The Washington Football Team faces +5000 to win Super Bowl LVI, according to BetUS. Yeah, and they may have the most complete roster in football when you break things down.
But does that mean they’re a good bet?
Judging from last season’s 7-9, 7-10 if you count their playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then things look bleak. But this team performed much better than you realize and if they build upon it with stability for the first time in years, watch out.
The Footballers, as some are now calling them, boast one of the best defenses in the National Football League. And now that they have a quarterback that can produce, even an aging journeyman in Ryan Fitzpatrick, then they might just surprise you.
Ready to learn more?
Washington Football Team Offseason
Washington had a great team in 2020. Much better than experts and fans give them credit for. Had they just played Alex Smith the second doctors cleared him to play, who knows what could have been. But they went with Dwayne Haskins and struggled early.
They’re looking to avoid this little caveat in 2021, so the Football Team signed journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, believe it or not, ranks among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks in the game’s history in touchdown passes, having tossed 223 and will threaten to pass Steve Young, Donovan McNabb, and Jim Kelly in 2021, among other high-profile names on the all-time list.
But Fitzpatrick wasn’t the only signee. Washington also added the reliable Adam Humphries, plus a couple of linemen in tackle Charles Leno Jr., and center Tyler Larson. But perhaps no one brought more excitement than Curtis Samuel, a former teammate of WR1 Terry McLaurin.
But they didn’t stop there. They drafted tackle Samuel Cosmi in the second round and picked up linebacker Jamin Davis in the first to replace the retired Thomas Davis.
So yeah, Washington was already a decent team who just brought in a decent haul of free agents and draftees.
Now, they must take the next step. Let’s talk about their offense.
Washington Football Team Offense
Washington’s offense struggled in 2020, having finished 30th in the league. Worse yet, Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins combined for 11 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, to go with just over 3,000 passing yards. Fitzpatrick will remedy that in about two seconds.
And if you’re looking to place a bet on Washington, you too will be glad to have Fitzpatrick in the driver’s seat, given the sheer talent on the offensive side of the ball. Running back Antonio Gibson broke out with 11 tushing touchdowns and 795 yards on the ground.
From potential to production
Antonio Gibson burst onto the scene in 2020, and he's just getting started 💯
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) April 5, 2021
J.D. McKissic contributed with 80 receptions from the backfield, finishing second only to Terry McLaurin in receptions. Another reason Washington lacked success in the passing game is that besides tight end Logan Thomas, who also experienced a breakout season, they lacked a true WR2 to line up opposite McLaurin.
Enter Curtis Samuel, a dangerous dual-threat receiver who broke out during his final season with the Carolina Panthers. Samuel also played for Rivera during his days in Carolina, so there is an obvious connection here.
Let’s move onto the offensive line, a unit that allowed 50 sacks in 2020 and tied for 29th in the NFL. However, with the immobile Haskins, it’s easy to see why Washington’s line struggled.
However, Morgan Moses is a stalwart, as is Brandon Scherff. Chase Roulier earned a contract extension, so he’ll be back again. If Ereck Flowers can repeat his previous performances in Washington and Cosmi catches on quickly, they will complete this offensive unit in 2021.
And unlike 2020, you will have a lot of fun watching the Washington offense light up the scoreboard.
Washington Football Team Defense and Special Teams
The Washington defense served as the primary reason they won the NFC East in 2020. They ranked second in the league, and they hit the top 10 in every major category except for rushing defense (13th), and turnover differential (23rd).
They ranked second in total defense, second in passing defense, fourth in points allowed, fifth in interceptions, and sixth in sacks, having logged 47 of them. Now in 2021, they’re looking to repeat their success.
And it begins with their big defensive line, comprising Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, and their youngest link but the newest leader, Chase Young. And we cannot forget about their fifth man, Matt Ioannidis, who if he played anywhere else, would probably be a starter.
Jon Bostic led the team with 118 tackles, but he won’t have to be the sole performer at linebacker given the arrival of Jamin Davis.
Cole Holcomb played well in his 10 starts and 11 appearances in 2020 and looks poised to build upon his success in which he posted 70 tackles. And remember another former player for Rivera in David Mayo. Look for Mayo to insert himself into the rotation often to give the others a break.
In the secondary, William Jackson III was arguably the team’s best signing on the defensive side of the ball. Jackson never had the ball thrown his way in Cincinnati, and given the team’s lack of success was never recognized as the shutdown corner he is.
— NFL (@NFL) April 2, 2021
Kendall Fuller came and performed well during his first season back in D.C., after spending time in Kansas City. He played well enough to lead the team in interceptions with 4. If Darryl Roberts can revive his career in D.C., Washington has quite a lethal trio of corners for the first time in ages.
Washington drafted Kamren Curl in the seventh round in 2020 and no one expected anything out of him. He ended up starting 10 games and he played in all 16. He finished second on the team with 88 tackles, and third with 3 interceptions.
It’s safe to say Curl wasn’t just a draft-day steal; he’s a starter for years to come on this remarkable Washington Football Team defense.
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) June 28, 2021
And finally, there’s Landon Collins, who we can safely say is the leader of the unit. He only played in 7 games during his second year in D.C., but if he’s willing to morph back into the player he was as a member of the New York Giants, Washington’s defensive backfield will have found their own Legion of Boom.
Dustin Hopkins returns once again as the team’s kicker, but he must get more accurate having converted just 79.4 percent of his kicks in 2020. Tress Way, however, is among the league’s best punters.
And with a defense as good as Washington’s you can expect them to often win the field position contest.
Will Washington be a Good Bet?
Washington is one of the most complete teams in football from the coaching staff downward. It’s safe to say that Ryan Fitzpatrick, good as he can be with this offense, is probably the weak link.
If Washington had someone like Kirk Cousins (a former quarterback for them) or Ryan Tannehill, or even Jimmy Garoppolo, they’d be looking at far better odds of winning the Super Bowl than +5000.
Even so, as complete as this team is, it’s hard to bet against them. Defense wins championships, and they have a championship-caliber defense. Especially along the defensive line. And it always helps that Ron Rivera is a defensive-minded coach who has employed Jack Del Rio to coordinate his defense.
The offense is in much better hands with Fitzpatrick, and given the sheer talent in players like Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin, they have a chance to rise far above their 30th-ranked unit of 2020.
So, Washington is a good Super Bowl bet for their value. But at the same time, given the talent in the NFC, especially in the NFC West, they must win their division for a guaranteed playoff spot and a chance at winning the Super Bowl.
If you think they can win the NFC East, or even beat out one of those strong NFC West teams via a tiebreaker, then Washington is a good bet. If you don’t believe so, go with another team. They appear to be poised, but so do their longtime rival, the Dallas Cowboys.
Washington is a much better team than what their +5000 Super Bowl odds indicate. Therefore, they could be a steal if you bet on them to win it all. However, the NFC also has so much talent that they’re still hard to bet on unless you feel they will take the division.
Their defense is now championship-caliber, and their offense may be there too. But then again, will you trust Ryan Fitzpatrick when he has been so-so in previous stops? Regardless of his ascent on the all-time passing touchdowns list.
What are your thoughts on Washington? Good Super Bowl bet, or will you go elsewhere?