The Washington Football Team NFL Season Preview: Can the players block out the external noise?

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With off-the-field scandals taking its toll on the franchise, Jerome Taylor takes a look at the situation on-the-field and shares his season predictions for The Washington Football Team.

If one team reflects the dumpster fire that is 2020, it’s the Washington Football Team.

The team finally had a reckoning with its nickname. The owner has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, and the organization is currently under investigation for misconduct.

But, there’s a football season to be played. The players and new head coach Ron Rivera will have to block out the external noise if they want to ascend from the league’s basement in 2020.

Pick 1: Under 5 Wins (+118 at DraftKings)

Last year, the Washington Football Team clinched the number two draft pick, which lets you know one thing: they were not good. 

The team used that draft pick on uber-talented edge player, Chase Young. Young will add skill to a team that lacks it at almost every other position on the field. 

Washington is coming to a season where they should count on second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins on the offensive side. Haskins wasn’t a world-beater by any means last year, and it would take a tremendous leap for him to lead this team to a successful season. The likely outcome is that the turbulent team will be in a draft-pick race instead of a playoff race.

Picks 2 & 3: Terry McLaurin Over 1050.5 Receiving Yards & 5.5 TDs (-110)

One of the few bright spots from this team last year was Terry McLaurin. McLaurin became a fantasy darling in 2019 because he was one of the few productive members of last year’s offense. McLaurin garnered 919 yards and seven touchdowns last year. After spending the offseason training with Odell Beckham Jr., McLaurin expects to have similar production, if not more.

Considering the Washington Football Team will find themselves trailing a lot, they will drop back to pass more. Not to mention they don’t have a running game that can be relied upon to carry them. But even with a lackluster running game, new offensive coordinator Scott Turner will rely more heavily on play-action passes, boosting McLaurin’s numbers. McLaurin had 368 yards off play-action last year, even though Washington ranked 29th in play-action play calls in 2019. A more aggressive play-caller will bode well for McLaurin, and the people who take his overs.

Pick 4: Chase Young Defensive ROY (+200)

Chase Young was the second overall draft pick this year and for good reason. Young had 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss as a junior and finished fourth in Heisman voting. 

Young’s ability to disrupt the opposing offense’s game plans is why he was highly touted coming out of Ohio State. His ability to adjust his rush moves on the fly, combined with freakish speed and strength, is why many scouts considered him the “best talent” in his draft class. Young will be under Jack Del Rio’s tutelage, the same coach who developed Khalil Mack and Von Miller. Del Rio has been masterful at creating one-on-one opportunities for his great edge rushers to maximize their talent, ideal for a player like Young. 

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