Game #8 Washington has some fans back in the stands!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkWFT

The Washington Football Team gets another bite at the Big Apple. Okay, it is a “Small Apple” these days as the 1-7 New York Giants visit FedEx Field against the 2-5 WFT. Yes, the Giants only win this season was over Washington on a failed 2-point conversion with time running out. This is a chance for a Washington team to show they are learning together and progressing with Kyle Allen who gets his fourth start for the Burgundy and Gold. For the first time this season, Washington will have some fans in the stands numbering nearly 3,000 per Prince Georges County waivers after the State of Maryland last month signed-off on allowing up to 10% of capacity. Previously it was a “family only” crowd with a few hundred in attendance.

“I think that it’s going to be cool, I really do,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “I did feel the friends and family against Dallas, and that was kind of special, that really was.”

“I’m excited about it, I know our players will be excited about it,” Rivera continued. “It’s really kind of cool to slowly integrate fans back into the game because we truly do miss them.”

This is the 178th game between these storied franchises dating back to 1932. The Washington Football Team enters this game at 2-5 and a losing record. But they are in second place and trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles who are 3-5-1 on the season. It might not even take a winning record in the NFC East this season to make the puh puh playoffs.

Washington is led on offense by rookie Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin in the passing game. The defense must step up in this game like they did before last week’s bye week when Washington clobbered Dallas.

“The guy has a terrific arm. He’s been a good decision-maker — so far — but the one thing he’s struggled with is protecting the football,” Rivera said of Kyle Allen on his potential to become a long-term starter. “. . . It’s the same thing with Dwayne Haskins, it’s continued growth. Dwayne is at a little bit of a handicap because he’s only been in the system a year, where Kyle’s been in it for three.”

This is not exactly a game of heavyweights. Both teams are struggling to find an identity and it takes time with young teams. When they last met 3 weeks ago, the Giants rushed for a combined 132 yards with their quarterback, Daniel Jones, ripping off 74 of them. The WFT defense must do a better job of contain and that seemed to be the difference in their last meeting because Washington held them to only 112 yards through the air. Allen was 31-42 in completions for 280 yards and two TDs in that contest, and it was the ground game that was lacking with only 41 yards on the ground from J.D. McKissic and Gibson had only 30.

Notable with safety Landon Collins out with an ankle injury for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury, his spot as a team captain will go to Terry McLaurin who the players voted for unanimously to be a new captain.

“It was kind of shocking because I didn’t come in here today thinking I was going to be a captain,” McLaurin said. “I didn’t even know there was going to be a vacancy.”

Being a captain is not new for McLaurin who held that honor at his alma mater, Ohio State, for two seasons. McLaurin has stepped up as a team leader in recent weeks giving unrehearsed speeches to his teammates after wins. When he learned of this honor bestowed upon him on Wednesday, he gave another speech.

Washington and New York kickoff at 1 p.m. ET at FedEx Field in the D.C. area on FOX.

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