Purgatory. In the modern NFL an efficient passing attack, with a talented quarterback at the helm to lead it all, is a necessity. Without the quarterback as the centerpiece of the offense, many talented teams find themselves stuck in a place of pure and painful purgatory.
Not quite a legitimate contender, but also not bad enough to be within striking range of an elite quarterback prospect. Right now, the Washington Football Team finds itself in a state of utter purgatory.
When stuck in between being great and being the definition of “bleh” sometimes a team needs to take a risk to push itself over the top. For the Football team (I hate typing that), that risk must be Tua Tagovailoa.
Does Washington have the right supporting cast?
With a record of 2-4, the Washington Football Team are already three games behind the Dallas Cowboys in the race for the NFC East. Acquiring Tagovailoa is not a “win-now” move, it’s a calculated risk that will guide the team into the future. The 2020 fifth-overall pick has shown flashes, but has seen his progress stall due to injuries, a pure offensive line and an inconsistent supporting cast around him. However, Washington can give the former Heisman Trophy finalist exactly what he needs.
Arguably the most glaring weakness when it comes to the Miami Dolphins is the offensive line. Tagovailoa and even Jacoby Brissett, when he started in place of an injured Tagovailoa this year, were left to look like guppies stuck in a pool of sharks sitting behind the incompetent Miami offensive line. The Dolphins are dead last in the NFL in pass-block win rate, according to the ESPN Analytics Index. The Washington Football Team ranks third in the NFL in that metric.
On top of the improvement in the offensive line, which will be a major aid in Tagovailoa’s development, Washington has a well-rounded group of skill position players. Terry McLaurin is one of the NFL’s most underrated and consistent receivers. In 35 career games, McLaurin has accumulated a daunting 178 catches for 2,465 yards and 14 touchdowns and is on pace to break 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season despite being handed a bevy of quarterbacks with little potential and that are mediocre at best.
Washington is also equipped with Logan Thomas, who has blossomed into one of the NFL’s most consistent and reliable tight ends, as well as the young Antonio Gibson, who is a clear upgrade to Myles Gaskin, the Dolphins starting running back.
A long term solution
Once upon a time, the world seemed to have given the Washington Football Team a gift. On draft night 2019, Dwayne Haskins, a potential franchise quarterback from Ohio State seemed destined to be a top-10 selection. But the Giants selected Daniel Jones at sixth overall and Haskins slipped down to Washington at the 15th pick, giving them what many saw as the steal of the draft.
Welp, life did not go as planned. Haskins is now a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since the days of Kirk Cousins and you could argue even long before, Washington has been stuck with a cycle of sometimes comical mediocrity under center, and Tagovailoa offers a potential fix to that problem.
While Tagovailoa may have his skeptics, he’s produced well this season, throwing for 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while completing 64.1% of his passes. Is there anything exceptional in those stats? Not particularly, but considering Tagovailoa is only 13 games into his NFL career and has a lot of quality traits to build off of.
With recent reports stating that a Deshaun Watson trade to the Dolphins may be done as soon as this week, Miami may be more inclined than ever to move off of the prospect they once “tanked” for.
If the Washington Football Team is smart, they’ll have the former Alabama prodigy wearing red once again as soon as possible.