Washington Football Team’s Offense Showing Improvement From Last Season

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The probability of an event can be described as a numerical value between zero and one. A zero probability means the likelihood of the event is impossible. A probability of one means the event will certainly occur. Now, let’s translate this concept to football. Prior to the start of the season, if fans were asked to determine the best unit on the Washington Football Team, where would each unit have fallen? The probability of the offense being the best unit would have been close to zero (if not zero). The probability of the defense being the best unit would have been one (or close to one). Special teams would have fallen somewhere between the two units. However, after the first two games of the season, it appears that the probability of the Washington Football Team’s offense being the best unit may be much higher than previously thought.  

Washington Football Team’s Offense Helping Round Out Team in 2021

Improvement on Offense

An offensive upgrade in the off-season has contributed to the early success of the unit, as has Taylor Heinicke being under center. Last season, Washington averaged around 20.9 points per game. The team scored at least 30 points only one-time last season. The highest-scoring game for Washington last season was 41 points, which they put up in a win over the Dallas Cowboys. In just two games this season Washington has already scored 30 points in their dramatic Week 2 win over the New York Giants.

The team is also averaging 333 yards of total offense per game through two games this season. In 2020, the team averaged 317.25 yards of total offense per game. Through the first two games, passing yards per game have increased by about 10 yards compared to 2020. The ground game is also benefitting with a six yards per game increase so far in 2021. At this pace, the Washington offense is poised to improve in every offensive category this season.  

A Defensive Approach

With a defensive line that includes four first-round draft picks and off-season moves to improve the secondary, it is clear that Washington was trying to build a defense that can lead the way. In 2020, the Washington defense held their opponents under 21 points per game. In the first two games of the season, the defense has given up an average of 24.5 points per game. The defense allowed only 191.8 yards per game through the air last season. Only three quarterbacks, Jared Goff, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady threw for over 300 yards against the Washington defense. Through two games this season, the defense is allowing 281 passing yards per game, and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 334 yards in a Week 1 win against Washington.

Third-down efficiency was a reason Washington lost to the Chargers in Week 1. The defense rebounded in Week 2 and the Giants completed only four out of 12 third-down conversions. However, a key miscue almost spelled doom for Washington’s fourth-quarter comeback against the Giants. A blown coverage in the secondary left Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton wide open for what could have been a game-sealing touchdown. However, Slayton was unable to make the catch and the defense held the Giants to a field goal to end the drive. 

Special Teams

With the emergence of kick returner DeAndre Carter and the solid play of punter Tress Way, the special teams unit continues to be solid for Washington. As a kick-returner, Carter keeps the crowd on the edge of their seat wondering when he is going to take one to the house. Tress Way’s punts have continually left opponents with poor starting field position, which spells trouble for an opposing offense. Kicker Dustin Hopkins was almost run out of FedEx Field after missing a game-winning field goal against the Giants in Week 1. Fortunately for Hopkins, a Giants penalty gave him another attempt to win the game. On the second try, he took full advantage of the opportunity. If Hopkins can continue to build on his career 84 percent field goal percentage, he will be able to help Washington win close games. 

A Winning Formula

With an offense that is exceeding expectations, a defense that is making key plays, and a special teams group that is emerging, Washington is developing a formula that will help them build on their 2020 win total. Surprisingly, looking at the probability of which unit will be the best may be a lot closer than previously thought. 

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