The reigning NFC East champion Washington Football Team owns a playoff-ready defense and key pieces on offense to contend for back-to-back division titles. No team has won the NFC East in consecutive years since 2003-2004 (Philadelphia).
As we head toward training camp, the biggest question is whether Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a difference-maker that puts Washington over the top or if he'll crash and burn on one of the down slopes of his career cycle.
Through the offseason program, Fitzpatrick has already made a difference, according to linebacker Jon Bostic.
"You can see just how much of a step that offense has taken already," the veteran told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I think he's really, really going to help those guys out. I can start to see how he's improved how they're running certain routes, and he's like, 'I'm going to throw you open here,' some of these 7-routes, instead of running them maybe like a clear-cut 7 (route) maybe bend it a little more, it's going to make it harder for the linebacker to try and get under (the route).
"I'm very pleased with where we are on the offensive side of the ball and happy as we're growing as a football team."
Last year, Washington's offense struggled mightily under the shakiness of Dwayne Haskins. Alex Smith's entry steadied the fort, as the veteran went 5-1 and helped spearhead the club's postseason sprint.
Smith's success proved that Washington simply needed a caretaker on offense to allow the defense to thrive. No longer put in bad spots due to poor QB decisions, Ron Rivera's defense dominated.
Washington hopes that Fitzpatrick can take the offense to the next level. He's a gunslinger who can make plays down the field but also knows when to find his release. The key for Fitzpatrick will be avoiding turnovers. In years that he's struggled, it's been due to coughing up the pigskin.
The Washington Football Team has a defense that can carry it to the postseason. It needs Fitzmagic to take it further this time around.