With the addition of the 17th game to the NFL schedule, the Bills will now host and battle the Washington Football Team. For those who don’t know, the league determined that the first place team will play their opposite-conference place counterpart. Washington is the team to beat in the NFC East for reasons we will dig into later. Now led by Fitzmagic, the Football Team have a realistic shot to repeat and defend their 2020 division title. Make no mistake, Washington has a good team that has gone “under-the-radar”. Led by Sean McDermott’s mentor, “Riverboat” Ron Rivera, this team is no slouch and will present a challenge for the Bills. Moreover, who could complain? Ryan Fitzpatrick returning to Orchard Park adorned with yet another array of colors, sounds like a match made in gridiron heaven. So, where to start in Washington?
SPY 1: Draft Capital Done Right in the Capitol
To state a fact, Washington had an excellent draft strategy and executed it extremely well. Their class features ten draft picks in total, five of whom came in the top four rounds. Some of these players will be making year-one impacts on the field and those are the ones that matter in this column (at present) as it pertains to the week three matchup with the Bills.
- WFT first round selection Jamin Davis is a new-age hyper-LB. This is to say he is exceptionally athletic and fits the mold of how the position is changing across the league. General interest in athletic, rangy, speedy, and intelligent Linebackers has grown tremendously and will continue to do so. Jamin Davis will be hungry to make strides in 2021 in an elite WFT defense.
- OT Samuel Cosmi, selected in round two, is a good pickup that provides the Football Team with a reliable and flexible OT for years to come. While he does need time to mature and gain mass and experience, Cosmi can make an immediate impact at RT and possibly become a swing tackle, though likely not in time to face the Bills. The Bills may expect to see him in rotation, come week three.
- Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste has potential and may work into the rotation in 2021. However, he will not represent a grave secondary threat in week three.
- Dyami Brown is WFT’s version of Gabriel Davis. He has the potential to be a top-two WR and will make an immediate and noticeable impact in 2021. A burner and advanced route runner, Brown is a threat from anywhere he is lined up. Brown will be a viable and productive target for Fitzmagic right from the start and will be part of a WFT WR corps that is a threat in and of itself, featuring ‘Scary” Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries, and draft season Spy favorite, Dax Milne.
- Round seven selection Shaka Toney has great potential. Much like the Bills new rookie pass-rushers, the ability and athleticism is there. He just needs to refine his technique. Expect Toney to affect the rotation in 2021 as his game matures.
- Speaking of Dax Milne, Washington got an absolute steal with this gem of a player. Like Brown, Dax Milne has potential to be a top-two Receiver. The BYU product ranked second in the nation in all of college football in success against single coverage in 2020, behind only Kyle Pitts. Expect Milne to be impactful for Washington from the start. His advanced route running, and technical movement skills will be a boon for Washington’s offense.
SPY 2: Fantastic Free Agency Acquisitions
Ryan Fitzpatrick is now the firm and entrenched starter for the Washington Football Team, having signed in the offseason. This is, arguably, the most talented team Fitzmagic will lead. The point is, Fitzmagic affords them the opportunity to go higher and farther than last season with an enhanced stock of weaponry and an elite defense opposite him. Fitz will have every opportunity show out in Washington.
Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries fill out a Washington WR room that is now very deep and will have the ability to stress defenses in a severe and unforgiving matter. These two additions are now mainstays of a complete unit that will be effective with the gunslinging Fitzmagic under Center. Similarly to the Bills, Washington’s Receiver room is deep and diverse.
SPY 3: Growth Mindset
It should come as no surprise to see WFT Head Coach Ron Rivera executing a paradigm shift for a team once maligned and flush with all manner of deteriorating issues. The parallels to the culture growth in Buffalo and Washington could be discussed at length for quite some time. The Bills have a fantastic culture and tight unit cohesion, a highly coveted and desirable team characteristic to have. Washington seems to be building a similarly structured team and this will aid them both in 2021 and for years to come.
SPY 4: The Washington D.C. Defenders (Schreck Spies)
If you want more information regarding Washington’s Defensive outlook in 2021, you are in luck! Please enjoy BF Writer Alec Schreckengost’s input on the WFT:
Last year the Washington Football Team had a great defense. They had an amazing pass rush with Chase Young and Montez Sweat. They played good in the secondary thanks in part to Kendall Fuller and Landon Collins. These players contributed to their top-five defense last season, and they have since added a couple of players to help their defense even more.
The first player, William Jackson III, came from the Bengals during free agency. Last year he put up some respectable numbers. In 14 games played he posted 43 total tackles and one interception. While these are not CB1 numbers, he will be a good second option after Fuller. Another player they added this offseason is former Giants LB David Mayo. While he did not put up great numbers, this is another player that can play Middle Linebacker for them – a position that is their weakest, in my opinion. Finally, to add to their Linebackers, they drafted Jamin Davis from Kentucky. This man put up great numbers there posting 102 total tackles, one and a half sacks and three interceptions. All these players will have some impact on the Football Teams defense.
I believe that this year, that defense is only going to get better. They added help to positions where they had weakness at and still have all their playmakers from last season. Chase Young is an elite edge rusher and helps their defensive line create pressure and more importantly, finish those pressures with sacks. In the secondary they have added depth, not only in free agency but also in the draft. The Football Team has put a lot into their defense for this upcoming season. Just like last year, I believe that this defensive line along with the secondary and the linebacking core they have put together will be a top five in the NFL. Without a doubt.
DARKHORSE BONUS POINT:
THREAT RATING: Each Buffalo Bills opponent will be ranked on a 1-10 scale. On this scale, the higher the number = The greater the threat that team poses.
Washington Football Team Threat Rating = 7
Honorable Mention: Washington signed UB standout Jaret Patterson as an undrafted free agent. Best of luck!
Note: An updated version of this intelligence report will be released immediately prior to the week three matchup.
In closing, please follow The Buffalo Fanatics on all platforms, trust the process and go Bills.
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