The Washington Football Team has a chance to extend its winning streak to three in a row as it is set to take on the Seattle Seahawks (3-7) on Monday Night Football. Here are three players who could have pivotal roles.
Washington's offense as a whole has taken a positive turn since the bye week, but Antonio Gibson's progress over the past two games has played a critical role in why the team has won back-to-back contests.
Gibson, who has been dealing with a shin injury all season, is starting to run stronger and more deliberate compared to previous weeks. He's rushed for 159 yards in Washington's wins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. He hasn't broken off many massive runs, but his ability in short-yardage situations has been valuable to Washington as of late (he scored two one-yard runs against the Buccaneers, one of which he had to push a pile in order to cross the plane).
Seattle doesn't allow many explosive runs (it's actually one of the best in that regard, per Sharp Football), but it is allowing 122.2 yards per game. It should be a chance for Gibson to put his skills to good use once again.
One of the biggest reasons Washington's offense is starting to execute more efficiently has been Taylor Heinicke's resurgence. Not only has Heinicke been delivering crisp passes on a more regular basis, but his 77% completion rate has also been one of the most accurate in the NFL during Washington's win streak.
The biggest reason for this is that Heinicke is starting to throw in the correct windows. He's learned from his six-interception slump from Weeks 5 through 8 and has thrown four touchdowns while playing turnover-free football since then. Case and point: his touchdown to Cam Sims against the Panthers was threaded between two defenders and placed exactly where Sims needed it.
The most impressive part has been that Heinicke has put up these numbers against two of the better defenses in the league. The Seahawks, conversely, have struggled throughout the year and are currently 31st in yards allowed. If Heinicke can maintain his high level of play, Washington should be able to continue its offensive success.
Similar to its defense, Seattle's offense has also been inconsistent, whether it's been Russell Wilson or Geno Smith running things. It's only mustering 298.6 yards per game, which ranks 30th in the league.
However, that doesn't mean Seattle is without game changers on that side of the ball. Wilson is still one of the best quarterbacks playing today; DK Metcalf is one of the better performing young wideouts; and Tyler Lockett is still the savvy veteran who has put up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
Washington will need versatility from its secondary to keep Seattle's passing offense in check. That's why Kamren Curl should be in place to have another strong game. Curl has already proven he's a more competent player in his second season. He's already on pace to surpass the 88 tackles he had in 2020 and delivered some game-altering plays (his fourth-down stop against the Panthers led to a field goal that extended Washington's lead).
Curl has proven his value multiple times throughout his young career. There will be more opportunities for do so again with the Seahawks coming to FedExField on Monday.