Orlovsky thinks Washington has best chance to knock off Bucs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers are defending Super Bowl champions and have retained all 22 starters from their Lombardi Trophy-winning team. As the 2021 season is getting closer to beginning, it’s clear that the Bucs are the consensus team to beat in the NFC.
During Wednesday morning’s edition of Get Up, however, the popular ESPN talk show ran a segment asking each panelist to name the one club they believe has the best chance of knocking off the reigning champions. The answer from former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky might be surprising to some.
“I think if that we go forward and we write the headline, ‘Who might knock [the Bucs] off?’, it will read ‘The Washington Football Team giantly turned back the hand of time and their front four dominates Tampa’s offense,'” Orlovsky said.
Yeah, you read that right. Orlovsky believes that Washington — yes, Washington — has the best chance of the other 15 NFC clubs to knock off the Buccaneers.
As for why he’s so bullish about Washington, Orlovsky quickly pointed to the team’s stellar defense, one that should be even better than the top-five unit it was last year.
“I think this defense will be the best defense in football. It’s the best defensive line in football,” Orlovsky said. “William Jackson, the addition at corner, is huge. [Jamin] Davis, the draft pick out of Kentucky, he should be a really good player.”
One year ago, Jack Del Rio’s unit finished second in yards allowed and tied for the second-most sacks. As Orlovsky said, the additions of Jackson and Davis, Washington’s first-round pick, should only make the group stronger.
Orlovsky isn’t the only one who is high on Washington entering 2021, either.
Last week, ESPN ran the same segment during Get Up with different panelists, and former NFL defensive tackle Sam Acho also said Washington has the best chance to unseat Tampa Bay. Acho’s choice was unpopular among his fellow panelists during that segment, but Orlovsky’s choice shows it’s clear he’s not the only one that believes in the Burgundy and Gold.
When it comes to how successful Washington will be in 2021, a lot depends on the offensive unit. Head coach Ron Rivera and his staff brought in multiple players this offseason, including veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and wideouts Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries, hoping to make the overall group more explosive.
What Washington’s offense does have going for it is that the collective group is one of the fastest in the league. Adding more speed this offseason was a priority for Rivera, and he certainly did that.
Between Samuel, Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and 2021 third-round draft pick Dyami Brown, the team has four players with 4.4 speed or better. Only the Kansas City Chiefs can truly rival that.
“Their offense should be the fastest offense in football,” Orlovsky said. “Fitzy is going to play good, their offensive line is better than people think. One team that could go knock off Tampa, or the most quick to do it, is Washington.”