Sam Acho believes Washington has best chance to unseat Buccaneers in NFC

Sam Acho believes WFT has best chance to unseat Bucs in NFC originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

In Tom Brady’s first year with the Buccaneers, the all-time great quarterback transformed Tampa Bay from borderline playoff contenders to Super Bowl champions. Now, after the Buccaneers retained all 22 starters in free agency, they are once again the favorites to win the NFC in 2021.

Outside of Tampa Bay, the Packers, Rams, and Seahawks are three of the more popular picks to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this fall. However, for ESPN analyst Sam Acho there’s a different team that has the best chance of unsetting the Buccaneers as the NFC’s best.

“I believe it’s the Washington Football Team,” Acho said on Get Up“Before you look at me like I’m crazy, let me explain.”

The former NFL defensive end, who once played for Tampa Bay, pointed to Washington’s incredible effort against the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the postseason last year as proof that the Burgundy and Gold are not far behind.

“Think about what happened last year during the playoffs,” Acho said. “Round 1, the Washington Football Team played [the eventual] Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I was watching that game, I had invested interest in that game because I had been released from the Bucs, so I kind of wanted the Bucs to lose. I was on the edge of my seat because they almost did it. It was a one-score game.”

Tampa Bay edged Washington in that contest, 31-23, but it took a last-minute defensive stand from the Buccaneers to hold off Taylor Heinicke and Washington from pulling off an improbable upset. Only Green Bay would come within one score of beating Tampa Bay the rest of the postseason.

As for why he’s so bullish on Washington entering 2021, Acho pointed to a few specific reasons.

“That defense is dominant. Daron Payne, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, the defense is dominant,” Acho said. “You’ve got an unbelievable coach. Yes, FitzMagic is there, but I’m not worried about anybody besides the Washington Football Team.”

The ESPN analyst’s take on Washington did not go over to well with co-panelist Jeff Saturday, as the former Colts center told Acho “I don’t know what you got into” with that choice.

Saturday, along with Get Up‘s other co-host Kimberley Martin, picked Green Bay as their selection for who has the best chance to defeat the Buccaneers in the NFC.

Acho stood firm with his pick of Washington, though, believing the culture Ron Rivera has installed in Washington will allow them to go a long way this season.

“Yes, I think the Cowboys have a great chance [to win the NFC], but the Washington Football Team has a great chance, a great culture,” Acho said. “It’s not about talent. It’s about culture, it’s about team, it’s about competition. That’s what you’re going to see in that locker room in Washington.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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