The Washington Football Team’s offense is about as vanilla as they come from a play-calling standpoint. Nothing they do should scare defensive coordinators, especially considering Alex Smith’s limited mobility. As we saw last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Smith isn’t involved in any pocket movement or running the ball — both of which used to be huge parts of his game — and he’s not talented enough to dice defenses up from the pocket at this stage of his career. He also hasn’t received much help from his surrounding cast, outside of receiver Terry McLaurin. Tight end Logan Thomas, who played quarterback in college, has been a pleasant surprise, but the rushing attack has been way too inconsistent to have a regular impact. Everyone on Washington’s offense, which tends to disappear for two quarters at a time, needs to play their best football to have a shot at advancing in the postseason tournament.
Even though Smith is 5-1 as a starter this season, Ron Rivera told reporters Tuesday that the team will “definitely have to look at” rotating Taylor Heinicke in because of the calf injury that has limited Smith of late. The New Orleans Saints frequently rotate two quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Taysom Hill, but it’s tough to compare Washington’s situation with the dynamic duo at Sean Payton’s disposal. I’m not saying that using both Smith and Heinicke won’t work, it just feels like a steep climb.
For all of these reasons, it’s going to be difficult for the Football Team’s 30th-ranked offense to go blow for blow with Tom Brady and the high-flying Buccaneers. The Football Team’s magical ride in 2020 feels like it may come to an abrupt end Saturday.