Game #9 has the 3rd QB starter of the season for Washington!

Another week, and this time it is a necessity that the Washington Football Team would have to replace a starting quarterback due to an injury. After Kyle Allen suffered an ankle injury, head coach  Ron Rivera could have gone back to Dwayne Haskins as his starter, but he chose to stick with Alex Smith in this game against the Detroit Lions. Is Washington at the point of trying to win to make the playoffs or are they trying to evaluate this team for the future? It would seem Rivera is choosing the former as he will stick with the veteran Smith as the best option to win this game. Up until now, Smith had been only taking reps in practice as the backup and for the first time this season, he was able to practice as the team’s number 1 QB. Now we have to see if it will make a difference. Haskins will be the backup in this game.

“The question we have to answer as coaches, ‘Is our franchise quarterback here? Is he on the roster? Is he being developed, or is he somewhere else?’” Rivera said of Haskins.

Smith’s miracle comeback has not produced a win yet. Maybe it never will. But we learned not to count him out. Maybe he has earned this start. You have to hope that Haskins can learn as the number two QB. Stand on the sideline and be ready to go in if needed. As we know, football is so unpredictable.

“It’s something that some guys grow and develop and understand how important it is,” Rivera said. “A lot of times, guys will rely on their great talent. That talent will get you by for a while but there’s a point in everybody’s career where everything catches up to talent. The only thing that separates it are the guys that work the hardest.”

There is a message in Rivera’s chosen words that great talent will only take you so far and “guys that work the hardest” get ahead. In hindsight, Rivera could have done a huge favor for Haskins if the rumors were true that Haskins was late in arriving to practice and that his effort was not close to 100 percent. Again, if true, part of that is fact and the latter is opinion.

Rivera has been a winner in his life as a player, coach, and a cancer survivor. Right now, Rivera has the credibility in this — not Haskins. Time will tell how this will all work out. This season might be a bust, but the lessons learned could pay dividends for next year and beyond. Haskins is under Washington team control for two more seasons after this one on his rookie deal.

This Detroit Lions team is 3-5 against Washington at 2-6. It feels like this game is what we have seen in the NFC East matchups of team’s trending down with losing records. The Lions quarterback is Matthew Stafford and he is the 25th ranked QB with a 92.4 QBR rating. Even Kyle Allen was ranked higher. Stafford has a 62.6% completion percentage with 14 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions in 8 games.

The Washington defense will enjoy going up against the Detroit offensive line. They have watched Stafford get sacked 21 times this season which is 7th most in the NFL and averages 2.7 per game.

This game is televised on FOX at Ford Field in Detroit at 1 pm.

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