Why the 2021 Washington Football Team Roster Does Not Measure Up

Washington Football Team Roster
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After losing to the Buffalo Bills 43-21 on Sunday, the Washington Football Team showed it does not measure up against the elite teams in the NFL. Ahead of their Week 3 match-up against the Bills, Washington head coach Ron Rivera described the game as a “measuring stick” for his team. A win over the Bills would have continued Washington’s emergence as one of the better teams in the NFL. Washington’s loss left fans and critics wonder whether Washington can be a playoff team in 2021. As the team prepares to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4, let’s take a look at why the Washington Football Team roster is not measuring up to the elite teams.

Why the Washington Football Team Roster Does Not Measure Up So Far

Defensive Inconsistency

Through the first three games of the season, the Washington defensive line has been unable to consistently get pressure on the quarterback. The lack of a consistent pass rush has exposed the secondary. The Washington secondary has given up 944 passing yards and six passing touchdowns in the first three games. Third-down inefficiency has also been a problem for the defense. Opponents are converting third-downs about 59 percent of the time. This means the defense cannot get off the field allowing the opponent to control the time of possession. Washington has lost the time of possession battle in each of their first three games. Most expected the defense to be dominant this season. However, the defense has not lived up to expectations. Washington may need to consider putting more pressure on the quarterback to ease the pressure on the secondary.

Youthful Inexperience

The average age of Washington’s 53-man roster is about 26 years old. The roster’s average years of NFL experience is about four. While Washington’s roster includes NFL veterans like tight end Logan Thomas, safety Landon Collins and defensive back William Jackson III, there are also a number of players on Washington’s roster with limited NFL experience. For example, Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke. While the 28 year-old Heinicke is in his fourth-year in the league, on Sunday he will be making only his fourth career start. Heinicke has shown glimpses of why he could keep the starting job when Ryan Fitzpatrick returns from injury. However, at times Heinicke has made mistakes that are a result of inexperience.

Against the Bills, Heinicke’s threw two “inexperienced interceptions.” The first interception came on a late throw to wide receiver Terry McLaurin.  The second came on pass that Heinicke tried to force to wide receiver Adam Humphries. Washington’s youth is not limited to the age and experience of its players. It is also the amount of time the players have been together as a team. This is just the second year with Rivera at the helm and he is still working to build a formidable roster. The coaching staff is still working to implement a scheme that matches their roster talent, while instilling a winning mentality in franchise that has not won a Super Bowl since 1991.

Lessons Learned?

Washington’s loss to the Bills last Sunday proved that Washington does not measure up to the elite teams yet. Heading into Sunday’s game with the Falcons, Washington has an opportunity to prove that they learned from last week’s loss. Expect to see improved play both sides of the ball. Look for an aggressive defensive and an offense that makes plays in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

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