LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Is Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, who signed a four-year, $94 million contract after being traded to Washington in March, just an incredibly expensive game manager?
Six games into his Redskins tenure, among NFL ranks: Smith is 23rd in completion percentage (63.3 percent), 24th in passing yards (1,383) and tied for 27th in passing touchdowns (seven). It’s worth noting: the Redskins already had their bye week, so Smith’s season features six games worth of stats vs. seven games of many other QBs.
Here’s the one stat that truly matters, however: Washington is 4-and-2 and enjoying a 1.5 game lead in the NFC East division.
“We don’t turn the ball over,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden explained when asked about Smith’s ability to win without putting up lofty statistics. “Playing good defense, field position, we’re making them go a very long way. It’s been a good formula for us. Make teams go 75, 85 yards it’s very difficult. And then we take advantage of some of the good field positions we do get and punch it in from time-to-time. But, we will get better on offense. The numbers will come. We’re going to stick with the plan and we’re going to get better for sure.”
Smith’s last two games (both victories), he’s passed for just 163 yards and 178 yards, respectively. Those totals rank among the bottom-third of single game passing performances in his 13-year career. Perhaps one reason for his modest yardage total? In 2018, Smith has completed just five of 17 passing attempts traveling 20 yards or more in the air.