Washington Football Team turns heads with a strong season



Junior Sam Brami fixated on the WFT game.


The Washington Football Team (WFT) shocked the NFL this year, clinching a playoff spot for the first time in five years. The WFT finished their season with a 7-9 record and as division champs of the NFC East, despite hiring a new coach and struggling to find a proper quarterback.

During the offseason, the WFT hired Ron Rivera as their new head coach. Rivera appeared in the Superbowl with the Carolina Panthers during the 2016 NFL season. Rivera has also received two Associated Press coach of the year awards, winning in 2013 and 2015. 

On Aug. 20, 2020, Ron Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer, which he battled throughout the season. While battling cancer he was still able to coach and lead the WFT to a spot in the playoffs.

Alex Smith, a quarterback of the WFT, started this year for the first time since a gruesome leg injury in 2018 where he suffered a compound fracture that broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg. Smith had a total of 16 separate surgeries and also contracted a flesh-eating infection, which nearly took his life and almost required his right leg to be amputated. 

He was cleared to play in July 2020 but did not start at the beginning of the season. After subpar performances by Dwayne Haskins and backup quarterback Kyle Allen suffered a season-ending injury, Alex Smith became the starting quarterback for the WFT and performed quite well this season, even accomplishing new career highs in passing yards and completed passes.

The WFT began their season with a win but then suffered five consecutive losses. Although the season started slow and looked like it was heading for the worse, the WFT blew out their rival the Dallas Cowboys in week 12, and the season began to pick up for them. In week 13, they were able to hand the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss of the season, raising eyebrows across the league. In the final week of the season, the WFT beat the Philadelphia Eagles, allowing them to clinch the division and earning them a spot in the first round of the playoffs. They lost in the wildcard to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but put up a good fight, falling 31-23. 

Junior Andrew Roane, an avid Washington sports fan, was pleased with the team’s performance. 

“I think the [WFT] has done unexpected things this year. With a new coach and no real consistent starting QB, the things that they accomplished were spectacular,” he said. 

The Football Team’s success this year can be attributed to their strong defensive  performances. Chase Young, the WFT’s rookie defensive end quickly became a leader on and off the field, being named one of the team captains, and is now a contender for the NFL’s rookie of the year award.

For many fans, the future looks bright although some fans, such as junior Justin Zhu, are not pleased with the owner of the team, Dan Snyder. 

“I think we’re headed in the right direction. We pretty much got an entirely new team, but I think the biggest thing is still our owner,” Zhu said. “He needs to stop acting like he knows everything because he’s ruining the franchise such as the situation with Haskins.” 

The WFT has some holes to fix but could possibly be Superbowl contenders in the near future if things are fixed within the organization.