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 14 showdown with the 49ers.
Three games ago, Washington took out the Bengals. Two games ago, Washington blasted the Cowboys. And in their last game, Washington defeated the once-undefeated Steelers.
That means the Burgundy and Gold are on a three-game winning streak. Even noted non-math guy JP Finlay could come away with that conclusion.
So — and now we're really getting into the advanced stuff — if Washington is able to figure out the 49ers this weekend, that'll up their run to four. And that's where this week's number comes into play.
The last time the franchise won four straight was Weeks 3-6 of the 2016 campaign. If you look at that another way, they've gone 75 weeks of regular season action without a stretch like that.
That's a long time to go without accomplishing something that isn't that outrageous.
However, the hope under Ron Rivera is that the Football Team will start becoming accustomed to achieving the things that solid, contending football teams do. Sunday's trip to Arizona to see the Niners offers up a chance to do just that.
In his almost year-long tenure (for him, it's probably felt like three-and-a-half decades), Rivera has harped on the importance of Washington learning how to become successful in a sustainable way. That means building positive habits and totally erasing the negative ones, as opposed to taping together the former and scratching out the latter.
In a way, an extended winning streak is a perfect representation of the coach's ultimate priority. As every fan knows, the NFL is full of surprising results every Sunday, where a squad who looked terrific in their prior contest now are more sluggish than a slug (Shakespeare is definitely jealous of that sentence, by the way).
It's difficult to walk off the field victorious once, but it's even more trying to do that again and again, because it's easy to slip into a comfort zone when the results are money. Washington, of course, is coming off its richest win yet.
So, while Rivera and Alex Smith are emphasizing the necessity of not letting that post-Steelers high lead to a disappointing low out west, we won't know if those messages made its way through a largely inexperienced and young roster until they face San Fran.
If Washington wins, they'll pull off something the organization hasn't in more than four years. If they don't, it could serve as a striking reminder of the growing that's still left to do.