Well, The Washington Football Team has truly been a team of transition so far, right?
With the bye week over and a 2-5 record on the books in the god-awful NFC East, where does the team really stand at this point?
First and foremost, Coach Ron Rivera has finally finished his chemotherapy treatment and can now coach throughout the rest of the season without chemo and for that we should all be happy for his health – the battle isnt over.
Having said that, Rivera’s decision-making since Game One vs Philly has left a lot of fans puzzled, considering the words and actions of the offseason.
First and foremost, fans saw the writing on the wall with incumbent second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins as he was benched after the fourth game of the season for former Carolina Panther Kyle Allen. Why he was benched was probably for a multitude of reasons (maturity issues, lack of knowledge of playbook, team apathy, a chance of winning the division etc), but for some (such as myself), the benching left a poor taste in my mouth but the team had to move on and move on quickly.
Regardless of what side you fall on in the Dwayne Haskins Debacle – because that’s exactly what it is – this whole issue was handled as poorly as it could be by the staff. What truly grinds my gears is that we were told by everyone that this was basically a developmental season and we would let it play out for all 16 games and after those 16 games, make a decision on the position going forward and I, as a long-suffering fan, was all for it. All that changed because the Cowboys and Eagles suck.
This team is not a division winning team – not with this roster but alas.
Allen hasn’t been awful in his three starts, but he hasn’t done a thing to make you think that this is the guy to lead a team to anything besides more losing. Be on the lookout for another QB to be drafted in the first round of next years draft.
One positive that this team has on the offensive side of the ball is the continued development of wideout Terry McLauren. This kid has been nothing short of amazing considering the circumstances on that side of the ball. If he isn’t a #1 receiver on this roster going forward, he’s no worse than a #1.5 or a #2, he is literally that good and such a great find by the previous regime. Antonio Gibson is showing his much-ballyhooed skillset becoming the defacto starting running back while learning another position on the fly. When we read that offensive coordinator Scott Turner saw him as a new version of Panthers RB Christian McCaffery, we were skeptical but he has really shown burst and someone who is capable of big plays. He is a keeper.
Defensively, the defensive line has been as advertised. #2 overall selection Chase Young and the rest of the gang has quietly has risen up the defensive rankings (11th in points, 4th in yards, and surprisingly #1 in passing yardage) and that is a testament to the whole defensive unit and coordinator Jack Del Rio. Although the team gives up way too many dynamic plays as a whole, you have to be encouraged even without our best DL pass-rusher Matt Ioannidis and now, Landon Collins. Players such as Kendall Fuller, Ronald Darby and recent returnee to the starting lineup, linebacker Cole Holcomb, have played their asses off.
You have to be encouraged by the physicality of the team, which was one crucial aspect that was just non-existent in the Jay Gruden era. Now, do I think this team should even be thinking about a possible divisional title? That is a totally different question than the question I posed earlier. These dudes are competitors and I’m sure Coach Rivera looked at the rest of the schedule and thinks that this team could win enough games and magically pull this off.
Seven wins will probably make it happen.
However, do we really want this?
Especially with the three great QB’s (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance are all considered top five talents) that will be featured in next year’s draft. Because next year, this team will need an influx of talent to really start to compete as a legit NFL team.
I cannot tell a lie. As soon as Haskins was benched, I was pissed and didnt really care anymore because I figured the main goal of the season was tossed aside. I still feel a way but I am encouraged with the trajectory of the franchise and honestly, that’s all we can ask for at this point.