The Washington Redskins still sit top of the pile in the NFC East, but a tough loss to Houston was compounded with a sickening injury to Quarterback Alex Smith. Christian Burt goes Skin Deep and 3 & out
Painful in all ways
If there was a checklist of what you don’t want to happen any given Sunday, this game pretty much ticked all the boxes.
The tough to take reverse vs the Texans had frankly head scratching play calling, TV smashing penalty flags from the refereeing unit and the usually dependable Alex Smith throwing INTs in the Redzone
Crushingly, the aforementioned Smith was carted off with a confirmed broken fibula and tibia, leaving the field, and 2018 season, in the 3rd Quarter.
When a TV crew don’t wish to reshow an injury, then it’s likely to be pretty horrific and revived terrible memories of the great Joe Theismann who went down with the same injury 33 years to the day.
It would be revisionist to suggest that Alex had been performing to the level that Washington had hoped for when the Kirk Cousins saga was finally annulled and the dollar at the QB went the way of the ex-Chief. But the smart football protecting play by Smith, whilst not exactly setting the pulse racing, had led the Redskins to a 6-3 record.
What now at the Hardest Position in Sports™?
It’s time to saddle up with our Texan gunslinger.
Colt McCoy will take up the reins as the QB1 in Washington and it represents a huge opportunity for a guy who has been in the building for five years with the Redskins.
Longhorns’ legend Colt knows the Jay Gruden playbook inside out, and that was instantly demonstrated with the razor pass to Jordan Reed in the Endzone on his first drive. For much of the burgundy and gold fan base he actually generates increased excitement at the QB position, given the frustration with Smith to get on the same page with a limited/injured receiving core.
Question marks, however, can be posed about both the durability of McCoy and the ramping up of turnover possibilities. Still, at this point of the season, and with all to play for, this change at QB, although through horrible circumstances, might just energise what has been a lacklustre Washington offense.
Six to go and all to play for
There is little time to ponder on the Houston defeat, with Washington heading into Dallas for the huge Thanksgiving match up this Thursday.
The Washington defence was outstanding in a close Week 7 win over the Cowboys. That was built on stuffing the explosiveness of Zeke Elliot to a paltry 33 yards and outstanding huge plays by DJ Swearinger and Ryan Kerrigan in stripping the ball from the Dallas QB Dak Prescott.
Dallas are on the back of a potential season changing win on the road in Atlanta, with Elliot and Prescott firmly back into a groove.
The Redskins vs Cowboys is a match up for the big boys and Washington will be need the outstanding veteran football talents of Kerrigan, Reed, Swearinger, Clinton-Dix, Josh Norman et al, to be ready to roll at the AT&T.
Can Colt go into Texas and come back with the Win for the second time in his Redskins career? In this topsy-turvy season for the Skins, I wouldn’t bet against it if Washington can hold Elliot to around the 70 yard mark.
Provided McCoy can get into a groove with the improving Josh Doctson, the safe-handed Trey Quinn and his likely go-to in Jordan Reed, Washington might just extend to 7-4 and remain in pole position for an NFC East title.