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5 reasons why Washington Football Team fans should be grateful this Christmas

Washington Football Team names Alex Smith starting QB
Oct 11, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) on the field against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas is a time to give back to those who are close to you. It is a time to be thankful for the people in everyday life and to give back to them in the form of gift-giving and holiday cheer. It is easy to get lost in the tree decorating, light shows, and holiday festivities, but everyone should find something to be thankful for on this joyous holiday. That includes your Washington Football Team.

As a Washington Football Team fan, one may wonder what is there to be thankful for. Washington’s fans have been sitting in misery for what seems like centuries. But the tides are turning.

Grab your chestnut lattes and sit by your Christmas tree, and be thankful for being a Washington Football Team fan. Here are five reasons why Washington Football Team fans should be grateful this Christmas.

5. Antonio Gibson is a rising star for Washington

In today’s day and age of football, running backs are expected to be a jack of all trades. Running backs are supposed to be able to run between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and be able to make a few defenders miss in the opening field.

Stars like Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley are elite in these fields. In his rookie year, Gibson might not be one of those three, but he is on his way to becoming a top back in the NFL.

Through 11 games, Gibson has tallied 645 rushing yards with 11 rushing touchdowns. He also has had 212 receiving yards on 27 receptions. He is coming off a breakout game versus the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, rushing for 115 rushing yards and a whopping three touchdowns.

The rookie running back is putting up these numbers while splitting carries with fellow running backs J.D McKissic and Peyton Barber.

The third-round pick from Memphis has been the steal of the 2020 NFL draft. He is providing Washington with versatility on offense, and Washington fans should be rejoicing. Washington has its running back of the future, and he is plenty to be grateful about.

4. Washington fans got to see the greatest comeback in NFL history

2020 has been a year many would like to forget. But no one should ever forget the comeback of quarterback Alex Smith. Smith was on the verge of dying after a horrific leg injury. He battled, and he prevailed.

Smith is the ultimate inspiration. His resilience is unprecedented, and the moment he stepped foot on the field, 693 days later, chills rushed down every viewer’s spine. Tears rolled down many faces across America as the country witnessed a feel-good story in a world cluttered with fear.

Washington Football Team fans should be thankful for being a part of history. A quarter-century from now, when someone is talking about Alex Smith’s comeback or a clip is played of him stepping foot into the huddle in an empty stadium, be grateful he was wearing a Washington Football Team jersey.

3. Terry McLaurin is already a top receiver, and he is just getting started

Washington fans should be thrilled that for the first time in a long time; they have a franchise wide receiver. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon were the closest things Washington has had recently, and even though both were very good, the two wide receivers were not franchise cornerstones.

In only his second year, McLaurin is already a top 10 receiver. Through 11 games, he is No.5 in the NFL in receiving yards. He has more receiving yards than Davante Adams, Julio Jones, and Keenan Allen.

McLaurin is also dealing with inconsistent quarterback play. He has had to catch passes from three different quarterbacks this season, and he has not missed a beat.

Washington needs a lot of help on offense. The offensive line needs to be upgraded, and the team needs more receivers outside of just McLaurin. Washington will key an eye on how Smith plays as head coach Ron Rivera has hinted to the fact that he is open to Smith being a long-term quarterback. 

However, no matter who the quarterback is, the team has two dynamic playmakers in McLaurin and Gibson. Washington fans should be thankful for their two franchise cornerstones.

2. Defenses wins championships, and Washington has a top-five defense

Washington’s defense is dominating the competition. What makes them even scarier is how young the defense is. Jonathan Allen is 25 years old, Daron Payne is 23 years old, Montez Sweat is 24 years old, Chase Young is 21 years old and Matt Ioannidis is 26 years old.

The entire defensive line is young and still so dominating. Washington’s struggles in the previous seasons have led the team to build one of the best defenses in the NFL. Washington is No. 1 in passing defense in the NFL, and No. 4 in total defense.

Washington’s defense is built to win a championship, and if the offense can turn the corner, fans might finally be able to see a Super Bowl run. Washington fans need to be grateful for their top tier young defense.

1.Ron Rivera is changing the culture

Washington Football Team: Ron Rivera
Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Ron Rivera speaks during his introductory press conference at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington has struggled with culture for decades, and even though it is not fully revived, the culture is changing, and it is because of head coach Ron Rivera.

Sitting at 4-7, Washington is lucky to be in the playoff hunt. The NFC East is abysmal, but it is benefiting Washington. The team has made mental errors that could have propelled them to 5-5, but yet, the team is 4-7.

However, Rivera has his team fighting. In the second matchup versus the Giants, Washington climbed back from a 20-3 first-half deficit. Washington lost 23-20 due to two costly interceptions by Smith, but nevertheless, the resilience of the team expressed more than a simple win would have.

The following week, Washington found themselves in a similar predicament versus the Lions. Rivera’s squad was down by three touchdowns in the third quarter and crawled back into the game. Due to a roughing the passer penalty on Chase Young, the Lions won on a game-winning field goal.

Washington is still very much in the race for the NFC East crown, but that is not what is most important. The team has shown signs of resilience never seen in previous coaching regimes. The team is playing for each other, and even after losses, not being discouraged.

Enjoy the joyous holiday and be grateful for being a Washington Football Team fan.