Football Team

One number to know for Washington's meeting with Carolina

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 16 showdown with the Panthers.


If you've read this series consistently or even semi-consistently season, 1) thanks a lot and 2) you've come to realize that most of the stats and nuggets are hyper-focused on the particular upcoming matchup.

This edition, however, is taking a much wider view on things.

Should Washington handle the Panthers this Sunday, and if the Ravens are able to drop the Giants, then the Burgundy and Gold will clinch an NFC East championship.

That would mean Ron Rivera would be a division winner in his first season with the organization.

And that would mean he'd be the first Washington coach to accomplish that since Dutch Bergman in 1943, which was 77 years ago.

That's super significant, huh?

When Rivera first assumed his duties as the franchise leader, the consensus was that doubling the 2019 win total was a reasonable goal. He's done just that, too.

Thanks to a slow-developing race, though, a usually mediocre 6-8 mark has the Football Team possibly one triumph away from officially qualifying for the postseason.

So, while they may only jump from six to seven in terms of the amount of victories they have, Washington would really be taking a much more meaningful leap.

There's already a lot of optimism that Rivera has his rebuild ahead of schedule. His first draft class appears to have at least two very high-impact contributors, his first free-agent class has uncovered some studs and the defense as a whole is progressing quite quickly.


Next up is securing a trip to the playoffs, a place Washington hasn't reached since 2015. Yet someone in Rivera's position - first season with the team - hasn't been there in far, far longer. The berth would mean many things, but perhaps it would most represent that Rivera really is at the start of something special.