The Washington Football Team is just 4-7, but there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the franchise.
Washington has a standout defensive line, headlined by four first-round draft picks since 2017. And on offense, both Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson look to be gems it should be able to count on for years to come.
But where Washington has struggled this season is finding consistency at the quarterback position. Washington has started three different passers this year, and each one has had his own struggles.
Once Washington does figure out its quarterback situation though, former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor believes they'll be the team to beat in the NFC East.
"Washington has a good team, it's just been a quarterback carousel so far," Taylor said. "Once they find themselves a good quarterback, Washington is going to be hell in their division."
Taylor's comments come in an exclusive interview with the Washington Football Talk podcast. The former cornerback raved about other areas of Washington's roster, and truly believes they are just a quarterback away from being a dangerous team.
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"The highlight has been that defense," Taylor said. "They got a good group of running backs that can run the ball and take the pressure off the quarterback. I like Washington."
Of course, finding a franchise quarterback is a difficult task. The QB position is the most important in the sport, and franchise passers don't come available often.
Over the last month or so, though, quarterback has hardly been an issue for Washington.
Since Alex Smith took over as the starting signal-caller, the offense has played its best football of the season. The Burgundy and Gold have won two of Smith's three starts and are coming off their first 40-point game since the 2017 season, a 41-16 thumping over the Cowboys.
Smith has Washington rolling on offense. But at age 36 and coming off a major injury, it'd be unwise for the Burgundy and Gold to count on him as their starter for years to come.
Monday's matchup against Pittsburgh will be a good challenge for Smith, and a true testament to how good Washington's offense actually is. The Steelers boast one of the league's best defenses, if not the best group in the NFL. Pittsburgh remains the league's last undefeated team, too.
Coming off a hard-fought victory over the Ravens, and a big showdown with the Bills looming next Sunday night, it would be easy for Pittsburgh to overlook Washington.
Taylor, though, doesn't envision Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin allowing that to happen.
"Washington's record isn't really equivalent to how they've been playing," Taylor said. "They've been losing close games. It's not like they've been getting blown out. It's not like Washington is a sad team...I guarantee you that's exactly what Coach [Tomlin] is saying. It's been a quarterback carousel. Let's not sleep on their defense. Other than that, they're a good team. We can't take this team for granted or lightly."