Bad news: COVID is ravaging Washington like no other team.
The good news: No other team is better equipped to play a COVID match.
As COVID infects NFL players and forces the league to juggle its vacation schedule, a trend has emerged. Games moved and / or directly affected by the virus tend to be conservative, low-scoring games.
Boring for some. But music to the ears of WFT and coach Ron Rivera.
Especially since Garrett Gilbert could be the starting quarterback in Tuesday’s NFC East showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington prefers old-school football. With all of their injuries (Logan Thomas, JD McKissic, etc.) and absences (Taylor Heinicke, Brandon Scherff, etc.), the WFT cannot afford to engage in an offensive shootout with healthy, rested Eagles. and more powerful.
The plan, however, will not be a panic. Or, for Rivera’s side, even a deviation from what has worked the past two seasons. WFT’s plan remains three meters and a cloud of dust.
In the past two days, COVID has affected three NFL games with sobering results. The Saints – minus coach Sean Payton – beat the Buccaneers, 9-0. On Monday, the Browns started third-string quarterback Nick Mullens and lost to the Raiders, 16-14. With a few missing players on either end, the Vikings beat the Bears, 17-9, which included an insignificant touchdown on the last play of the game.
But it turns out that the cold weather and the virus should be a positive environment for WFT. In last season’s NFC East Championship race, Washington scored over 27 points just once all season. And nine of his last 10 games have been decided by a score.
When COVID forced a game in Pittsburgh to be moved to a Monday afternoon in December, WFT prevailed, 23-17.
Likewise this season, in its 4-1 resurrection that led it to 6-7 and into the playoff race, WFT failed to score – or allow – 30 points. And his last four games have all been decided by seven points or less.
Changes related to COVID. Cold temperature. A first to 20 wins.
WFT was designed for the sort of Tuesday night game.