No franchise is happy when it begins the season losing five of its first seven games. But for the Washington Football Team, there's an unusual sense of optimism for a 2-5 club entering its Week 8 bye.
After coming off a dominating 25-3 victory over the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys, Washington sits just a half-game behind the Philadelphia Eagles for the division lead. And with four winnable games coming up against the Giants, Lions, Bengals and Cowboys following the bye, Washington has the opportunity to string some wins together and turn its season around.
Offensive lineman Morgan Moses has been with Washington since 2014, meaning he's seen more than his fair share of losing seasons. Yet, during a media session with local reporters on Tuesday, the right tackle said this season feels unlike those in the past.
"Just the feeling in this building is different," Moses said.
So, how is it different?
Moses cited the lack of egos on the team and his opinion that much of the roster has bought-in to a collective goal.
"When you have talented players, period, you can have a lot of guys I guess you call them 'me' players," Moses said. "And we don't have that on this team."
Moses then pointed to wideout Terry McLaurin as an example of how so. The tackle said that McLaurin is a star in this league -- which he absolutely is -- but doesn't complain like many elite pass-catchers when they don't get the number of touches they want.
McLaurin's "team-first" attitude, as Moses pointed out, is something the tackle thinks is vital in changing the culture in Washington.
"Terry, obviously, is one of the better receivers in the NFL and doesn't complain when he doesn't get the ball," Moses said. "He still runs his routes the way it needs to be run to help other people get open. I think that's the key, man."
McLaurin has been getting the ball a lot, though. And he's been quite productive with the football in his hands, too. Through seven games, McLaurin has 577 receiving yards and has the most yards-after-catch of any wideout in the NFL.
But, even during the rare games when he's not producing, McLaurin still tries to find other ways he can help Washington be successful.
"When you have star players like that, that are not arguing about 'Hey, I didn't get this catch,' but are just operating for the betterment of the team, I think the culture starts to change," Moses continued. "Because it becomes not a 'me' team, but [the] team first."
Whether this year ends up ultimately being different for the Burgundy and Gold is up for debate. But based on Moses' comments on Tuesday, it sounds as if he's eager to see how far the 2020 Washington Football Team can go.