Washington Football Team 2021 Season Awards

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The 2021 Washington Football Team season fell short of expectations. The team finished third in the NFC East with a 7-10 record. Despite underperforming in 2021, the future looks bright for Washington. The team will unveil its new name on February 2, 2022, and look to make some significant roster moves this off-season. Before we look forward to next season, let’s take a moment to acknowledge players’ achievements in what could be Washington’s last season as the “Football Team.”

2021 Washington Football Season Team Awards

Most Valuable Player: Terry McLaurin

In a season filled with ups and downs, the play of wide receiver Terry McLaurin was a constant. McLaurin led Washington in targets (130), receptions (77), receiving yards (1053), receiving touchdowns (7), receptions per game (4.5), and receiving yards per game (61.9). McLaurin finished second on the team in yards from scrimmage (1065), only behind running back Antonio Gibson. 2022 is the final year of McLaurin’s rookie contract, and Washington must make signing him to an extension a priority.

Offensive Player of the Year: Antonio Gibson

Gibson led a rushing attack that at times was reminiscent of the tough, physical, ball-control offense Washington played in the 80s and 90s. In his second season at running back, Gibson cracked the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career. Gibson led the team in rushing attempts (258), rushing yards (1037), and rushing touchdowns (7). Gibson also led the team in total touches (300), yards for scrimmage (1331), and total touchdowns (10). In 2022, Gibson needs to limit his fumbles as he looks to have consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jonathan Allen

As a unit, the Washington defense underachieved based on pre-season expectations. The defensive line, which includes four first-round draft picks, was projected to be Washington’s strongest defensive position group. Despite playing without defensive ends Chase Young and Montez Sweat for much of the season, Jonathan Allen continued to anchor the Washington defensive line. Allen’s consistent play this season led to his first Pro Bowl selection. He led the team in sacks (9), tackles for loss (10), and quarterback hits (30).

Comeback Player of the Year: Taylor Heinicke

Comeback Player of the Year is generally a player who makes a triumphant return from injury. In Heinicke’s case, he did not return from injury, but he did demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity this season. After losing out on being named the starter to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Heinicke ultimately became the starter after Fitzpatrick suffered what would later be deemed a season-ending injury in Week 1. Washington went 2-1 in Heinicke’s first three starts, then lost four consecutive games.

Washington went on to win four consecutive games against quarterbacks Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Derek Carr, with Heinicke as the starter. A quarterback who was an unknown helped Washington contend for the NFC East title with five games remaining. Heinicke also demonstrated his toughness and durability starting 15 games for Washington this season.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Sam Cosmi

Gibson owes much of his success this season to the consistent play of the Washington offensive line. This season, many believed the defensive line would be the dominant line, but the offensive line had other ideas. Rookie offensive lineman Sam Cosmi immediately impacted the line as a rookie. Cosmi was a part of a Washington offensive line that led the way for 2,061 rushing yards and was among the league leaders in average pocket time. Cosmi started nine games this season and played 100 percent of the offensive snaps in seven out of nine games. Injuries limited Cosmi this season but expect him to continue to be a factor in 2022.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jamin Davis

Inconsistent can best describe Jamin Davis’ play this season. Notwithstanding this, Davis finished the season among the team leaders with 76 combined tackles and 48 solo tackles. Davis also recorded one sack, three tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. Expect an improved sophomore campaign for Davis, who has shown glimpses of why Washington selected him in the first round in 2020.

Most Improved Player: Cole Holcomb

Washington linebacker Cole Holcomb continues to improve his play each season. This season Holcomb recorded career highs in combined tackles (142), solo tackles (83), and assisted tackles (59). Holcomb also recorded his first career interception and his first career fumble recovery. With injuries plaguing the defense, Holcomb stepped up to the challenge and emerged as a leader for the Washington defense this season.

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