QB Alex Smith works hard to win the franchise’s first NFC East title since 2015 – NFL Sports

In the season Washington football team Faced with obstacles one after another, traveling the difficult roads again was not a big deal.

Depleted Philadelphia Eagles The team made life in Washington difficult on Sunday. But the team that changed their name this offseason didn’t care.

In the end, the club got what it wanted: the first NFC East title since 2015.

Washington defeated the Eagles 20-14 To be the third team to win a division title with a losing record. Washington won five of the last seven regular season games and finished first with 7-9. this is, New York Giants..

The team before winning the division title on the sub.500 record was 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers In 2014, Ron Rivera coached and is currently in charge of Washington. Both required an unlikely second half run. This time, Rivera had to overcome the cancer while doing so.

Seattle won the division 7-9 in 2010. Both the Panthers and the Seahawks won the first playoff game.

Washington will host Tampa Bay (11-5) on Saturday at 8:15 pm. First round of playoffs.. The team was 3-13 years old a year ago and hired Rivera at the end of the season.

“This is special just because it was hard, how hard it was, and how hard it was for the organization,” Rivera said. “There is a great group of young men out there and we are trying to do things the right way.”

On Sunday, Washington faced an Eagles team that lost 10 starters for a variety of reasons.Then, in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia (4-11-1) inserted a backup quarterback. Nate Sadfeld To get him to do game action before the end of the season.

Start of QB Jalen Hurts Throwing the ball was ineffective (7-20, 72 yards), but his foot gave Washington 34 yards and two rush touchdowns.

However, Washington had its own problems, such as starting a quarterback. Alex smith I was playing with my tense right calf, so my movements were restricted. He was fired three times and intercepted twice. He threw two touchdown passes as part of a 162-yard night.

But this season he couldn’t do anything easily and Washington was accustomed to having to scrap to win. Sure, it was appropriate to have to scrap it again.

“It tells more about the team that is the character we have,” Smith said. “Everything was piled up against us [this season].. “

Philadelphia led 14-10 in the second half, but drove half-time before and was capped with a Smith touchdown pass to the tight end. Logan Thomas, Gave Washington a permanent lead. Then, in the second half of the third quarter, Washington stopped Philadelphia with a fourth goal from the four-yard line to defend the three-point lead. We added a field goal in the fourth quarter as the final margin.The defense was forced to make three turnovers at the rookie end Chase Young You can easily recover one of them. A valuable newcomer to the franchise also recorded a bag.

Washington has made its sixth playoff since the owner Dan Snyder acquired the team in 1999. He hasn’t won the playoff game since winning Tampa Bay in 2005.

“Oh, man, it’s been a while,” said the tackle on the right. Morgan Moses, His sixth season in Washington. “The biggest thing from five years ago to the present is the development of a team where we move and welcome Rivera. As I said to everyone all year long, we need the opportunity to participate in the dance. Just get a ticket to a dance that knows how far you are going. “

Rivera pointed out last week that no one expected Washington to be in this position. But this is also because no one expected the NFC East to be this bad. Washington’s 7-9 records weren’t that many. The team has a strong and young defensive corps, and after the chaotic 2019, Rivera’s stable hands calmed the organization. It also helped Jack Del Rio give Washington the best defense coordinator of the decade.

During the summer, no franchise could withstand any more turmoil. Renames, allegations against past employees, and owners fighting three minority owners. The team cut Delius Gis, who may have begun to flee in July after he was arrested on multiple charges of assault and domestic violence.Cut the previous start quarterback Dwayne Haskins Junior 1 week ago.

Rivera, as the face of the franchise, was tasked with handling everything. Later, on August 20, Rivera revealed that she had flat epithelial cancer, in time, and had a high survival rate, but needed treatment. They lasted 7 weeks and Rivera needed 5 proton therapy weekly. Every three weeks he was in need of chemotherapy. He missed only three exercises, but fatigue often overwhelmed him, he could not teach him as he wanted, and often left the facility late in the afternoon.

Then there was Smith. He overcame a horrific foot injury that almost everyone expected to lead to his retirement. He fought the organization’s desire to put him on the injured list, and was finally inserted after Haskins was put on the bench and replaced him. Kyle Allen,I got hurt.

Washington won 5-1 with Smith as the starter and 2-8 with someone else. Since Smith arrived in Washington in 2018, the team has been 11-5 in games he starts and 6-26 in games started by someone else. His story (overcoming 17 surgeries and near amputation of his right leg after a 2018 injury) inspired his teammates. His wife, Liz, reshaped the leg brace she had been wearing for eight months to resemble the Lombardi Trophy.

“It’s definitely one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve had,” Smith said.

Rivera noticed how much the eastern side had won early in the season. Four weeks later, no one in the division won only once. Rivera put Haskins on the bench. This is to start someone who is superficially experienced in attacking, but also because he was very dissatisfied with the preparation for Game Week.

Even 2-7, Washington remained alive.

“When we were 1-5 years old, we could have stopped,” Young said. “We didn’t. It’s a sign of brotherhood.”

Washington took control in four consecutive victories, and despite the start of Sunday, Washington remained in two consecutive losses.

“One of the questions I got early on is what is the character of this club and what are its characteristics?” Rivera said on Friday. “Honestly, I couldn’t tell you anything but think they were a really resilient bunch.”

– NFL Sports

QB Alex Smith works hard to win the franchise’s first NFC East title since 2015 QB Alex Smith works hard to win the franchise’s first NFC East title since 2015

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