- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 12, 2021

Alex Smith made his debut with ESPN on Sunday, and the ex-Washington quarterback came out firing. 

In talking about the NFC East, Smith raved about his former team hours before Washington took on the Los Angeles Chargers — calling the Burgundy and Gold the “class of the division.”  He noted the pickup of his replacement, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the strength of the team’s defensive line. 

“Without a doubt, Washington is the class of the division,” Smith said. “I love the Ryan Fitzpatrick pickup.  I think Fitzy is going to have a big year, to go along with maybe the deepest defensive line in football.” 

Smith helped Washington win the NFC East, taking over for an injured Kyle Allen and going 5-1 as a starter down the stretch. He was named the NFL’s comeback player of the year for his return to the field after a life-threatening leg injury. Despite the success, Washington released Smith after the season in search of an upgrade — a move that prompted Smith to retire. He has since joined ESPN as an analyst. 

In his segment, Smith was also high on the NFC East as a whole.

“Let me say, I think this whole division is incredibly underrated,” Smith said. “I know last year was mess, but I think this division is going to shock a lot of people.” 

The NFC East fell just short of the NFL’s lowest winning percentage of all time — going a combined 23-40-1. The 2008 NFC West holds that record, with a 22-42 record. 

Washington won the division last year at 7-9. 

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