Three bold predictions for the Washington Football Team in 2021: Top-ranked defense leads team to playoff win

The Washington Football Team is coming off of what was really a wild season. It started with the team changing its name and the new head coach being diagnosed with cancer, but ended with a divisional title and a backup quarterback putting legitimate pressure on Tom Brady in the postseason. While the quarterback question is still unanswered, Washington has one of the best defenses in the league. Overall, it looks like this franchise is on the right track.

Will Ryan Fitzpatrick play the role of starter all season? Could Washington run it back and win the NFC East again? Could they win a playoff game or even shock the league by winning a couple? Let’s examine three bold predictions for Washington’s 2021 season, and we will start with the stout defense.

Washington will have the No. 1 defense in the league

Washington had the No. 2 defense in the league last year behind the Los Angeles Rams — who allowed an average of 22.7 fewer yards of total offense per game. That will change in 2021, as we predict Washington will have the No. 1 defense in the league. I believe this defense is much better than last year’s. The front four is obviously stacked with Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat, and then the linebacking corps should receive a huge boost in the form of first-round pick Jamin Davis. The secondary is where we could see the most improvement, however.

Washington had the No. 2 pass defense in the league last season, but the pass-rush had a big hand in that. Now, Washington has a talented, legitimate No. 1 cornerback in free-agency addition William Jackson. Washington also returns Landon Collins from injury, and seemingly everyone is excited to see what second-year safety Kamren Curl has in store for 2021. Benjamin St-Juste and Bobby McCain are also underrated additions who provide valuable depth. 

Dyami Brown will be Washington’s offensive surprise in 2021

Running back Antonio Gibson proved to be Washington’s offensive surprise last year, and this year it will be rookie wide receiver Dyami Brown. The speedster out of North Carolina averaged at least 20 yards per catch over the past two seasons, but he offers more than just his wheels and ability to hurt defenses downfield. By all accounts, Brown really has looked like a well-rounded weapon in camp even though that’s not how he was advertised. But he still should open things up for Washington’s other weapons. Ron Rivera said as much this past week. 

“He’s a guy that I think can really help offset some of the things Terry [McLaurin] had to deal with,” Rivera said, (H/T 247Sports). “He can help open things up for Logan [Thomas]. He’s going to help Curtis [Samuel] out, Adam [Humphries] going to be a big part of that as well. And in the running game. So you know, when you have that kind of threat people have to take you seriously, so he’s gonna fit very nicely into that.”

Washington’s wide receivers room looks crowded, but Brown could end up being the No. 3 guy. He may not record 80-plus catches like Terry McLaurin, but Brown is someone who can make an impression with every catch he records. He has been drawing rave reviews from many in camp, according to Jordan Reid of The Draft Network, who has heard that Brown is showing he’s going to be much more than just the “deep threat guy.” 

Washington wins a playoff game

Washington has not won a playoff game since the 2005 season, but we say that changes in 2021. So what are the keys to this goal? Well, staying healthy is obviously huge, but consistency and good play at the quarterback position is just as important. Taylor Heinicke was able to play the game of his life against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round, but imagine if Washington had a legitimate starting quarterback under center for that game. Hopefully Fitzpatrick can play good ball throughout the whole season, because this Washington team should have a good chance to win a postseason matchup this year.

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