After a thrilling comeback victory against the Eagles in Week 1, the Washington Football Team proceeded to lose the next three games, to the Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens. Washington could have reasonably beaten the Browns, had they played a slightly less error-laden 4th quarter, but they were handily outplayed by Arizona and Baltimore. Among some segments of the fanbase, panic has already set in. Sure, most predicted this team to fall somewhere between 4-12 and 6-10, but that hasn’t stopped certain fans from a frustrated foreboding that this team may have already blown its opportunity to make the playoffs.
Well, I’m here to say I think this team can be well within the playoff hunt - particularly in the atrocious NFC East - after ten games, at the end of Week 11. I’ll map out the journey to mediocrity, or better, below. Keep in mind that the WFT’s opponents over the next 6 games are a collective 6-17-1 at this point in the season.
The LA Rams may be the weakest 3-1 team in the league, having accumulated all of their wins by already knocking off the rest of the NFC East. They did narrowly lose to the undefeated Bills in Week 3, but they looked unimpressive against the terrible NY football Giants in Week 4. Over the course of the next 6 games, the Rams may be our most talented opponent, but even they are beatable. I’m predicting the WFT gets right here, and stays right for a long stretch.
Weeks 6 & 9
In the worst division in the NFL, the Giants are the worst team in the division. Sitting at 0-4, it’s entirely conceivable that the Giants may not win a single game this season, particularly with the best player on their team sidelined for the year. The most interesting question for them, at this point, is whether they would take Trevor Lawrence when/if they have the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The Giants had their doors blown off by a badly injured 49ers team (that was just beaten by the lowly Eagles), and lost to the Steelers, Bears, and Rams as well. Yes, it’s an NFC East match-up, but write these two victories in sharpie, potentially having the WFT at .500, eight games in.
The Cowboys defense is allowing a passer rating of 114.3 this season.— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) October 5, 2020
For context, Patrick Mahomes owns a career passer rating is 109.4.
Week 7 (and Week 12)
Dak Prescott is apparently on a pace to shatter several of Peyton Manning’s single season passing records. For goodness sake, he just passed for over 500 yards against the Browns this past week, bringing his season total to 1,690 yards. On the other hand, the Cowboys have a high school grade pass defense. You can see from the statistic above, they are absolutely putrid. The Cowboys barely beat the Falcons, on a late game miracle, but have fallen to the Rams, Seahawks, and Browns. They have a chance to get right against the Giants, and then play a tough came against the Cards. If the WFT can manage to contain Prescott and Zeke Elliott, this could be a game where Haskins is unleashed. I don’t think the WFT beats Dallas twice this year, but I do think they take one of these games.
The Lions have jumped out to several early leads this year, yet are only 1-3. They’ve lost to the Bears, Packers, and Saints, and beaten the Cards. Their defense is terrible, and should be another good opportunity for the WFT offense to get things right. Again, this is another match-up where, if the defense can contain the damage, the offense will have to take advantage of the circumstances to put up around 30 points. If the WFT can muster a positive turnover differential in this match-up, I think it’s a very winnable game. It’s also a game where JD McKissic and Logan Thomas’ knowledge of the offense could help play a role in gameplanning.
The Bengals have a tie, against the Eagles, and they picked up a victory in Week 4 against the 1-3 Jaguars. They’ve lost to the Browns and Chargers, but played both teams close. Joe Burrow has looked very solid for a rookie, playing well in all but his first game. His offensive line has been almost non-existent, however, surrendering 15 sacks so far this year, including 8 against the Eagles. This game will be all about Burrow versus the WFT’s defensive line. I like our odds in that match-up.
The WFT isn’t in a great spot, but they’ve lost to two very good teams and one average or better one. Slowly but surely, their young talent appears to be improving a bit week to week. The next 6-7 games are against a stretch of very beatable teams. The Rams are the only opponent with a winning record at this point, and none of the teams really present a defensive mismatch for Washington’s young core. They will be playing several horrid defenses over this stretch, which will provide an opportunity for Dwayne Haskins to build his confidence. Should they come out of this stretch 6-4 or even 5-5, they will be well-positioned to compete for the NFC East title in the back stretch of the season. However, even if they don’t, we can be assured Ron Rivera will have learned a lot about his young team.
#WashingtonFootball Team Pass Blocking Grade:— PFF Washington (@PFF_Washington) October 5, 2020
‼️ Week 1: 32.6
✅ Weeks 2-4: Each 70+ pic.twitter.com/SExBnRtgT9
Great stat. Obviously some RBs do, but only two WRs in the NFL right now have more YAC than receiving yards: Isaiah Wright (WFT) and Isaiah McKenzie (Buffalo). https://t.co/EhVV7gLgGR— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) October 5, 2020
After 10 games, do you think the WFT can be .500 or better?
This poll is closed
Yes, they can be .500
Yes, they can be above .500
Are you crazy?