After an NFL season of miracles, Alex Smith’s comeback stands apart.
In a year that COVID threatened teams, postponed matches and caused chaos throughout the year, Smith has led his team to the most unlikely of division wins.
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The NFC East has been an abysmal division with Washington sealing the title and a spot in the playoffs with a 7-9 record, easily the worst record in the competition after a 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
But after a season the Washington Football Team finally dropped the moniker of the Redskins due to its offensive connotations after years of pressure, Smith led the side to its first playoff game since 2015.
Although not expected to go too fan into the playoffs, Smith’s comeback from a life threatening broken leg.
Smith had 17 surgeries on his leg and spent eight months with his leg in a metal brace but was lucky to keep his leg.
After a surgery, Smith had necrotising fasciitis or flesh eating bacteria in his leg with doctors even considering amputation.
But in October, Smith returned to the field with his wife letting her emotions out when he entered the game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Smith, playing with a titanium rod inserted into his leg, completed nine of 17 passes for 37 yards as the Rams outclassed Washington 30-10. But this game was about so much more than the result.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a lot of days where I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Smith said after the game, even if his comeback did arrive in less-than-ideal circumstances.
He’s now played eight games and his wife has delivered a wonderful tribute, turning that leg brace into a makeshift Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded to the Super Bowl winner.
“Waiting for this game and I’m a nervous wreck. I look up at our bookshelves as a reminder of where we have been and the hard work to get to this moment. No matter the outcome, Alex has already won,” she wrote in the caption. “He has beat the largest challenge life has thrown our way. I am incredibly proud and will be cheering loud. Let’s go Washington!
“Special thanks to @coldhardart for transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph we can proudly put on our shelves.”
While Washington may not have been the best team around, it’s a massive achievement for the side to make it this far and a testament to Smith’s will power.
“A lot to be grateful for,” Smith said following the game on NBC. “Starting with those guys in the locker room.
“We had some bumps early and continue to keep fighting and getting better and here we are.”
NFL PLAYOFFS LOCKED IN (Time AEDT)
The Wild Card playoff matches are finally in.
With an expanded playoff picture with seven teams from each conference making it in, only the top ranked teams get the week off.
The 14-2 Kansas City Chiefs’ bid for a second straight Super Bowl is going along well after taking out the AFC top seed, while the Green Bay Packers locked up the NFC first seed with a 13-3 record.
Here’s how the first week of the playoffs will play out.
— AFC: No. 7 Indianapolis Colts @ No. 2 Buffalo Bills, 5:05am
— NFC: No. 6 Los Angeles Rams @ No. 3 Seattle Seahawks, 8:40am
— NFC: No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ No. 4 Washington Football Team, 12:15pm
— AFC: No. 5 Baltimore Ravens @ No. 4 Tennessee Titans, 5:05am
— NFC: No. 7 Chicago Bears @ No. 2 New Orleans Saints, 8:40am
— AFC: No. 6 Cleveland Browns @ No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers, 12:15pm