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NFL power rankings countdown to training camp: Washington Football Team, No. 20

The 2021 NFL training camp is just around the corner. We break down the top 32 teams. Today, we look at the Washington Football Team who rank No. 20 in our preseason power rankings.

NFL: Washington Football Team Minicamp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team were one of the surprise stories in the 2020 season as they made the playoffs in Ron Rivera’s first year as the head coach. WFT also won the NFC East, despite playing four quarterbacks over the course of the regular season. The Football Team will try to replicate their 2020 success with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, backed up by a tremendous defense led by defensive end Chase Young.

2020 record

7-9

2020 defense

Points: 20.6 points per game, rank 4th
Yards: 4.9 yards per play, rank 2nd
Football Outsiders Ranking: 3rd

2020 offense

Points: 20.9 points per game, rank 25th
Yards: 4.8 yards per play, rank 31st
Football Outsiders Ranking: 32nd

2021 DraftKings Sportsbook odds

Super Bowl: +5000
AFC/NFC Champion: +2200
DIVISION: +260
Win Total: 8 (Over -141, Under +116)

Offseason moves

With their defense already in place, the Washington Football Team made a concerted effort to upgrade the offense. The Football Team signed both wide receivers Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries, who will be significant additions to their WR core. They also drafted a wide out in Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft in Dyami Brown. Washington also released QB Alex Smith, who helped them make a playoff push. To solidify their QB room, the team re-signed Taylor Heinicke and signed Fitzpatrick in free agency.

Outside of the skill position players, the team signed tackle Charles Leno Jr. after releasing both Morgan Moses and Geron Christian Sr. WFT also acquired guard Ereck Flowers in a trade from the Miami Dolphins. On defense, the Football Team lost cornerback Ronald Darby in free agency, but replaced him with William Jackson III. They also signed safety Bobby McCain and drafted linebacker Jamin Davis in the first round.

Biggest question entering training camp

Washington’s defense should remain one of the best in the league while their offense can’t really get any worse. Fitzpatrick continues to show he can play at an average to above average level, but not good enough to lead overall bad rosters to the playoffs. So the biggest question will be just how well can Fitzpatrick lead the offense in 2021? He’ll have a new offense yet again, but with such a strong defense can he manage games when his instinct is to be less risk averse?

What needs to happen for Washington to win the Super Bowl?

The defense will need to take yet another step forward despite playing excellent football last season and Fitzpatrick along with Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel will need to move the offense from their nearly worst in the league status to an efficient and consistent unit. It isn’t out of the question.

2021 Outlook

Washington has a real chance again in the NFC East, but that doesn’t mean all that much for the league as a whole. They will need Fitzpatrick to play better than he has in the past to truly have a shot at a playoff run. Unfortunately we know who Fitz is and it’s not a Super Bowl quarterback.