Peter King ‘bullish’ on Washington Football Team entering 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Opinions on how the Washington Football Team will perform in 2021 are scattered all over the place, but longtime NFL analyst Peter King is optimistic about the club come this fall.
In his weekly Football Morning In America column on NBC Sports, King wrote that he is “bullish” on Washington entering next season and thinks they could reach double-digit wins, should they survive the early portion of the schedule.
“I’m bullish on this team—if Ryan Fitzpatrick is efficient leading the offense,” King wrote. “No guarantee there, because, well, there’s never a guarantee with Fitzmagic. This is a 9-8 or 10-7 team if it can survive Chargers-Bills-Saints-KC-Packers in the first seven weeks.”
After winning the NFC East in 2020 — albeit with a lowly 7-9 record — on the heels of its excellent defense, Washington went out and improved significantly on the other side of the ball this offseason.
The Burgundy and Gold signed Fitzpatrick on the first day of free agency, who at the very minimum should be an upgrade over the quartet of quarterbacks Washington sent on the field last fall. Plus, the team added offensive weapons in both free agency and the draft in Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and John Bates, all who should see significant playing time right away.
While Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense should be a lot better in his second year calling the plays, Washington’s defense remains the club’s strength and will likely dictate how far this team goes.
WFT coach Ron Rivera’s club ended the 2020 regular season with five wins in its final seven games, with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s unit being the primary reason for the significant turnaround.
“Washington went 5-2 down the stretch last year to steal the all-time-lousy NFC East, then gave the Bucs a game in the wild-card round,” King wrote. “In that 5-2 run, Washington allowed 15.9 points per game. Four of the wins came on the road (Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Philly), and each of those foes scored in the teens.”
King also said that Washington’s pass-rush duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat “might be the best young rush combination in the game,” which is high praise but also hard to argue against.
It won’t be easy for Washington to repeat as NFC East champs, but the longtime NFL analyst believes the franchise is on the rise.
“I think everyone looks at WFT and figures, Nothing to see here. They’ll fall to earth with a thud this year. Not me,” King wrote.