It's well documented by now just how bad the NFC East has been in 2020. And taking a look around the rest of the conference, it seems cruel that one of the four clubs in this horrific division will steal a playoff spot from a potential nine or 10-win team.
Yet, those are the rules in the NFL. Either Washington, Dallas, New York, or Philadelphia -- teams with a combined 5-18-1 record entering NHL Week 7 -- will have the No. 4 seed in the NFC and host a playoff game come January.
As ludicrous as it sounds, the Washington Football Team can reclaim a share of first place in the division on Sunday by defeating the Cowboys. That's the reality, even though the Burgundy and Gold enter the matchup on a five-game losing streak.
Quarterback Kyle Allen understands the rarity of the situation his club is in. But, he is also embracing the fact Washington has the chance to play meaningful football despite early-season struggles.
"It’s amazing. It’s incredible," Allen said. "I think that’s why a lot of times in this building, people just need to take a step back and take a breath and understand where we’re at right now.
"I know it sucks we’ve lost a bunch in a row. It sucks," the QB continued. "Nobody wants to be a part of that. But, when you step back and look at it, we’re one game out of first place."
Part of the reason Allen is even starting for Washington is the team's poor division; head coach Ron Rivera even said as much when addressing his decision to insert Allen for Dwayne Haskins a couple of weeks ago.
Sunday's matchup with Dallas will mark the second of three consecutive NFC East clashes for Washington. If they can stockpile back-to-back victories over the Cowboys this week and then against New York following a Week 8 bye, there's an argument to be made that the division is Washington's for the taking.
Allen also gave a friendly reminder on Wednesday that Washington's offense is one of the youngest units in the NFL. With so much of the talk in the nation's capital surrounding Haskins' development this offseason, it's also worth remembering that Allen is in his first season with the team and didn't have OTAs, minicamp and a typical training camp to get acclimated with his new club, either.
"We’re a very young team that didn’t have an offseason," Allen said. "I know no one else did, but it would’ve been great for us to have those reps and get better and going into training camp and going into the season with how young a team we are."
Despite taking little snaps during training camp as the starter and having just six quarters as Washington's starter under his belt, Allen is confident in the direction Washington is headed.
"I think you can see week-to-week we’re growing as a team. We’re understanding situations better. We’re getting better," Allen said. "For us to have those growing pains and still at this point be only one game out of first place is incredible. I think as a team we’re looking at that very hopeful and understanding the situation that we’re in."