It was not quantifiably the worst passing performance of the season or even the week. But Alex Smith’s Monday night stinkbomb, especially contrasted with a superlative (and record-breaking) game from Drew Brees, was for my money the ugliest QB performance of the season.
Smith was 23 of 39 for 275 yards in Washington’s 43-19 loss to the Saints, and he can thank garbage time for that line’s semi-respectability. Not truly appreciable in a stat line for their terribleness were an interception and a fumble. Not in the box score at all are the many underthrown balls doinked into the turf. Smith also, apparently, hates his running backs and wants them dead.
Here he is injuring Adrian Peterson:
Here’s a hospital ball for Chris Thompson:
Smith’s absolute worst pass and worst decision-making came on the interception:
Look at what Smith saw on that play, and it becomes even worse. WR Maurice Harris was wide open for much of the play, but Smith waited until he wasn’t to release the ball.
To cap things off (and this one wasn’t Smith’s fault), I think this is probably a record for hang time on a fumble:
Burn these clips and bury the ashes in consecrated ground and then nuke the spot from space, just to be safe.
This was all very out of character for Smith, who’s regularly attached to the adjectives “professional” and “competent,” often used semi-pejoratively, but at least they mean he doesn’t usually do things like this. This game was presumably an aberration and not a reflection—at least, not of Smith so much as his team as a whole. He was under pressure all night, and the Skins defense melted so quickly that they had to abandon the run game early. Not a recipe for a quarterback’s success.
More damning here is that the Skins and Jay Gruden were coming off a bye and had two whole weeks to put together a game plan, and this is what they had. “It was just a total team debauchery,” said Gruden. “I am the one in charge of it. I take responsibility for it.” Truer, if only slightly less comical, than pinning it on Smith.
The Skins are still alone in first place in the NFC East, because the NFC East is ass.