Set to start under centre for his ninth NFL team, will 'Fitzmagic' lead Washington to a second straight NFC East Crown?
The Washington Football Team surprised the NFL last year and won the NFC East with a 7-9 record. But, with Dallas set to be stronger this year, is it feasible to expect Washington to compete? They have arguably the best defensive line in football and last year their defensive efficiency ranked Top-5 in the league. The flip-side of that is an offence that ranked near the bottom in efficiency last season. Can Washington’s defence make up for a less than desirable offence again this season?
Notable Draft Picks
LB Jamin Davis, OT Sam Cosmi, CB Benjamin St-Juste, WR Dyami Brown, TE John Bates.
Washington Football Team Acquisitions and Moves
Regardless of what people think of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’s an upgrade from last year’s combination of Dwayne Haskins (now in Pittsburgh), Kyle Allen and Alex Smith (retired). Taylor Heinicke played well enough in Washington’s wildcard loss to Tampa Bay and he’s a nice insurance policy behind Fitzpatrick. This is one of the weakest divisions in the league and if Smith can lead them to the playoffs last year, ‘Fitzmagic’ can do it in 2021.
Washington added to their receiving corps in the offseason by signing free agents Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. Samuel finished last year with 857 receiving yards and was a big part of Carolina’s offence after Christian McCaffrey missed most of the year with a shoulder injury. Humphries has dealt with injury issues the last couple years, but in his last 16-game season in 2018, he had 816 receiving yards with Tampa Bay.
The offensive line was an issue last year, so Washington signed offensive tackle Charles Leno and traded for left guard Ereck Flowers. Leno has regressed over the last couple of seasons, but he’s a solid blind-side protector when he’s on top of his game. Flowers struggled at times with Miami last season, but there’s still plenty of upside to the 27-year-old’s game.
The losses in the offseason seem fairly insignificant when you consider what Washington added to the roster. They released offensive tackle Morgan Moses and let cornerback Ronald Darby leave in free agency. William Jackson III was signed to a three-year deal and should be an upgrade over Darby. One of the bigger hits was losing pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan to division rival Philadelphia.
Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Schedule
Washington winning the NFC East with a 7-9 record shows you how bad the division was last year. They have the 15th most difficult schedule in the league in 2021.
Washington’s home schedule is much tougher than their road schedule as they will face the Saints, Chiefs, Buccaneers and Seahawks at home. They’re toughest road games will be in Buffalo and Green Bay. Washington’s Week 9 bye comes at the right time as they’ll come out of the bye week with a tough home game against Tampa Bay.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m
Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 16 vs. New York Giants, 8:20 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 @ Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 @ Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 @ Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31 @ Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21 @ Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 29 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5 @ Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m.
Week 15: TBD @ Philadelphia Eagles
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26 @ Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m.
Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 @ New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Washington Football Team NFL Betting Odds
Washington is at +151 to make the playoffs, which isn’t bad value for a team that should be better than the Giants and Eagles. Their regular season win total of 8.5 is a little more of a tossup. Yes, there’s an extra 17th game added, but they only managed seven wins last season despite Dallas losing Dak Prescott. I lean more towards Under 8.5 wins at -109 for this team.
At +156, Washington has the second-best odds to win the NFC East, trailing Dallas (+138) and ahead of New York (+472) and Philadelphia (+512). Your longshot bets are Washington to win the NFC Conference (+2177), reach the Super Bowl (+2051) and win the Super Bowl (+4356).
Washington Football Team 2021 Season Prediction
Washington is going to cruise over the Eagles this year and probably the Giants as well. How they handle Dallas is the real determining factor. Set to face difficult opponents in the NFC West and AFC West, Washington needs to pile the wins up in their own division. Bank on Washington finishing second in the NFC East with an 8-9 record.