The Washington Football Team won the NFC East and snuck into the playoffs with an abysmal seven wins last season. Even though Ron Rivera won the division and made the dance in his first year as a head coach, the WFT had a large question mark at the QB position. The reigning NFC East champs answered this question mark by adding a unique legend and fan favorite, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is joining a team that is giving him a better opportunity to start than his most recent past squads (Miami, Tampa Bay), despite his electric performances. The journeyman signal-caller will likely not only start, but he could put up explosive numbers in year one. Here are a few reasons why the 38-year-old could hold up to his “nickname” on a consistent basis and make his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance.
NFC East competition
This isn’t a sexy reason, but Fitzmagic could stack up his numbers by virtue of playing in four games where the opponents feature dreadful defenses. These opponents would be the Philadelphia Eagles (19th ranked in 2020) and Dallas Cowboys (23rd ranked in 2020).
The outlook for the Philly defense and Boys defensive unit doesn’t appear to provide reason for massive swings of improvement. The Eagles defense improved on the backend with adding Anthony Harris in free agency, but their CB position continues to be worrisome after Darius Slay on the depth chart. The Eagles will also have a new scheme to learn with Jim Schwartz out of the city of brotherly love.
The Cowboys provided little reason to believe the 2021 model will be more efficient than the 2020 defensive unit. The Cowboys drafted big-time playmaker Micah Parsons, so the rookie should be a spark and long-term solution since Jaylon Smith/Leighton Vander Esch have mightily struggled to regain their 2019 form. Nonetheless, the same inconsistent secondary looms and the pass rush took a blow with the loss of Aldon Smith.
Top weapons in his career
Believe it or not, Fitzmagic is entering a situation where he doesn’t only appear to be the favorite candidate to start, but a scenario where he will yield the best skill players he’s seen on the same practice field. Terry McLaurin will be the top wideout he’s played with since Andre Johnson. I believe McLaurin can be at the level of Mike Evans and he’s been near that caliber with some of the worst possible QB situations. WFT also added Curtis Samuel to the offense — one of the most explosive players in space and in the vertical passing game.
The WFT also exhibits two of the most underrated skill players in the league: J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas. McKissic caught 80 passes and notched 589 yards last season. Thomas was a consistent mismatch while recording the third most receptions by a TE last season.
Fitzmagic carries more than a strong chance to run away with the starting gig in 2021. The bearded QB that continues to be like fine wine at his position, could oust a Pro Bowl like campaign with the combination of pedestrian battles and explosive pieces around him.