Heading into the 2021 season, the NFC East is widely thought of as one of the worst divisions in football. Its 2020 winner, Washington, made hosted a playoff game with a 7-9 record.
That’s part of why even though the Football Team is coming off a title, one of the club’s veterans knows there’s more work to be done.
“The biggest thing I try to tell my teammates is that as exciting as it is, and how much ‘potential’ we have, that’s all it is right now — it’s just potential,” defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We won the division with a 7-9 record. And as proud as we are to say we won the division, 7-9 is not what we’re shooting for every year. So I think we just have to keep things in perspective and realize we have a long way to go. We’re not even close to hitting where we think we can be or even where we want to be. And we’ve just got to continue to grind.”
Still, Allen feels like Washington is on the right track with Ron Rivera as head coach.
“Now, where we are in 2021 compared to 2017 — night and day difference,” Allen said. “And that’s no shade to any other regime. I just know what we’re building here now, is a winning culture. And I’m a truly high believer that you can’t have a winning team without a winning culture and a winning atmosphere. And that goes from player personnel to the cooks, everybody — everybody has to be a part of it. And I think that’s what we’re doing here. So I think it’s exciting.”
Washington has finished 7-9 in three of the past four seasons, though that was enough for the franchise’s first NFC East title since 2015.
But even if the Football Team was shooting for that record in 2021, it won’t be possible with the new 17-game schedule.
A 7-9-1 finish is still on the table.