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This NFL season has been an odd one to say the least and hasn’t been without surprises. One of those was early in the season when Washington owner Dan Snyder decided not to take on a new mascot nickname for his NFL franchise, instead settling on the moniker of the Washington Football Team.
Even though it was met with some confusion and vitriol from some die-hards around the team’s fanbase, there is no question it fits the team perfectly.
Washington looks like what they go by, a football team. They are well put together and have a great young corps of talented players that aren’t even close to their primes.
Of course, that group starts with stud edge rusher Chase Young, who has bolstered the stout front seven in Washington along with second year man Montez Sweat. But there are some names that have emerged this year seemingly out of nowhere. One such name is running back Antonio Gibson.
Gibson had a breakout performance on Thanksgiving, tallying 115 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns. He has easily been the brightest spot in the backfield for the Football Team and looks like he is the franchise’s primary ballcarrier moving forward.
Another talented newcomer is wideout Cam Sims, who has had flashes of greatness this season. Sims can flat out play, and even though his production hasn’t been consistent, its been there in the big moments. This is a guy who struggled to make the 53 man roster, but is now making a name for himself as Terry McLaurin’s running mate.
Sims’ 92 yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday has shown his growth as a player. His big play ability was displayed with his one handed grab in the fourth quarter.
Rounding out the rookies is Kamren Curl, who has been as solid a piece for this Washington club as any. The seventh round pick out of Arkansas is a tackling machine, and has helped stabilize the back end of this young defense.
The youth of this team is great and head coach Ron Rivera knows it isn’t going to be easy, but the talent and building blocks are there. He had this to say after the win over the Dallas Cowboys:
“I’m going to give you an example of a guy – look at Cam Sims. Look at what he’s done. Look at Cole Holcomb. I can sit there and go down the list of the guys and tell you. There’s a reason for optimism. At least I am. Maybe I’m overly-optimistic, but that’s just how I feel.”
Even our own Carita Parks mentioned that there would be ups and downs with such a young roster when she said: “The fact is, Washington is a young team and there will be growing pains.”
Those growing pains are felt a little less when you can win big games like Washington has this year. As of right now they are in the hunt and could be a playoff team at season’s end. Only time will tell, but as of right now the youngsters are playing hard and winning big in the Nation’s Capital.