The Washington Football Team is 2-4 through six weeks with a matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on tap this Sunday.
It’s easy to see why Washington is almost a double-digit underdog for the game. After all, they’re playing arguably the hottest team in the NFL in one of the most hostile environments the league has to offer in Lambeau Field.
Oh, and Aaron Rodgers uncorked one of the most savage touchdown celebrations you’ll ever see in Green Bay’s Week 6 win over Chicago.
In sum, there’s not much to feel great about surrounding Washington. On top of high-priced players continuing to wither on the field, the organization is seemingly embroiled in a new controversy every couple of days.
Well, in light of all this doom and gloom, why don’t we put a positive spin on things and highlight some of Washington’s best performers this season?
Let’s see what Pro Football Focus’ grades look like.
Who are the Washington’s highest-graded PFF players in 2021?
If you’ve been following along this season, there shouldn’t be any real surprises here. Here’s a list of Washington’s top-performing players in 2021, per PFF. We’ll include snap counts for added context as well, because some non-starters ranked prominently across the board.
- Jonathan Allen (317 snaps): 90.5 overall grade
- Wes Schweitzer (178 snaps): 81.8 overall grade
- Cornelius Lucas (119 snaps): 79.2 overall grade
- Matt Ioannidis (207 snaps): 77.0 overall grade
- Terry McLaurin (369 snaps) 77.0 overall grade
- Sam Cosmi (272 snaps): 77.0 overall grade
- Chase Young (369 snaps): 75.1 overall grade
- Chase Roullier (389 snaps): 74.9 overall grade
Again, no surprises here. Some honorable mentions who just missed the cut include Montez Sweat (74.7), who’s had a bigger impact than his stats suggest, and Charles Leno (74.0), who’s been superb at left tackle after his whiff in Week 1 that left quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick writhing in pain.
Getting back to the other group, Jonathan Allen has been Washington’s best player this season. Period. Through six games, the newly-minted $74 million lineman has 24 tackles (five for loss), three sacks. His 14 QB hits are just one shy of his career-high, so Allen has clearly taken his game to another level.
Behind him, you’ll find Schweitzer and Lucas, who are providing some of the best backup work of any reserve OL in the league. Both players flourish in pass protection, so it’s no wonder Taylor Heinicke has only been sacked five times.
Ioannidis has been a stalwart as the backup interior tackle behind Allen and Daron Payne. The former fifth-round pick won’t nab headlines, but he does the little things that helps his teammates get home in the backfield.
We really don’t have to go in deep on McLaurin. He’s an ascending star at the wide receiver position and deserved a higher mark than 77.0, especially when you consider how dominant he’s been on contested targets.
Cosmi is next up. The second-round pick is already one of the best run-blocking right tackles in the game. He needs to improve in pass pro, but that’ll come with time. Bottom line, Washington looks to have found its RT of the future.
As for Chase Young, well, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year has silenced his critics after a slow start to the year. Entering Week 6, he had the most defensive snaps (308) of any defender without a missed tackle.
Young might only have two sacks, but his pass-rush win rate and pressure output are what you would expect for a player of his caliber.
Last, but certainly not least, is Chase Roullier, who might just be the most underrated center in all of football. On top of being a stud blocker, he’s does brilliant pre-snap work to get the entire offensive line in order. Put some respect on his name.
That should just about do it.
While all of these players deserve their 15 seconds of fame for showing up in a season where so many big-named players have ghosted, it speaks volumes that there was no mention of the quarterback, cornerback and safety positions.
That tells you all you need to know about the first six weeks. Outside of McLaurin, Washington’s identity has been carried by the big fellas up front.