Smith says Washington is 'the class' of an 'underrated' NFC East


Former Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith, now retired, made his debut on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and wasted little time praising his former team.

Smith called Washington "the class" of the NFC East, saying he's a big fan of the addition of Ryan Fitzpatrick, too.

"Without a doubt, Washington is the class of the division," Smith said. "I love the Ryan Fitzpatrick pickup. I think [he's] is going to have a big year to go along with the deepest defensive line in football."

Last year, Smith saw firsthand how talented Washington's defense was. They finished second in the NFL in yards allowed and fourth in points allowed, along with the second-most sacks by any team.

After Washington had uneven quarterback play for much of the season, Smith took over for an injured Kyle Allen in Week 9.

The Burgundy and Gold went 5-1 in his starts, as Smith played an instrumental part in leading Washington to its first NFC East title in five seasons.

Now in 2021, with the addition of Fitzpatrick under center and other notable acquisitions like Curtis Samuel, William Jackson III, Bobby McCain and Charles Leno, Washington has high expectations for this fall as they hope to be the first team to win back-to-back NFC East titles since 2004.

That task could be tough, according to Smith, as he thinks the rest of the division is tougher than people think.

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


On Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys put on an admirable showing, nearly upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Washington shows out against the Chargers on Sunday afternoon, that could go a long way in changing the national reputation of the division.