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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

“Football Team” Proves They Are a “Playoff Team” in NFC Wildcard

Washington+linebacker+Mychal+Kendricks+haunts+43+year+old+man+Tom+Brady+in+the+NFC+wildcard+game+at+FedEx+Field.+It+was+Washingtons+first+playoff+game+since+2015.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Smith
Washington linebacker Mychal Kendricks haunts 43 year old man Tom Brady in the NFC wildcard game at FedEx Field. It was Washington’s first playoff game since 2015.

Taylor Heinike was just another engineering student at Old Dominion University. The former XFL backup quarterback had spent some time on the Washington Football Team’s practice squad, serving as their “emergency quarterback.”
A few emergencies later, Heinike became the highest-graded quarterback on Wildcard Weekend.
The no-name, no-quarterback Washington Football Team shocked the world once again in the first round of the NFL playoffs by holding their own against Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but fell just short of moving on in the playoffs by a score of 31-23. It would be the first of three road playoff wins which propelled the Bucs to the first ever home-superbowl.
Many in the football world do not believe in “moral victories,” but the 7-9 Football Team’s effort against the 11-5 Buccaneers proved that, despite having a losing record, Washington deserved to be in the playoffs. Only one season after finishing last in the division and having the second-worst record in the NFL, Washington made the playoffs and stayed in the game until the very end. Although the season ended in defeat, Washington fans remain optimistic, seeing a bright future ahead for the team.
On Instagram, @washingtonnfl put it best, posting the game’s final score with the caption, “The campaign comes to an end. The journey continues…” For the first time in years, Washington Football fans are optimistic. Head coach Ron Rivera, who battled literal and metaphorical cancers all season long, has completely changed the team’s culture. New team president Jason Wright was awarded the “Best Hire of 2020” by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Dan Snyder may finally face the consequences of his actions. Captain Chase Young is a shoe-in for defensive rookie of the year. Taylor Heinikie will get to compete for the starting job. Alex Smith can retire on a high note after leading his team to the playoffs. Morgan Moses has an iHop menu item named after him. Things are finally looking up.
At the beginning of the season, I lamented having to root for a nameless team, but now I realize we’re not just any football team, we’re the football team.

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Joey Barke
Joey Barke, Staff Writer
Joey is scouring the globe for stories that you need to hear. He is ecstatic to finally work for The Pitch in his senior year. When he is not a journalist, Joey is the Vice President of the school and an active member of the theater program.
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