Alex Smith comeback is complete, but that’s where good news ended Sunday

For the first time in 693 days, quarterback Alex Smith played in an NFL game. Smith entered the game at the two-minute warning of the second quarter, after Kyle Allen took a shot in the arm on the sideline.

“Very surreal,” Smith said.

But even after Smith took the field, little went Washington’s way in the team’s 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Smith threw a screen pass to J.D. McKissic on the first play from scrimmage. He showed pocket presence and even some mobility. The offensive line didn’t help out much, as Aaron Donald welcomed him back by jumping on his back for a sack on the first possession.

Smith was sacked six times by the Rams defense and completed 9 of 17 passes for 37 yards.

With weather an issue, you have to be able to run the football, but Washington couldn’t do that Sunday.

The team had 14 attempts for 38 yards, with a 2.7 yards per rush. You read that right, 38 yards on the ground. Nobody is going to win with numbers like that.

Before being replaced, Allen showed little promise in running the offense. There were many of the same issues that plagued the team with Dwayne Haskins at the helm.

Allen did engineer a 10-play scoring drive, culminating in a seven-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. Allen finished 9 of 13 for 74 yards.

Coach Ron Rivera said that if Allen is healthy, he will be the starter next week against the Giants.

Here are a few take-aways from Sunday’s matchup.

One of the worst offensive halves of football you’ll see

Yes, the story is Smith completing his comeback, but this team has major issues on both sides of the ball.

Even with Allen and Smith under center, the offense struggled big time. The second half was one of the worst halves of football you will ever see.

Washington’s offensive second half will not be one that is displayed in Canton at the Hall of Fame.

Six punts, one turnover on downs, -6 total yards (108 total for the game), zero first downs. They were also just 2-for-13 on third downs for the game.

If you’d like one more number that will make you do a double take, Tress Way punted 10 times Sunday — 10!

The quarterback play and the offense weren’t the only issues, either.

Big plays a concern for the defense

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s defense was MIA again. His unit gave up 30+ points for a fourth straight game.

Jared Goff began the day with 10 straight completions, including a 56-yard touchdown pass en route to carving up Washington’s secondary for big play after big play.

Safeties Troy Apke and Landon Collins had long days. The same issues keep coming up in the secondary every week.

The defense also consistently gave up big third down conversions, as the Rams were six of 15 on third down.

Chase Young did return after missing a couple games with a groin injury, but Montez Sweat notched the only sack of the day for Washington.

Next week Washington heads to New York to face the winless Giants. The 0-5 Giants have opened as a 3.5 point favorite against Washington. Yikes.

George Wallace

George Wallace is the WTOP sports director. He began at WTOP on Christmas Day of 2000.

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