Washington Football fans, please, don’t celebrate the Wild Card loss to Tampa

Washington fans, please, don't celebrate the Wild Card loss to Tampa originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tom Brady and the Bucs just won the Super Bowl, and for plenty of Washington Football Team fans that’s reason for celebration.

Why?

Because Washington played the Bucs tough in a 31 to 23 loss in the Wild Card round of the playoffs about a month ago.

Of course, that’s nonsense.

Washington lost the game – a playoff game – where the only thing that matters is winning.

Washington’s late season run to the NFC East title deserves celebrating. In his first year as head coach, Ron Rivera more than doubled the team’s win total from 2019 to 2020 and his team showed legit improvement in all facets.

The Burgundy and Gold have real weapons on both sides of the field, young players that will make a difference for years to come. Guys like Chase Young, Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Montez Sweat, Kam Curl, Daron Payne and more.

Still, don’t confuse any of that with Washington being a true competitor with the Super Bowl champs.

Tampa never trailed in their Wild Card triumph in Washington, not to mention the Bucs 11-5 regular season record against Washington’s 7-9 regular season record. The Bucs finished the regular season +137 over 16 games. Washington finished +6 in the same timeframe. 

That Wild Card game was a lot of fun. Taylor Heinicke played incredible and gave Washington a chance.

But the football team still gave up more than 500 yards of total offense. Tom Brady seemed to score whenever he needed to, and Washington never once held the lead.

Washington fans should be encouraged about the team’s growth in 2020. In a major way.

But don’t confuse a relatively close Wild Card loss with Super Bowl success. That’s the definition of Ashburn Syndrome.

Tampa won the Wild Card round in Washington. They won the divisional round in New Orleans. They won the NFC Championship in Green Bay, and then Tampa went on to win the Super Bowl. 

Washington had a big season of improvement and encouragement. Still, don’t get too excited because of a relatively close Wild Card loss. 

The goal is Super Bowls. The goal is playoff wins. It’s hard to remember for many, and impossible for some, but Washington Football used to mean competing at the highest levels. That means wins. That doesn’t mean celebrating losses.

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