Terry McLaurin, it’s time to Put up your Dukes

Washington WR Terry McLaurin (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington WR Terry McLaurin (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

If you are a fan of the Washington Football Team, how can a Terry McLaurin jersey not be on your Christmas list? Since he arrived as a third-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2019 NFL draft, all McLaurin has done is make plays, despite playing with six different quarterbacks in his first three seasons. With better quarterback play during his rookie season, McLaurin easily would have eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards.

During his sophomore campaign, he posted 87 receptions for 1,118 receiving yards and four touchdowns. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Terry McLaurin is currently on pace to post the second 1,000 yard season of his career. Through the first 12 games for the Washington Football Team, McLaurin leads Washington in receiving with 61 catches for 808 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, Terry McLaurin was a non-factor on the stat sheet, as he recorded only three catches for 22 yards on five targets. With tight end Logan Thomas on IR for the remainder of the season, McLaurin will likely see an uptick in targets. Washington will have to score more than 17 points to beat the Dallas Cowboys. In two games against the Cowboys in 2020, Mclaurin was targeted 20 times by Washington quarterbacks, recording 14 catches for 182 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Terry McLaurin will likely be shadowed in coverage by defensive back Trevon Diggs this week. McLaurin is looking forward to the matchup as Diggs has been one of the best defensive backs in all of football this season. The Alabama product currently leads the NFL with nine interceptions.

Terry McLaurin has to step up for the Washington Football Team offense vs the Dallas Cowboys.

Coaches hope McLaurin’s college teammate and prized free-agent acquisition Curtis Samuel can get more snaps on offense. Samuel’s presence on the field should alleviate some attention from Washington’s number one receiving option. As Samuel gets closer to full strength, he should get more snaps on game day. However, Samuel is listed as questionable on the injury report because of his nagging groin injury. With Curtis Samuel likely on a pitch count, Terry McLaurin will be relied upon to make some plays downfield.

McLaurin is only averaging 13.2 yards per reception, but the Cowboys’ secondary has been susceptible to big plays. The defense is 28th (261.4 ypg) against the pass, but they have been opportunistic, ranking fifth (23) in turnovers and first (19) in interceptions.

McLaurin should be deployed all over the field on Sunday, especially in the slot. Cowboys defensive back Jourdan Lewis allows a 107.7 passer rating targeted by opposing quarterbacks. In addition, Cowboys’ number two cornerback Anthony Brown has shown the propensity to draw pass interference penalties. Despite his high interception total, Trevon Diggs has been on the receiving end of a few highlights. If I’m offensive coordinator Scott Turner, I’m attacking each of Dallas’ primary cornerbacks from different alignments.

The Dallas defense will prioritize to contain Antonio Gibson and the Washington running game. With the Cowboys’ defense selling out to stop the run, passing lanes should open up downfield for McLaurin and the Washington offense. In these situations, they must take advantage of the Cowboys’ secondary.

Terry McLaurin and the Washington Football Team have an outside chance to repeat as division champions within the NFC East with five division games remaining. However, to make that chance more realistic, they will need to keep pace with a high-octane Dallas Cowboys offense. With the Cowboys boasting their three-headed monster at wide receiver with Micheal Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper, you can be assured that Terry McLaurin will be out to prove that he’s better than the trio this Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys.

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