Disappointing preseason totals for Alex Smith

Brian Tinsman
August 24, 2018 - 10:53 pm
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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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Alex Smith unhooked his chinstrap and walked off the field before halftime on Friday night, the last time he will do so before Week 1 of the regular season.

His preseason stat line is mediocre by any measure: seven-for-14 for 81 yards. Final grade: incomplete.

On the one hand, Smith made few mistakes, something that has become a calling card in his career. He doesn't force bad throws, although he occasionally takes hits that might be avoidable. It's impossible to read much into his performance in a preseason, vanilla offense, but he did run productive plays in a variety of formations, all while lacking a full cast of starters.

On the other hand, the Smith-led offense struggled mightily to put points on the board. His first drive in the second preseason game put a field goal on the board, as did his final drive of the third preseason game. Whereas some NFL teams keep starters in past halftime in the third preseason game, Jay Gruden was happy to sit his starters midway through the second quarter.

Perhaps it's the very real risk of injury (see Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine, et al), but it would have been nice to see a drive with regulars that ended in the end zone. Redskins fans will have to wait until games matter before that happens.

Now, Smith and the rest of the Redskins' starters can turn their attention to the Arizona Cardinals, who they will face in 16 days.

In the fourth preseason game, expect to see Colt McCoy start the game and get his last live action of the preseason. If all goes well, he will hold a clipboard and only be used in blowout situations this season.

McCoy goes into the fourth preseason game with a solid stat line: 28-for-42 for 348 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Running the second-string offense, McCoy has competed against inferior defenders while throwing to inferior receivers and still come out on top.

The fourth preseason game will also feature a healthy dose of third-string quarterback Kevin Hogan, who has a preseason stat line of 20-for-29, 190 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. It remains to be seen whether or not the Redskins intend to carry three quarterbacks, but Hogan has been given every chance to show that he belongs.

 

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