Can Ron Rivera Lead Washington to a Playoffs Appearance This Year

min read
NFL Week 7
BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Oct 19, 2021, 4:10 PM

Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team are at a crossroads in this 2021 season. After winning the NFC East with a measly 7-9 record last year, it appears that they will have to do better this time around to make the playoffs.

However, they sit at just 2-4 right now, and BetMGM’s NFL odds have Washington at +1200 to win the NFC East, +8000 to win the NFC, and +15000 to win the Super Bowl.

Can Washington overcome this start and make the playoffs? Let’s take a look.

Remaining Schedule

Before we can speculate on Washington, we need to know who they still have to play. Here is their remaining schedule:

  • Oct. 24 at Packers
  • Oct. 31 at Broncos
  • Nov. 14 vs. Bucs
  • Nov. 21 at Panthers
  • Nov. 29 vs. Seahawks
  • Dec. 5 at Raiders
  • Dec. 12 vs. Cowboys
  • Dec. 19 at Eagles
  • Dec. 26 at Cowboys
  • Jan. 2 vs. Eagles
  • Jan. 9 at Giants

As you can see, Washington has most of their divisional games at the end of the season, which can be a good and a bad thing. The Eagles and the Giants currently have a combined record of 3-9, and Washington already has one win over the Giants.

However, the Cowboys look like they will be more difficult than last year, and they have to play them twice late in the season when the Cowboys already have a three-game lead for the NFC East after Week 6.

Washington’s schedule gets very difficult the next seven weeks, considering that six of the seven games are against teams with a .500 record or better. Some may argue Washington might have one of the more difficult schedules in the league, considering that the only teams they have played under .500 so far are the Giants and the Falcons, in which both of their wins came.

NFC Playoff Picture

The good news for Washington is that the wild card spots appear to be wide open. The Rams have the top wild card at 5-1, but occupying the other two are the Saints at 3-2 and the Vikings at 3-3.

Unfortunately for Washington, they already lost to the Saints and will not have the tiebreaker against them. While the other teams in that group are beatable, such as the Panthers and the Seahawks, who they face later this season, Washington has their own challenges.

Where Is Ron Rivera’s Defense?

Riverboat Ron is known for being a defensive-minded coach and usually has one of the more respectable defenses in the NFL. Last year, that was certainly the case, with Washington ranking second in total yards allowed and fourth in points allowed.

How do they stack up this year? They have flipped to the league’s bottom, ranking 31st in total yards allowed and are last in points allowed.

Both of those are the worst that a Ron Rivera-coached team has ranked. Before that, the worst two years were the first and last year he was head coach of the Carolina Panthers (2011, 2019).

The last time he ranked this bad on defense, he was fired by Week 13 of the season. In those two years, the Panthers went 11-17 combined.

Will Washington Recover?

Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team have not been themselves, missing their defensive identity. Will they find it, or will this be a forgettable football season in the District of Columbia?

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About the Author

BetMGM Staff

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.