Football Team

One number to know for Washington's meeting with Rams

Football Team

Before every Washington Football Team game this year, Pete Hailey will identify one key number that you must know regarding that contest.

Here is his number for the Week 5 tilt with the Rams.

8.5

The Washington Football Team doesn't have Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey belongs to the Panthers.

However, the Washington Football Team has an ex-Panthers head coach who relied heavily on McCaffrey while working in Carolina.

The Washington Football Team also has an offensive coordinator who relied heavily on McCaffrey while working in Carolina, both as their coordinator and quarterbacks coach. 

And now, the Washington Football Team has a starting QB who relied heavily on McCaffrey while working in Carolina.

So, that means the three most important offensive decision-makers for the Burgundy and Gold's game on Sunday against the Rams are all accustomed to deploying a running back as a threat in the passing game.

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No, they don't have the running back they're most familiar with deploying — that can't be stated enough — but they're still all from a background where that position helps with his hands in addition to his legs.

That's where the above number comes in.

In Allen's 13 starts for the Panthers in 2019, he targeted McCaffrey 110 times. That comes out to an average of 8.5 targets per game. For a running back.

 

See where this is going?

Again — again, again, again — McCaffrey won't be at FedEx Field in Week 5. Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic will, however, and they're both former college wideouts who can absolutely contribute as receivers.

Combined, the pair of Gibson and McKissic has averaged 10 targets in Washington's last two games, and both are coming off of their most-targeted efforts as well. They'll be looking to make Allen's life easier beginning this weekend, and Allen has not shied away from taking advantage of that part of Turner's scheme.

Turner, meanwhile, wouldn't publicly say that he can use parts of the playbook with Allen that he couldn't with Dwayne Haskins. But as often as he and Rivera cited Allen's comfort in the system when discussing the lineup change, one has to figure they'll be able to expand their calls in some ways.

Think about it: They've been increasing the running backs' workload through the air already, and they've now turned to a guy they trust more to lead their operation.

Whatever the number of attempts Allen ends his Washington debut with, expect a major chunk of those to head in the direction of Gibson and McKissic. Maybe they can be the two to spark the unit.