2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 1 Game Analysis: Football Team 27, Eagles 17
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
I’m going to make a lot of bombastic, potentially reckless statements about things and players from this game…so, buckle up.
I have to begin with the following statement because it’s the lens this game has to be discussed through centrally…
Washington may be in possession of the best Defensive Line in all of football…the most talented, the deepest. Not only are the promising/emerging/potentially great…they may be one of the best Defensive Line groups to come along in years.
The Chiefs have Mahomes. The Ravens have Lamar. The Bills have a phenomenal pass defense. The Patriots have Bill Belichick. The Colts have their O-Line. There are teams we recognize and acknowledge as having ‘bests’ that we don’t question. They’ve earned the label. They are good-to-great teams you don’t want to play because of it. I think we have to add the Football Team’s Defensive Line to the list…if not now, then soon.
Many analysts think the 49ers or Chargers or Chiefs or Dallas has the best D-Line in the NFL, and they for sure are all worthy of discussion…the Redskins are better and deeper than all those contenders. It’s like a historically great D-Line potential. Like get them a nickname we can call them by type of D-Line.
Chase Young speaks for himself. We all acknowledge his greatness/potential. What we don’t fully credit/get is how good Montez Sweat is on the other end…he would have been a top 3 pick if rumor of a heart issue didn’t pop up like 8 seconds before the 2019 NFL Draft. Book ends of Young-Sweat…the most talented duo in all of football, especially rushing the passer. Just lacking in experience.
There are the marquee, 1st-round draft pick names on the edge, but Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, and Matt Ioannidis at DT are a phenomenal, deep rotation. That’s as good a DT group as there is in the NFL…and they get Young-Sweat as bookends now AND have Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson in the DL rotation as well.
You wonder why they had 8.0 sacks, 15 QB hits, two picks and three forced fumbles Week 1…it’s not just because ‘the Eagles O-Line is so bad’. That statement is providing cloud cover that is hiding just how great the Washington D-Line is. It’s a weapon all it’s own.
Washington can win the NFC East.
…but they have to make changes to get there, and I think they will make changes (forced to) – but it will take a few weeks before the come around to it and possibly it will be too late. The ‘changes’ they need to make are dire…needed changes ASAP, that I’m not sure they have the guts to make fast enough to seize this division.
What are those changes?
1) Alex Smith needs to go in for Dwayne Haskins (17-31 for 178 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) because he’s godawful. The best pressure front D-Line in football mixed with the worst QB in football (Tyrod Taylor trying to get into that conversation too). It’s a wasted opportunity. I think around Weeks 4-5, after a couple losses and some terrible play by Haskins to cause a bad loss…if Smith is ready, he’s coming in.
Smith would make Steven Sims very viable, and Logan Thomas more legit FF options. Terry McLaurin? Maybe. Not Smith’s style as much as the short pass guys. Smith would give this offense a great game manager…to let the defense do their thing to win games.
2) The need a real running back. What if Le’Veon Bell winds up here? What if Antonio Gibson is a revelation? That’s weeks away on either. No one is afraid of Peyton Barber.
3) The biggest thing besides QB that needs changing…Washington has this great front line on defense and then paired it with the worst linebacking group in the NFL. A house/defense divided will not stand against teams like Dallas or Indy that can drive the ball right up the gut at teams. Also, good TEs will feast in the passing game…and thus Ertz-Goedert with 11 catches for 119 yards and 2 TDs combined this game. Washington is the new Cardinals 2019 in pass defense against TEs, potentially (see if Dan Arnold does anything with that this week).
Washington has some linebackers on the depth chart to go to…Thomas Davis. Cole Holcomb. Shaun Dion-Hamilton…but Ron Rivera is going with Jon Bostic and Kevin Pierre-Louis and I cannot believe he is. I’m stunned…it’s the Miami/Brian Flores backfield logic here with Washington’s linebackers – the worst players on the positional depth chart are actually starting.
The pieces are in place for Washington, they just need to connect them all…it might take weeks to do it…and then be too late for a shock season.
On the other side of the ballgame…we have the Eagles. The Eagles are in trouble. So many O-Line injuries. Terrible wide receivers. But a good defense and so-so/solid QB, but Wentz can only do so much with this O-Line.
A big-time unrest from the Eagles fans could be coming in the next 4-5 weeks…and the fans will demand that they should turn to Jalen Hurts at QB. Why? To change the game off the problematic O-Line. The Eagles are one more injury (Lane Johnson done or Jason Peters done) away from having no real O-Line. They can help neutralize OL issues with a running QB. If you see Hurts start jumping in goal line packages and 4th & 1s soon and he starts making plays…there absolutely will be a ‘Jalen is our Lamar’ revolt if the Eagles are 2-4 after 6 games and floundering, while Hurts is looking slick and Wentz is struggling. That day is coming…could be Week 3…could be Week 10…but the groundswell will happen.
As far as this game goes…the Eagles led 17-0. When Washington couldn’t get to Wentz early, he made some throws to wide-open receivers over the linebackers and corners. But as the game went on the pressure kept mounting, creating INTs and sacks/fumbles, which allowed Washington to crawl back into the game…and ended up winning going away.
You don’t know what Washington Football Team you’re going to get quarter to quarter right now. Is it the sad Haskins’ offensive one? Is it the bad linebacker group one? Or is it the D-Line pressure that creates turnovers and flips the field and changes momentum in an instant one? I could see the Arizona Cardinals beating Washington by 30+ this week…or Kyler gets sacked 5-10 times in a surprising loss to Washington.
If the Eagles lose to the Rams this week…all hell is going to break loose in Philly if Dallas and Washington (and NYG) win and send Philly to the early basement.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Antonio Gibson (9-36-0, 2-8-0/2) looked promising but it’s limited touches so it’s hard to know what he can fully do. He still seems a bit lost and that hurts him if any impediment is in the way to negotiate. He also, for his size/athleticism, is easy to tackle. He goes down like a WR not a 6’2”/220+ RB. Gibson needs more seasoning. He’s going to see work in some games they are losing and probably rack some numbers in garbage time. I just don’t know if he’s 2-3 weeks away or 5+ weeks or a season away…or if he ever ‘arrives’ fully.
-- J.D. McKissic (3-0-0, 1-1-0/5) had a nightmare game, but note he led all Washington RBs in snaps and got 5 targets, just Haskins is so incompetent. He’ll have better days. Just a PPR flex flyer.
-- Steven Sims (3-50-0/3) looks so good…I want to love him so much, but as long as Haskins is there you have no idea what he’s going to get for targets…but usually it will be a disappointment.
When Alex Smith arrives, I want back in…or Kyle Allen…anyone but Haskins.
-- Logan Thomas (4-37-1/8) looked fine too, but again…’Haskins’. Could be 2-15-0/5 next week and no one cares anymore.
-- You’re all excited about Dallas Goedert (8-101-1/9) and you want to play him all the time for the rest of the season…just note that he faced the most incompetent linebacker group you could have trying to cover him. Don’t be surprised if Goedert falls to earth next week or the week after and settles back into a #10-15 fantasy TE week-to-week.
-- Jalen Reagor (1-55-0/4) was not working the slot, he was doing DeSean Jackson like work…bombs away. Made a great deep ball catch, nearly had 1-2 more. Erratic hope for Reagor next week. Great DFS option/hail mary.
-- I don’t care what anyone says…Boston Scott (9-35-0, 2-19-0/2) is a better RB talent than Miles Sanders…in all facets. Doug Pederson doesn’t believe that, but Pederson is about to get run from Philly if they don’t make the playoffs this season. The Eagles have progressively gotten worse ever since their Super Bowl Foles moment. Pederson, like Dan Quinn after his Super Bowl random landing, hasn’t sustained or improved the organization after.
Scott is a similar, maybe better, Austin Ekeler, but Philly is too blind to see it I think. Hard to see when their heads are so far up Miles Sanders’s arse they can’t see straight.
Scott was looking solid here but got hurt and missed a chunk of the game.
-- Should we pick up the Washington-DST now?
I mean, I just called them like the greatest pass rush team of the decade…how could we not? Don’t forget…they have the worst linebacker group of the last decade and shaky cornerback play. The CBs can hang because of the pass rush helping them. The linebackers are a problem.
In Dynasty, with a long-term view…not bad to have them for the road ahead.
Redraft…versus Arizona Week 2? They could consume Kyler, or Kyler short passes them like he did SF just last week and buries the Football Team. It’s a gamble…but Washington-DST will be an all-season gamble. They will have a lot of sacks and strip sack fumbles and pressure forced INTs, whether they get beaten or not.
Week 3 vs. CLE…you like it, but Chubb/Hunt could gut those linebackers.
Week 4 vs. BAL…they will get destroyed.
Week 5 v. LAR/Goff…maybe.
Week 6 at NYG, yep.
Week 7 v. DAL…maybe if the O-Line is still banged up.
Week 8 = BYE
This defense is promising, dangerous but has serious holes and may need time to fully gel. Weeks 3 maybe and Week 6, I’m in for a play. If no other options of note…this pass rush is always an option. But mark my words, the linebacker group and Haskins not holding up his end is going to make this a hair tearing out DST play week-to-week.
Snap Counts of Interest:
31 = McKissic
29 = Barber
18 = Gibson
58 = Ertz
54 = Goedert
40 = Reagor
37 = DeSean
30 = Ward
28 = JJAW
27 = Hightower