They didn’t make it easy, and it certainly wasn’t pretty but with a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Football Team are the 2020 NFC East champions. Washington will advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2015, and the franchise’s third division title since 2012 is unquestionably as improbable as it was at times inconceivable. Washington finishes the season with a 7-9 record and will face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday in the first round of the playoffs.
The WFT started the contest hot, going up 10-0 in the first quarter courtesy of a Terry McLaurin five-yard TD reception from Alex Smith followed up by a 42-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal. The Eagles showed no quit though going up 14-10 before Logan Thomas made perhaps the offensive play of the game, climbing the ladder in the back corner of the end zone with twenty seconds left in the half to make it 17-14 into the half.
Points were hard to come by in the second half, especially after Eagles’ coach Doug Peterson opted to bench starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of former Washington-draft pick Nate Sudfeld. A Dustin Hopkins fourth-quarter 42-yard try with 7:48 remaining in the contest was all the scoring to speak of and sealed the victory for Washington.
Washington becomes the first team since 2015 in the NFL to advance to the postseason with a losing record, the last team to claim that honor? Ron Rivera’s 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers.
In a long, and challenging season that saw no small amount of adversity in addition to on- and off-the-field challenges, Washington has defied the odds and any reasonable predictions playing just well enough to call themselves division champs.