Despite receiving tons of criticism last season, Dwayne Haskins was able to step up as Washington's signal-caller. According to recent reports, Haskins has shown progress, especially in terms of the mental side of football. This growth, coupled with reliable backups, like Alex Smith, should enable Washington to stay the course.
Following the arrest of Derrius Guice, Washington enters the season with a lackluster RB situation. While Adrian Peterson has the strength and tenacity to muster a 100-yard game occasionally, he is too inconsistent to be reliable. Bryce Love has a high ceiling too, but his low rank on the depth chart indicates that he still has injury issues to overcome.
Protection & Blocking
Washington's offensive line is a work in progress. Aside from Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses and Chase Roullier are the only returning starters. Although unlike Scherff, Moses and Roullier struggled, especially when it came to run blocking. Moreover, the entire left side of Washington's OL will be new players. Therefore, Ron Rivera will have his hands full revamping this offensive line.
Heading into 2020, Terry McLaurin is the lone bright spot in Washington's receiving corps. According to Pro Football Focus, McLaurin was the NFC East's most valuable wideout. This ranking makes sense because McLaurin can go deep, get yards after the catch, and has reliable hands. Although aside from McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr. is the only other player with the potential to emerge as a solid WR.
Skills Analysis Notes
Heading into next season, Washington's offense is lackluster on paper. Even though QB Dwayne Haskins has the potential to burst onto the scene in 2020, he still has a long way to go. This improvement will start by doing a better job of locating defenders in the passing lanes to avoid interceptions. However, it will be difficult to improve on a team that has to replace half of its offensive line and find a complement to Terry McLaurin. In fact, even in a league where NFL teams easily find running backs, Washington lacks a quality starter or depth. Therefore, they will likely continue to struggle to fix their consistency and improve from being the league's lowest-scoring offense a year ago.
Washington has one of the league's best defensive lines. This defensive line includes Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne along the interior, who each complement each other in terms of stopping the run and rushing the passer. Plus, they have two first-round picks in Chase Young and Montez Sweat, who have the power, speed, and strength to terrorize opposing offenses. In fact, Chase Young accumulated 16.5 sacks in just 12 games at Ohio State last season and is considered the best passer rushing prospec
This LB corps is pretty average on paper. Thomas Davis is a great veteran pick up who excelled with Ron Rivera in Carolina. Likewise, Reuben Foster is a baller with lots of potential to be productive. However, Davis is coming off a lackluster season, and Reuben Foster is returning from a near career-ending injury. Therefore, Washington will need to rely on Jon Bostic to improve along with Shaun Dion Hamilton to take the step to the next level.
Fortunately for Washington, Kendall Fuller will be returning to a team that badly needs him. After the departure (and arrest) of Quinton Dunbar, Washington needed a corner who will be able to cover the likes of Amari Cooper, Darius Slayton, and Desean Jackson. While Fuller is undersized, he has the coverage skills necessary to keep Washington in games. Furthermore, Landon Collins is a stud who will likely play more comfortably in his second year with the team.
Controlling Field Position
Skills Analysis Notes
While these skill rankings are relatively low, there is a lot for Washington fans to be happy for in terms of their defense. On the defensive line, Washington will be anchored by a daunting DL headlined by edge rusher Chase Young. The combination of Young, Matt Ioannidis, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, and Ryan Kerrigan will put pressure on opposing QBs. Additionally, they will likely kill drives and stop the run with ease as well. However, their lack of a dominant secondary will probably get them into trouble against the league's star wideouts.
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Unit Analysis
Dustin Hopkins is an adequate kicker and Tress Way is a tremendous punter who many fans love.
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
Amid all the chaos and dysfunction in Washington, Ron Rivera is the perfect coach to steer the team in the right direction. Rivera was beloved by the overwhelming majority of his former Panthers players and has the even keel temperament to manage Washington. Furthermore, his even keel persona will lead to quality decision making. Plus, he has a track record of developing players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, like Josh Norman and James Bradbury. However, he will need to do a slightly better job preparing his players after struggling last season to keep the Panthers engaged following the injury of Cam Newton.
The Washington Football Team is in better shape now than it was last season. Dwayne Haskins is progressing throughout training camp, especially in terms of reading defenses and going through his progressions. This mental progress will help keep Washington in games and prevent Haskins from literally throwing the game away. On the defensive side of the ball, Washington's DL has become an elite unit that will harass opposing offenses. The LB corps and DB room is still a work in progress, but Ron Rivera should assist with this.
Last season, did the team
meet your expectations?
Right now, this team is still in the midst of a deep rebuild. Washington's offensive line needs a complete retooling, especially along the left side, and it has yet to be seen whether Geron Christian or Wes Martin are capable of protecting Haskins. Speaking of Haskins, he will likely encounter problems early due to the lack of talent at the skilled positions. Aside from Terry McLaurin, Haskins will struggle to find a receiver to throw to or an RB to hand the ball off to either. In a division stacked with offensive talent, this will prevent them from winning the division. However, Washington's defense could propel them to 8-8 at best, and that is assuming a team like the Eagles regresses heavily.