The Washington Football Team Might Actually Win The NFC East
October 26, 2020
When the season began, no one in their right mind thought anyone other than the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles had a shot at winning the NFC East. The odds were overwhelming in favor of either of them over the Washington Football Team or New York Giants.
With the Giants record at 1-6, it looks like the Giants are who we thought they were—a poor team in need of a lot of help. Learning a new offense does not help. Losing Saquon Barkley to a season-ending injury does not help either.
While Washington’s season-opening win over Philadelphia was encouraging, losses to the Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens put a damper on the excitement the win over the Eagles generated. Switching quarterbacks didn’t help against the Rams, and they lost a nail-biter to the Giants.
But then they beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, 25-3, to improve to 2-5. However, since the rest of the division is struggling so bad, the Washington Football Team is in second place in the division:
NFC East Standings:
Philadelphia Eagles: 2-4-1
Washington Football Team: 2-5
Dallas Cowboys: 2-5
New York Giants: 1-6
Technically, no one is out of the race by any means. However, the oddsmakers make it clear who they think could win it. DraftKings now has the Eagles favored (-155), followed by the Cowboys (+350), Washington (+400), and the Giants (+1300).
Dallas is done. If the injuries on the offensive side of the ball are not enough proof, their dismal defense and terrible coaching should be. While the Giants are not out of it by any means, there is no reason to think they might turn things around and become competitive.
That means the division will come down to the Eagles and Washington. With that win over the Eagles in Week One, the advantage lies with Washington.
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Projecting How the Philadelphia Eagles Will Finish
Injuries have done a number on the Eagles starting lineup this season, but they are not the only issue. The team simply is not playing well, and it is not just because of Carson Wentz and his struggles. Improved play from him would go a long way, but he is not the only one having a down year.
However, there have been signs of life. The win over San Francisco was nice. While they ultimately lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, they were in it and competitive for most of the game. Even though they went down early to the Ravens, they fought back and had a chance in the end.
As for their recent win over the Giants, good teams find a way to win even when they play poorly.
The rest of their season does not look too hard to predict. The Eagles are going to beat the Cowboys this week and again later in the season. But they are not going to beat the Browns, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Cardinals. Their rematches against the Giants and Washington are toss-ups.
Assuming the Eagles win both rematches, the best-case scenario for Philadelphia appears to be a 6-10 finish. However, they could easily finish 5-11 with two losses to the Redskins or even 4-12.
Projecting How The Washington Football Team Will Finish
When you average less than 300 yards of total offense a game and just 19 points, it will be hard to win games. Yes, they nearly generated 400 yards against the Cowboys, but they will not face a defense as bad as Dallas until they meet the Cowboys again later in the season.
However, the defense could be good enough to keep Washington in a few games. Through seven games, they rank fourth in total yards allowed (309.1/game), first against the pass (185.9 yards/game), 17th against the run (123.3 yards/game), and 11th in scoring (23.6 points/game).
The hard part about predicting how Washington will finish is trying to gauge how the offense will play. With Kyle Allen behind center, they were competitive against a lousy team and beat another bad team. We really don’t know how good the Washington offense can be.
Their defense will keep them in the game against Detroit, Cincinnati, Carolina, and maybe San Francisco (but probably not). But can the offense do enough to win two of those games, if not more? They should beat the Giants and Cowboys in those rematches. But they don’t stand a chance against Pittsburgh or Seattle.
The season finale against the Eagles could go either way. So, that means they could finish with two to six additional wins. So, their record could be anywhere from 4-12 to 8-8.
What Does All Of This Mean?
It may seem like a terrible idea. Every logical bone in your body is probably screaming, “No!” But the Washington Football Team could win the NFC East and play in the postseason. They could also bottom out and finish 2-14.
So, you have to ask yourself if the risk is worth the reward?