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Terry McLaurin continues to meet high expectations as Commanders enter tough 2-game stretch

Poll Results!!!

Washington Commanders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

This past offseason, the Commanders made one of the decisions on a commitment to a player that defines a franchise for a generation. The powers-that-be made the fans happy by giving a 3-year, $72m extension to everyone’s favorite third round receiver from Ohio State, Terry McLaurin.

While McLaurin is not leading the league in yardage or touchdowns, he certainly is a leader of the Commanders team on the field, in the locker room, and in everyday life.

Terry McLaurin is the consummate professional who works hard at improving his skills, takes a leadership role built on quiet competence but fiery competitiveness, and acts as the most capable face of the franchise. In other words, McLaurin earns his money in many ways beyond catching passes.

But that doesn’t mean that Terry is not a great pass catcher. You need look back no further than the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game.

But that play is not the only great one in Terry’s career. He made this catch one week earlier.

Of course, no one could forget what he did (one handed) to the Packers last season.

Although, my favorite catch of his career is probably still the one he made against the Chargers in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

In short, Terry McLaurin is the gift that keeps on giving to Commanders fans. He may not be leading the league in total yards or touchdowns, but the third year receiver is definitely leading the NFL in every receiving category for players who have caught balls from 8 or more different passers since the start of the 2019 season.

When you put Terry’s accomplishments into the context of the team he has played for, the turmoil it has gone through, and the inconsistency at the quarterback position that he’s had to deal with, it’s amazing that Terry can achieve anything at all, but, as I said, he’s a fiery competitor.

McLaurin has been quietly amassing yards as the Commanders have gone through their annual quarterback drama in 2022.

Even with injuries to Jahan Dotson and the tight end group, meaning that McLaurin has not had the help that he should have to take pressure off of him, he has compiled 553 yards and two touchdowns in 5 games.

At that rate of 69 yards per game, Terry is on track for 1,175 yards this season, which would be his 3rd consecutive 1,000 yard season, and which would bring his 4-year career total to over 4,200 yards.

In this week’s Reacts poll, we asked Hogs Haven readers how many yards to expect from Scary Terry in 2022.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

The fans are optimistic; 79% of respondents believe that Terry will have at least 1,100 yards, with 43% of fans believing that he will set a new career high by achieving at least the 1,200-yard mark by season’s end.

Week 9 - Vikings come to FedEx Field

Terry will get a chance to add to his yardage total on Sunday against a Vikings team that is ranked 29th in passing yards allowed per game, at 275.6. Over the past 3 weeks, the Vikings have given up an average of 291.7 yards per game (30th), and they surrendered 297 to the Cardinals last Sunday.

The fact that they’ve given up these passing yards on the way to a 6-1 record says that a lot of the opposing offensive production is likely coming in ‘garbage time’, but the Vikings and Commanders are ranked 14th & 15th in points per game given up this season, indicating that the game could be more competitive than the typical NFL fan might expect.

When you take into account that over the past 3 games, Washington has surrendered 14.7 points per game while the Vikings have given up 21.3, it may sound a bit more interesting.

“Hang on,” you say. “Washington’s good performance over the past three weeks has come against 3 crappy teams, so that doesn’t count.”

Well, 2 of those crappy teams play in the NFC North with the Vikings, who surrendered 29 points to the Packers and Bears; the same two teams scored 28 against the Commanders.

This week’s game will feature two defenses that are pretty evenly matched. The difference in the game will likely come down to whether or not the Taylor Heinicke-led offense, which has averaged 20 points per game, can keep up with the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings offense, which is averaging 24.7 points per game on the season.

If Washington is going to have a chance to improve its scoring production, a lot will probably depend on McLaurin’s ability to produce yet again in another big game.

DraftKings currently has the Vikings installed as 3 point favorites, and the over/under mark for total points scored is 43.5. I’m backing Washington to win outright, and I’m (barely) taking the over on points.

The Bill-in-Bangkok prediction:

  • Washington 24
  • Minnesota 20