Bruce Arians: Washington is not 7-9 with Alex Smith, we’re not playing Dwayne Haskins

NFL: JAN 03 Falcons at Buccaneers
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The Washington Football Team is, at 7-9, the worst team in the playoffs. But that’s not how Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians sees it.

As Arians gets ready to coach against Washington on Saturday night, he noted that Washington has a winning record when Alex Smith is the starter, as will be the case this week.

“We’re not playing a 7-9 team. We’re playing a 4-1 team. When Alex Smith plays they’re a 4-1 team,” Arians said on ESPN. “We’re not playing Dwayne Haskins. We’re playing Alex Smith.

Arians actually understated how much better Washington’s record was with Smith during the 2020 season: Washington went 5-1 in games started by Smith, 1-5 in games started by Haskins and 1-3 in games started by Kyle Allen.

It’s unsurprising that Arians doesn’t want his team thinking of its opponent as a 7-9 team. No playoff opponent can be taken for granted.

41 responses to “Bruce Arians: Washington is not 7-9 with Alex Smith, we’re not playing Dwayne Haskins

  1. FYI: Look for Washington to win this game. Why? Tom Brady will receive plenty of pressure up the middle and that’s his weakness. Also Alex Smith will play a little better than just managing a game.

  2. Yea, okay. Alex Smith showed no ability to be consistent on Sunday night. The WFT offense revolves around JD McKissic. Let’s be real here. This is a team that scored 30 or more points in a game once this season. Even if they hold the Bucs offense to 24 points, no one seriously believes the WFT offense is capable of scoring 25. The only way the WFT wins this game is to hold Brady et al. to 24 points or less and get a score on special teams or defense to support a one dimensional offense. And that’s that.

  3. Haskins may suck, but Chase Young is the real deal. He and Brady may be getting acquainted this weekend.

  4. IMO the WFT stands a better chance of winning if they go with Taylor Heinicke. I know what the record is with Alex and without him, just the way I feel. I will root for whomever is in the burgundy and gold behind center. HTTWFT and HTTR!!!!!

  5. In the playoffs,regular season doesn’t matter. See: Beastmode and Tebow against the Saints and Steelers respectively.

  6. Bruce, they are plucky, Smith has had a helluva comeback and Rivera knows what he’s doing.

    But the Bucs are the clearly superior squad, and if they don’t win on Saturday it’s on you and your inability to win a big game.

    There are no excuses and no reason the Bucs don’t move forward.

  7. “No playoff opponent can be taken for granted.”

    The 11-5 saints from 2010 says there’s some truth in that.

  8. Hopefully the WFT will put on a show and be competitive… no one expects much from them… good luck WFT

  9. Very good point. I’m more worried about that D Line than Alex Smith though. You know it’s a strength when you got Kerrigan coming off the bench.

  10. Ouch. Well I guess Dwayne can scratch TB off his list as a potential landing spot. 🤣

  11. Tampa Bay only has ONE win against a team with a winning record (Packers) the same number of wins Washington has (Pittsburgh)….. Not saying Tampa is going to lose but let’s add some perspective to there “winning” record

  12. No playoff team can be taken for granted. I’ll believe that when the nfc east playoff spot is taken from that division and given to someone who deserves a playoff spot

  13. Smart thinking. It is always unwise to underestimate an opponent.
    All teams can have a “Buster” Douglas moment.

  14. Smith threw 6 TDS, 8 Ints and had a 78 passer rating. Dwayne Haskins stats are almost identical.

    Smith is the “feel good” story in the media so you can’t really talk bad about him without getting jumped on.

    Smith played in 6 games and beat the Eagles (who were actively trying to lose), Giants, Bengals, Cowboys. A real tough lot to beat.

    I mean it’s laughable that Arians is trying to talk up Smith as the second coming of Tom Brady. Rivera should’ve been fined for letting Smith go out there on one leg last week. He was not healthy but Rivera released the only other QB on the roster. Smith knows he was lucky not to be carted off the field last week.

    Smith will not make it through the game against a competent team that is trying to win this week. Mainly because he’s not healthy enough to be on the field now.

  15. Everybody talks about the Skins D-Line and zero talk about Brady’s lack of grass stains after a game. Bucs O-Line ain’t no joke.

  16. The Bucs have exactly one win against a team with a winning record. But the WFT doesn’t have a winning record soooooo…..

  17. Arians is spot on that Alex Smith is better than Haskins, I don’t think he needs to put it out there for the media. It’s quite cringeworthy actually. Internal conversations should be happening, not so sure his team benefits with him publicly disparaging a former player.

  18. Alex Smith played out of his mind in the playoffs, when he played for the 49ers against the Saints in 2011. That 2011 Saints team had one of the best offenses you’ll ever see. Smith was up to task against Brees. Something tells me he’ll be up to go toe to toe against Tom Brady.

  19. Washington will utilize both of their QBs this weekend, hoping they dont get Philly results …

  20. Smith’s cardio endurance has been greatly diminished by his leg injury the past few weeks. Smith is running on fumes by halftime. Smith had 2 interceptions, 3 sacks and 1 fumble against the Eagles. Washington only scored 3 points in the second half against Philadelphia. Smith’s cardio endurance isn’t going to improve significantly in one week

    Heinicke looked good in the last 8 minutes against Carolina, but Carolina had a 14 point lead. Heinicke wasn’t even a player on an NFL team in 2019 and has only played in 8 NFL games. His Carolina stats are garbage time stats like Cousins racked up over the years. Rivera brought in Heinicke against Carolina to spite Haskins. If Rivera was serious about playing Heinicke in the playoffs, then he would have brought him in against the Eagles in the second half.

    Smith doesn’t have the stamina to be effective for an entire game. Unless Heinicke is the second coming of Kurt Warner or Tom Brady, he’s not going to be effective enough to win.

  21. Bruce is correct in saying that Smith gives Washington more of a chance. He’s just stating the obvious. Smith and Haskins may have had similar stats, but most of Haskins picks happened in crunch time costing them at least 2 or 3 games. I think Young will hit Brady plenty, but I think the Bucs win this game in a nail biter.

  22. as a Saints fan I am cheering for the Bucs, I wanna see them in the NFC Championship, Bucs fans prolly think the 3rd times the Charm and the Saints would be looking for the 3sweep

  23. Arians, the entire Bucs organization and WFT organization know the Bucs SHOULD win this game without a problem. Bruce is just setting the stage just in case they lose so it won’t seem like a huge choke job.

  24. Arians is a dufus. You can point out that a team has been on a roll winning games recently and will be a tough opponent, without trashing somebody. You motivate your team and respect the opponent. He just doesn’t get it.

    If both teams play well, Tampa will win. If both teams play poorly, Tampa will win. There is only one combination that will see Washington win.

  25. The Bucs defense has more QB sacks this season than Washington’s defense and 3 Bucs players have more QB sacks than Chase Young.

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