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23 and Me: Can WFT Offense Score Enough to Keep Winning?

WFT's offensive expectations don't require it to be elite

Defense first, offense following behind. That's what the Washington Football Team season was supposed to look like.

Signing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and not going all-in on Matthew Stafford, was a sign. 

WFT wasn't supposed to live and die on the arm of a quarterback. It intended to thrive on defense, while the offense did enough not to kill any chances of winning. 

Solid on offense; superb on defense.

Of course, that's a simplistic way of looking at it. It's not like the offensive mindset isn't going out to score on every possession. It just wasn't supposed to be necessary. Room for error was going to be there, because Washington's defense was going to be one of the best in the league. 

Problem was, the defense didn't hold up its end of the bargain. When that happened, the Taylor Heinicke offense was unable to pick up the slack.

During the team's modest two-game winning streak, the defense looks much improved and the offense is following suit. 

As we turn our gaze toward the playoff race, what does the Washington Football Team need from its offense?

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Turns out, it's the same thing we thought it needed in the beginning. Average or better. Of course, everyone would happily accept great, or elite even. But if Washington can't get either of those, just don't be less than average, and the team still has a chance.

For example, in Sunday's 27-21 win over the Carolina Panthers, Heinicke's offense put up four points more than the league average of 23. 

In the four games WFT's offense has scored 23 or more points, it is undefeated. When the offense scores fewer than league average, the team is winless. Stats don't tell the whole story, of course, but those are pretty strong numbers 11 weeks into the season.

Washington is 21st in the NFL in scoring per game with 21.2. 

Washington's defense has held opponents under the league average four times this year, but the team lost two of those games. 

In hindsight, an average offense on those two days (vs. Chargers and at Broncos), would have had WFT with a 6-4 record, and the sixth seed in the NFC Playoff race.

No use crying over spilled milk. The focus has to be on the future. 

And the future features four of Washington's last seven opponents currently surrendering more than 23 points per game, while even the three who aren't, are still allowing 20 or more, every week.