Washington Football Team poised to disappoint again in Denver?

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 24: Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Football Team fumbles a ball during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 24: Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Football Team fumbles a ball during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

In the NFL, there are 3 categories of teams each season. The Super Bowl Contenders, The Going Nowheres and Tank Nation. The Denver Broncos are decidedly in the middle category, clearly too talented and well-coached defensively to be in full tank mode, but clearly not talented or well-coached enough on offense to be in Super Bowl contention. Add to that their bottom-5 quarterback situation, and they are destined to land somewhere outside the playoffs and outside the top 10 in next year’s NFL draft.

The Washington Football Team entered the season believing, and with many others believing, they might possibly be on the cusp of entering the ranks of the Super Bowl Contenders. At a minimum, they believed they could set themselves up to make that step next season.

Just seven weeks in, however, and they find themselves having crashed all the way through the ranks of The Going Nowheres and decidedly in a place where, let’s face it, they should be aggressively pursuing Tank Nation status. But, it doesn’t appear that reality has set in yet for them, so they’re apparently prepared to give their best efforts to scratch and claw their way out of the top 10 of next year’s NFL draft by winning a few meaningless games somewhere between now and January.

As a long-time WFT fan, I’m conditioned to watch Washington flail their way to mediocrity year after year. I fully expect Washington to end up winning just enough games that their current position at 9th in the draft ends up in the mid-to-late-teens, effectively guaranteeing they can’t make a franchise-transforming quarterback selection without selling the farm to move up. Such is the life of Washington Football fans. And since all you WFT fans out there are long-suffering enough, we’re going with a lightning-round Reality Checks session this week so you can move on and do something less depressing. So with that inspiring intro, let’s get started with the Washington Football Team Reality Checks for Week 8 at Denver.

5. The Reality Is, Taylor Heinicke’s botched end zone dive was emblematic of his season.

Massive opportunity squandered by a combination of insufficient skill and limited experience. Heinicke will hang around in the league as a backup for quite a while, but he’s now playing to ensure the length of his opportunity to do so, not for a chance to be a Week 1 starter ever again. It’s too bad because it could have been such an awesome story. But on the bright side, if he’s smart, he won’t ever have to sleep on a couch again.

4. The Reality Is, Landon Collins isn’t half bad as a linebacker.

This comes as a shock to nobody outside team headquarters who follows this team, but Landon Collins is dramatically better at linebacker than Landon Collins is at safety or Jon Bostic is at linebacker. Many fans have been screaming this for months. It’s mind-numbing that the coaching staff and front office just got around to acknowledging it. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they knew it and needed to let it play out to keep the owner happy. That may be naive, but I’m sticking with it, for now.

3. The Reality Is, the coaches and defense did enough to win in Green Bay.

If your game plan produces nearly 500 yards of offense and holds Green Bay to under 400 yards and only 24 points, then you should win. Unfortunately, Washington’s offense choked, time and again. 4 fumbles, 3 points off 7 trips inside the opponent’s 30 yard line, a dropped touchdown pass, and this:

If Washington plays that same way against Denver on Sunday but simply manages to eliminate the inexcusable mistakes offensively, they’ll walk away with their 3rd win of the season.

2. The Reality Is, if Washington doesn’t land a stud QB this offseason, Terry McLaurin shouldn’t re-sign here.

It makes my heart hurt to say it, but why would a professional wide receiver like Scary Terry sabotage their own career by agreeing to a long-term deal in quarterback hell? Washington should and must overpay or trade whatever it takes including Chase Young to get Russell Wilson or the #1 QB on their board this offseason because if you can’t keep Terry McLaurin, you won’t attract offensive talent, and if you can’t score points in this league, your defense can’t save you like it could in the 90s. It will be very interesting to see if Rivera can catch up to the league on this point and abandon his “don’t mortgage the future” mantra.

1. The Reality Is, this Week 8 clash features two bad teams probably fighting for the wrong things.

Washington and Denver should both be tanking to better their chances at drafting their future quarterbacks or trading high-end draft capital for proven veteran quarterbacks. But, both organizations have proven adept at riding the QB carousel, shuffling through mid-level QBs hoping to catch lightning in recycled beer bottles. In a battle of Taylor Heinicke versus Teddy Bridgewater, the winner will likely earn another start while the loser could easily benched for another uninspiring QB option. In a battle of floundering franchises with once-proud legacies, the true winner will be the team that manages to see encouraging signs from their young stars while securing the loss. With that in mind, I fully expect Washington to look terrible and somehow back into an ugly win. The Reality Is that Washington will most likely end up flying home with a 16-13 win amidst the confounded and conflicted commiseration of fans unsure whether to be relieved or irritated.

WFT takes a tumble in latest power rankings. dark. Next