From the moment Ron Rivera stepped up to the podium for the first time as the Washington Football Team's head coach more than a year ago, he spoke of a vision for where he wanted to take the franchise.
He explained how he wanted to return a team that finished the 2019 season with a 3-13 record to its days of being perennial playoff contenders. He wanted to help Washington reach the same tier as some of the modern powerhouse organizations like Kansas City, Seattle and Green Bay, and he wanted to do that by building on the potential of its young, talented roster.
Rivera would say there is still a long way to go before that vision is realized, but winning the NFC East in his first year is a good way to start.
After starting the 2020 season 1-5, Washington claimed the division title for the first time since 2015 with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The team had to endure double-digit losses, injuries at key positions, multiple quarterback changes and Rivera battling cancer during the season. And yet, Washington never believed the division crown was out of reach, and the players showed resilience throughout one wave of adversity after the other.
Rivera showed confidence in the players he had at his disposal, and that faith has finally paid off. Take a look back at how the head coach turned potential into a playoff berth.