The Washington Football Team Is Building Momentum for a Late Season Run

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The Washington Football Team is building momentum for a late-season run as they seek their third consecutive win when they face the Seattle Seahawks. A Washington win against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football would bring their record to 5-6 and keep the team in contention for a NFC wildcard spot.  The initial stages of Washington’s momentum building are reminiscent of the 2012 Washington team. The 2012 team won seven consecutive games following their bye week en route to winning the NFC East title. 

Washington Football Team Building Momentum Toward Late Season Run

Building Momentum Coming off of a Bye Week

Both teams went into their respective bye weeks on a losing streak. The 2012 team was on a three-game losing streak heading into their Week 10 bye. This season Washington went into their Week 9 bye on a four-game losing streak. 

Following the bye week, the 2012 team defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 31-6. A Washington offense that had only managed 25 points in their previous two games rebounded with a solid performance. After giving up a combined 48 points in the last two matchups without causing a turnover, the defense also recovered, only allowing six points and forcing three turnovers. 

In 2021, Washington faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game most favored the Buccaneers to win. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke led the Washington offense to 29 points after the unit had scored 10 points in each of their previous two games. The defense forced Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady into two interceptions as Washington upset the defending Super Bowl Champions 29-19. 

A Momentum Sustaining Formula

The 2012 team relied on a balanced offensive attack with quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris. Griffin’s ability to run the ball always made him a threat for opposing defenses. Washington led the league in rushing yards with 2,709. 

Establishing the run made the play-action game more effective as Griffin passed for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns. Protecting the football was also an essential part of the formula as the Washington offense only lost 14 turnovers which were the fewest in the league. Most did not consider the 2012 Washington defense elite, but timely plays helped them win the turnover battle. Washington won the turnover battle in each game of their seven-game winning streak.

In 2021, an increased emphasis on running the ball has been a key to Washington’s success. In Week 10, Washington went on a 19 play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter, taking 10:26 off the clock. The drive included a mix of runs and passes that ended with a touchdown run by running back Antonio Gibson. In Week 11, Washington dominated the time of possession and ran for 190 yards to win over the Carolina Panthers.  

Washington has won the turnover battle in their matchups against the Buccaneers and Panthers. Heinicke has protected the ball and made good decisions. He has thrown for four touchdowns and zero interceptions over the last two weeks.

Suppose the 2021 Washington team can continue to build momentum with a win against the Seahawks. In that case, they will put themselves in a better position to defend their NFC East title and return to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991.

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