1. The Redskins won the NFC East title in 2015 with a 9-7 record but got slightly worse year by year since (8-8 in 2016, 7-9 in 2017).

Smith comes in after going 32-18 during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. Washington traded for him and signed him to a contract extension that will take Smith into his age 38th season. Which begs the question of whether or not Washington will be Smith’s last stand in the NFL.

Smith has proven that he can take you far so long as the offense is loaded with talent. He will have a new wide receiver to throw to in Paul Richardson, who averaged 16 yards per reception with the Seattle Seahawks last season. Between Richardson and Jaminson Crowder in the slot, Smith may have the weapons catered to his quarterbacking style to have a 2018 season similar to 2017, where he threw for over 4,000 yards for the first time of his career.

That production may hinge on tight end Jordan Reed. The year in which the Reed caught 87 passes for 952 yards was the year the Redskins made their lone playoff appearance in the last five seasons. Injuries ruined the last two seasons so a healthy Reed will lead to a happy Smith.

Washington desperately needed to improve the running game so they took a chance on LSU running back Derrius Guice with their second round pick of the NFL Draft. Last year, both running backs Chris Thompson and Rob Kelly suffered leg and knee injuries so health permitting, the job of improving the Redskins’ running game will be Guice’s to lose.

Under Cousins, Washington ranked 16th in total offense and points per game last season while also ranking 28th in rushing. If Guice can improve their rushing ranking, Smith should be able to take the Redskins back to the playoffs. History is on Smith’s side, as the last two Washington playoff appearances involved starting quarterbacks in their first season with the team.

Photo by Washington Post


About: Tony Capobianco


Sports Kave senior writer

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