Week 2 Quick Recap
Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out the Desert?
I was wrong
I was wrong
Yes, YOU were right.
I am off my high horse and have been brought back to reality. Being undefeated was all and well but of course, the nightmare is back for Washington fans. A nightmare that we knew was coming but did not know exactly what week to expect the disappointment. My prediction of a 24-17 Washington win was shattered by an unimpressive defeat against the Cardinals 30-15.
Now, the prediction was not fully off because a touchdown here or there could have made my hypothesis a little more true. In all honesty, Washington played a poor game.
On this past Sunday afternoon, Washington evened its record at 1-1 and is now currently in a tie with the Dallas Cowboys. Similar to Week 1, Washington faced a deficit early in the first half and tried to rally a comeback in the second half. For a team that is below mediocre, we cannot afford to start off slow, turnover on offense, or make mistakes on special teams. In a way, this team will have to be PERFECT just to maintain with an above-average team.
Now the game had some highs but it had its lows. So let’s start and finish with those. In the first half alone, Arizona showed a higher caliber of play as it built a 20-0 lead in the first half and outgained the Washington Football team 244 yards to 96 yards. The first points by Washington were not scored until the third quarter by a field goal from Dustin Hopkins. They finally scored a touchdown with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter with a pass from Haskins to McLaurin.
In the first quarter, Washington looked to gain some momentum with an early interception thrown by Murray to Landon Collins. That momentum was depleted once Haskins fumbled after getting hit on the arm by Phillips and Arizona recovered for good field position. A turnover that was not Haskins fault. This offensive line is a huge problem and will need to be addressed before the season ends.
Haskins’ success at this point and time depends on a congested backfield and a below-par offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, Washington tied for second-worst pass-blocking efficiency in the league with 17 pressures on 36 dropbacks. On the other side of the tape, Haskins is 6 foot 3, 225 pounds, so he can take a hit but his mobility is the question. His rare ability to get out of the pocket and make a play with his feet leaves the defense in a great position and Haskins in a worse one. Haskins must find comfortability in the pocket and use improvisation to keep the defense on their toes.
As a quick solution, Washington should move Morgan Moses to Left Tackle. He played that position at the University of Virginia and could provide decent results. Also, Troy Apke has to perform better. Maybe he doesn’t have what it takes to be a true NFL talent.
Week 3 Prediction
With that all said and done, Washington will face the Cleveland Browns this week. As a fan, should we be worried? The answer honestly depends on the fan. On one hand, a fan could sarcastically say, “It’s only the Cleveland Browns”. In all honesty, a Cleveland Browns fan can say the exact same about the Washington Football Team. (Which is still awkward to say and type, might I add).
Though Haskins had a rough game, on paper it was not that bad. Haskins passed for 223 yards and a TD. Terry Mclaurin had his first 2020-2021 season breakout with 7 caught passes for 125 yards. The Adrian Peterson dilemma is still a head-scratcher but at least Antonio Gibson rushed for 65 yards and accoladed his first NFL touchdown.
This momentum will need to be both emphasized in the first half as well as in the second half. With the way Washington is starting this year that momentum is started from the defensive side rather than the offensive side. Baker Mayfield needs to beware of the pass rush or end up like a pretzel. Mayfield had a breakout performance in Week 2 with a win over the Bengals. This article will not get into his stat line because it was against the Bengals….nothing special. This dude has more Hulu commercials than wins.
That Washington defensive line is lethal and will have a pleasure making Baker make characteristic plays. This defense is not all that bad. In the first two weeks, Washington has only allowed 217 yards rushing yards ranking 11th in the league. A good chunk of those yards came from Kyler Murray, who had 67 rushing yards. Washington also leads the league in sacks with 11 entering this upcoming Sunday. In all honesty, Washington will have their defense tested against Cleveland’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns are currently averaging 176.5 rushing yards per game, second in the NFL.
In the prediction this week, I expect to see a pass rush similar to Week 1. Washington recorded 8 sacks in Week 1 and must keep that presence in order for this offense to have momentum for success.
Score: 16-13 Washington
Shoutouts: 1. Jaden King: Woodbridge High #21/10.4 PPG/8.3 Rebounds PPG
2. @ez_buckets (Twitter)
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