The Washington Football Team is being criminally underrated by football lines and the national media. They have fallen victim to the final score fallacy, where everyone evaluates a team from an outcome perspective instead of considering the context. Therefore, I want to dig into their offensive numbers to figure out if this team has the potential to be a live dog at (+9.5) against the Tampa Bay Bucs in Week 10.
This game has tremendous offensive and scoring potential. Both teams are coming off a bye week and should be well-rested and prepared for this game.
These teams are also getting healthier, with stud offensive guard Brandon Scherff and rookie tackle Sam Cosmi returning for the Football Team. The football team may also finally get back their stud tight end Logan Thomas. In addition, the Bucs should be getting back tight end Rob Gronkowski and slot receiver Scotty Miller on the other side of the ball.
Is the Washington Football Team’s Offense This Bad?
The Football Team is currently averaging 19.5 points per game, which puts them as the 25th ranked offense in the league. On its face, it would appear that this offense has been a total failure since losing Ryan Fitzpatrick Week 1 and replacing him with Taylor Heinecke. However, there is more to the story than the raw points per game numbers would lead you to believe.
The WFT offense only scored 20 total points in their last two games against the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos despite averaging an excellent six yards per play in those games. In those games alone, they missed three field goals, had four turnovers, and failed on three separate 4th down conversions inside the red zone. Ultimately, you would never expect a team averaging six yards per play to come away with only 10 points in each of these games.
This team has been highly unlucky over the first half of the season, and the stats back this up. They lead the NFL in drives that end in a TO, missed FG, or loss of downs at 33%. Additionally, I would expect to see positive regression in the turnover department over their last nine games. Given these stats, it’s likely that the betting markets are extremely undervaluing Washington.
Explosive Tampa Bay
Washington will have to throw the ball more to keep pace with this explosive Tampa Bay offense. Tom Brady’s Bucs have averaged 32.5 PPG this season and now get to face a Washington defense that ranks 30th in DVOA.
The Bucs will pass the ball often, as they rank 1st in the NFL in pass rate (67%). This should only increase as they go up against a WFT defense that allows the 5th highest pass rate in the NFL.
Washington will undoubtedly increase their pass rate because every opponent faced the Bucs has done so this year. Everyone knows they can’t succeed running the ball against this Tampa Bay defense, so they opt to go more pass-heavy. These teams also play fast, with Tampa Bay ranking 6th in neutral game pace and WFT ranking 10th.
Expect Points From This Matchup
The Washington Football Team’s offensive numbers are not indicative of their true efficiency. Antonio Gibson will struggle to run the ball against this stout Tampa Bay run defense, and this will force Washington to increase their pass rate, which should lead to more points and a faster pace of play. Again, Tampa Bay will undoubtedly put up points against a struggling Washington defense, further contributing to a game script that forces the Football Team to throw to stay in the game.
Both teams are also getting key contributors back on offense, and both teams are coming off a bye. All of this contributes to the narrative that this will be an explosive, high-scoring game.
I believe the Washington Football Team has enough firepower to keep this game within single digits and cover this (9.5) point spread against the Bucs. To cover this spread, they will need to put up lots of points, and for that reason, I believe they are a sneaky good pick for BetMGM’s King of the Weekend promo.
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