Wednesday Morning QB (Week 11)

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Thanksgiving is almost here meaning the start of the playoff race is just about to begin with teams looking to make their final run at a chance for the Super Bowl.

All teams are beginning to figure out where they are as a team and the good ones are now beginning to get into a groove and figuring out what they can and can’ do.

It is an exciting time with some very good teams looking to finish strong and a few teams needing to fight their way into the wild card.

It is going to be tough for a lot of teams while some aren’t really holding any hope for the immediate future of their seasons.

For teams at the top of the division, it is all about locking down their spots as they are in the driver’s seat right now.

That is going to be tough for one particular team after Week 11 though as Washington saw their playoff hopes take a serious hit this week.

It was an all too familiar scene in the city as 33 years ago to the day was one of the most gruesome injuries ever seen in the NFL.

Superstar quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked and while going down snapped his leg breaking both his tibia and fibula.

It is widely considered one of the worst injuries ever and the angles on TV make it that much worse as the break can clearly be seen.

It was so severe that Theismann was forced to retire from the game leaving many to wonder what the 36-year-old could have done with a few more years in the league.

It seems like something written in a movie as November 18 will go down as the worst date for Washington football.

It was the exact same day that Alex Smith suffered an almost identical injury breaking both his tibia and fibula on a similar play.

Smith was a major get this offseason as Washington was looking for a quarterback after they refused to pay Kirk Cousins what he believed he was worse.

With Cousins signing a major deal in Minnesota, Washington went to Kansas City and looked for a trade.

The Chiefs were going to rely on their young QB Patrick Mahomes so they agreed to send Smith to Washington giving them a solid QB.

Although he has always been labelled with the “game manager” tag he was a big reason for the Chiefs and their success over the past few seasons, even if they struggled to score through the air.

While with Washington, Smith has been his usual dependable self and even if he isn’t as exciting as the guy who replaced him in Kansas City or the guy he replaced in Washington they are sitting on top of the NFC East.

A dependable QB is not a bad thing as he rarely has massive games but also rarely has bad games giving the team someone to rely on.football-sidebar

He was set to try to lead the team into the playoffs and prove that it didn’t matter where he was, he was going to be a great QB.

Then November 18 happened, and Smith was carted off of the field with Theismann watching and understanding exactly what the QB was going through.

Some will wonder if Smith will ever be able to return and if he does how long will it be before he can step onto the field.

At 34 and with the label that he has always had he might run out of time to come back and play a significant role especially with the level of quarterback coming into the league every year.

As he ponders about his future and tries to work his way back the team had to find a way to move on and keep up their run to the playoffs.

The quarterback position is essential in the NFL and losing someone like Smith makes it very hard to recover.

With no really convincing back up it was clear they were going to go out and see what they could find in the market.

Of course, that leads to the inevitable question regarding Colin Kaepernick who has been without a contract for two years thanks in large part to his protests.

Although many would have loved to see Washington sign him it might not have made the most sense for the team.

The offence is built a certain way and with Smith under centre, there was not a lot of need to worry about the QB running.

Smith is a true pocket passer whereas Kaepernick is more of an athletic QB and although Kaepernick likely deserves to be at least a backup behind an offence built around a more athletic QB this was not the right fit.

Instead, they signed Mark Sanchez who fits the system better but was also out of a job for a reason.

Whether or not he can help lead this team will be the biggest question as there is still time for them to lose grip on this season and changing quarterbacks is a great way to do that.

 

Fifth Quarter

Questionable Decision

Matt Patricia was one of the most sought-after coaches this offseason as the former New England defensive coordinator had been interviewed by a lot of teams to fill their vacancies. So far his time in Detroit has been interesting from reports of his involvement in a sexual assault to his scolding of a reporter for slouching. The Lions have been good but not great although they, like everyone in the North has a chance to win the division. In preparing for the playoff race ahead Patricia decided to practice outside in a snowy and cold field, which seems normal enough until you realize that the team will play four games indoors in four weeks. According to Patricia, the decision was to ensure players aren’t worn down from the turf in their indoor facility but for many, it just seemed like an unnecessary measure that could lose the faith of some players.

Offence is King

For traditionalists, Monday night’s game was something to be shamed but it was also a sign of the times in football. Kansas City and Los Angeles went head to head in one of the best matchups this year for two teams with real potential to win it all. They broke records on the night scoring a total of 105 points, the most ever in an NFL game, as the defence took a seat for the majority of the game. Although traditionalists might hate the game being played with little to no defence this is what the new NFL is all about. Rules passed and talent rising has led to a new era of offence partially to help bring more excitement to the league. The Rams and Chiefs are two teams embracing this philosophy and leading the new era of the game, which they displayed on Monday.

Committed to Mexico

The NFL was forced to move Monday night’s game to Los Angeles after it was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico. The field was so poor in the stadium in Mexico that it was a danger to the players and their safety. Despite the last-minute change due to the field conditions, the NFL is committed to going back to Mexico. They have a deal in place for three years to play one game in Mexico City each year. The NFL confirmed that they will stick with the deal and head to the city next season as they continue to try to break into markets outside of the borders of the USA.

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