What makes a player or team must-watch football in the NFL? The first factor is simple: be successful on the field. Make the plays and win games.
Beyond that, however, those in this category typically contain the X-factor of entertainment value. One can't look away or miss a moment of the action because a game-changing, jaw-dropping play can happen at any time.
Does the Washington Football Team's defensive line fit that mold? Former NFL wide receiver and current analyst Nate Burleson believes so.
“That defensive line for the Washington Football Team is so entertaining to watch," Burleson said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "They’re not just athletic, and they’re fast, but they’re big. Chase Young looks bigger than everybody and then he has guys that he looks eye-to-eye with. And they just harass quarterbacks.”
Burleson's analysis of Washington's defensive line comes just one day after the unit put together potentially its most entertaining performance of the season so far.
Led by Chase Young's spectacular showing that included a fumble return touchdown, Washington recorded four sacks, two forced fumbles and multiple tipped passes, while making the environment uncomfortable for San Francisco's offense all afternoon. Without the work from that group, the score of the game may have been very different.
It was defensive dominance filled with excitement, and it's something Burleson had been waiting to see from a unit filled with talent.
“All first round picks and we’ve been talking about this and waiting for this to come along," Burleson said. "It reminds us, really, of what San Francisco had last season.”
What did the 49ers, who also possessed a dominant defensive line, do in 2019? Just went to the Super Bowl, no big deal.
Burleson may not be saying that Washington is bound for Tampa Bay in February, but he does know that the defensive line is special. In a league that is now led by huge offensive performances, Washington is using its defense to win and command football games.
With the talent, consistent performance and potential for big plays at any moment, it makes the unit must-watch football. It also makes them capable of doing something special.
“If they have a quarterback that can take care of the ball, this defense will always keep them in games," Burleson said. "They might be the most entertaining defensive line in all of football because at any moment it’s either a big knockout punch where he knocks the quarterback on his butt, or it’s a turnover.”