Name or No Name, the WFT is Legit

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Hosted by
Jay Patel

Born and raised near Chicago, IL. Huge fan of the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and Cubs. Currently in my junior year of college at Indiana State University. Sports enthusiast, fitness fanatic, and music lover.

When the Washington Redskins changed their name to the Washington Football Team, there was so much negativity surrounding them. Nobody really took them seriously with a name like that. Additionally, since they reside in the NFC East, nobody expected much from them. Fast forward to the end of the season, and the WFT should be getting much respect from the league. Their first big moment came when Alex Smith (CPOY favorite) took down the 11-0 Steelers. Then, it was a fight to the finish for the NFC East title, but the WFT got the win against Philly in Week 17 to secure the 4th seed in the NFC. Their resilient effort came up short against Brady and the Bucs in the Wild Card, but Taylor Heinicke and the WFT are legit.

Is Heinicke the Guy?

Taylor Heinicke, 27-year old undrafted QB from Old Dominion, made his second start for the WFT on Saturday. And was it a big one. Going against the GOAT in Tom Brady is no easy task, but Heinicke made it a battle. He completed 26 of his 44 passes for 306 yards, one TD, and one pick. Furthermore, he added 46 rushing yards (team-high), including a highlight-reel diving TD score which resulted in a separated shoulder. He still finished the game. Heinicke made all the right plays, made the right reads, and made several big-time throws. Even on his INT in the first quarter, the ball was tipped, and landed right into the hands of Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, but the read was right.

Heinicke shined bright on the big stage

The WFT have had too many QBs start the last couple of seasons. Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Heinicke, Colt McCoy, and Case Keenum have all suited up as QB. Smith played solid football since his return, and there’s no question he can handle a backup or even starting role. However, Heinicke does offer more value because of his running ability which we saw plenty of. It wouldn’t hurt to have him return and start a few more games to see what he’s got. The kid deserves another shot.

D-Line Domination

Jonathan Allen (2017), Daron Payne (2018), Montez Sweat (2019), and Chase Young (2020) are all first round draft selections. Payne made the biggest impact in the Wild Card game with two sacks and a forced fumble. Washington has built a dominating front four that is still getting better, and the success of the Washington D all starts with the front four.

Young delivered in his first pro season, tallying 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. He didn’t get his sack on Tom Brady, but Young is an energetic pass rusher and an enthusiastic teammate. We saw it yesterday when he celebrated with Heinicke after his heroic TD run. Moreover, Young has already been named a captain on the team, and his contributions both on and off the field will keep getting bigger.

Young lived up to the hype in his rookie season

Diamonds in the Rough

There are many more players who have shined for the WFT this season that aren’t household names. For starters. TE Logan Thomas became a favorite target of the WFT QBs. The 29-year old Thomas finished the regular season with 72 receptions for 670 yards and six scores. In addition, he caught five passes for 72 yards in the loss to the Buccaneers. Thomas has spent time with the Cardinals, Bills, Lions, and in his first season with the WFT, he may have just found a long-term home.

Logan Thomas has found a home with the WFT

Undrafted out of Alabama, 25-year old Cam Sims is making a name for himself. He shined on the big stage, hauling in seven catches for 104 yards. There is a connection with him and QB Taylor Heinicke. Sims missed the 2018 season after getting placed on IR (ankle). He only appeared in seven games during the 2019 season, but in 2020, he played in all 16 games, including yesterday’s playoff game. When healthy, Sims has shown he can be a reliable target, and has lots of potential. Terry McLaurin is the No. 1 receiver on the team, but Sims is a solid target alongside McLaurin.

Kamren Curl wasn’t undrafted, but he was taken in the seventh round of the 2020 draft, and the 21-year old Curl stepped up big after an injury to Landon Collins. He concluded the regular season with 63 tackles and four interceptions. Additionally, he had seven tackles in the Wild Card game. With all the 1st round draft picks spent on the D-Line, the WFT found a late-round gem in Curl. Like Sims, he’ll keep growing and getting better.

Kamren Curl made the most of his rookie season

The Future is Bright

The NFC East will be stronger next year with the return of Dak Prescott and a full season of Jalen Hurts. However, this is the Washington Football Team’s division. They’ll be looking to make it two straight division titles. One things for sure, and it’s that they have the best defense in the division. Who knows, maybe Heinicke will get the starting job and lead an underrated Washington squad back to the playoffs. With around $40 million in cap space and the draft, this team can get even stronger. They are just a few pieces away from being legit contenders. The future is bright for the Washington Football Team.

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