The Washington Football Team is going to the playoffs after beating the Eagles and winning the NFC East on Sunday night.
It is an outcome that few people predicted before the start of the season and no one changed their mind when the team opened the year with a 2-7 record. They benched their original quarterback, had a coach battling cancer, and the organization was dealing with off-field ownership issues that overshadowed much of what was happening on the field.
Turning to Alex Smith at quarterback turned things around. A four-game winning streak pushed them into the driver’s seat in the division and the team was able to stay afloat amid two losses and Dwayne Haskins drama while Smith battled a calf injury. He returned at less than 100 percent on Sunday night, but found a way to steer the team to a win.
“I think it speaks way more about the team and the character we have,” Smith said. “You know everything stacked against us. Going obviously all the way to the offseason, coaching change, new staff. All the COVID stuff. For us to get off to the slow start that we did but to find a way to battle back. Then to finish it off like this I think says a lot about the character we have in the locker room. Good or bad, day in and day out, these guys come to work and put in the effort.”
The last two teams to win their division with sub-.500 records won their first playoff game. Washington will try to do the same against the Buccaneers next Saturday night.