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DETROIT — Washington travels to Detroit to take on the Lions looking for a win that would mean many things; their 3rd win of the season, their first road victory and their first victory with Alex Smith under center since 2018.

Alex Smith makes his first NFL start since his grusome leg injury just 3 days shy of exactly 2 years later. In his limited game action (2 games) this year, most of which came in last week’s 23-20 loss to New York, Smith has dropped back to pass on 80% of the team’s plays so he appears to be limitation free.

It has been a long, painful road to recovery for the 36-year old signal caller since that November 18, 2018 game against the Houston Texans, that has included life-threatening sepsis leading to 17 different surgeries just to avoid amputation and a growing sense of impossibility…to the outside world that is. They say “no man is an island” but it had to feel like it at times for Alex Smith when he seemed to be the only person in the world who thought he would ever return to the NFL. Alex Smith himself never even so much as considered the idea of retirement and he may have been the only one that didn’t consider it, he was the only person who’s opinion mattered that is why he has been able to get back on the gridiron at all, let alone starting at quarterback. It’s easy to understand why many in Washington felt pessimistic, as the injury was eerily similar to the infamous Lawrence Taylor tackle on Monday Night Football all those years ago that did end Hall of Famer Joe Theismann’s career.

Alex Smith, speaking to military veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center earlier in the week, gave his advice on the proper mindset for recovery. He told them the key is to “try to be as positive as possible.” He continued “We all have our dark days [and] It’s tough. Everybody knows some days are great and some days are really, really tough and frustrating.” This positivity in the face of seemingly impossible odds is the biggest (non-medical) reason Smith is starting at quarterback for Washington again just shy of two years to the day after the rest of the world thought his career was over. Not only is back starting, but amazingly his Washington team is in a position for him to lead a late season playoff run.

NFC East Standings Thru Sunday (11/15)

Philadelphia Eagles                   3-4-1

Washington Football Team       2-6

Dallas Cowboys.                        2-7

New York Giants                        2-7

2020 has featured a lot noise around this Washington team, starting with a pressured name change, followed by the franchise-spanning allegations necessitating outside counsel, to 3 different starting QBs even with only one injury, and a 2-6 record. All of this would normally spell doom heading into Week 10, but despite all of that, Washington enters Week 10 in sole possession of 2nd place in the NFC East. A win in Detroit would even mean the possibility of climbing to within 1/2 game of the 1st place Eagles.Smith and Washington’s best bet for beating Detroit is attacking them with Terry McLaurin, by far the biggest offensive threat on an offense that ranks only above the 2-7 Giants (both Ws against Washington) and the defeated 0-9 New York Jets. McLaurin comes into the Detroit game 7th in the NFL with 692 receiving yards, 12th in receptions (50), 7th in targets (77), 10th in Big [20+ yd] plays (10) and 7th in yards/game (86.5). Numbers like that make one wonder what McLaurin and Washington could be doing if they had even one other player of “Scary Terry’s” caliber or if the team’s QB carousel could find him for pay dirt more often, as his only 3 touchdowns has him in a logjam tie for 31st in the league behind the NFL’s TD leader, KC’s Tyreek Hill and his 9 scores. The only wide receivers who have at least the 50 receptions McLaurin has but only  3 touchdowns are Stefon Diggs (63), DeAndre Hopkins (60) and Allen Robinson II (57).

LAST 5
 Washington Football Team 
Ravens     L 31-17
Rams.       L 30-10
Giants      L 20-19 (failed 2-pt conversion when PAT would’ve sent game to OT)
Cowboys W 25-3
Giants      L 23-20
Detroit Lions
Saints     L 35-29 (led 14-0, surrendered 35 unanswered points before scoring again)
Jaguars W 34-16
Falcons  W 23-22
Colts      L 41-21
Vikings  L 34-20
Kickoff set for 1pm at Ford Field. No fans will be in attendance in Detroit, as the Lions are one of 13 NFL teams who have yet to allow anyone in attendance, even friends and family of players

Alex Smith Rides Again: (2-6) Washington Football Team @ (3-5) Detroit Lions – Week 10 Preview  was originally published on theteam980.com

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