If you are a Washington fan, I know that morale isn’t too high right n0w. However, the Football Team’s season is not over. Even though it may feel as though all hope is lost, the journey has yet to end in Washington. For those that are not aware of what I am alluding to, last Sunday at 1:00 pm eastern standard time the Dallas Cowboys came into Landover and very nearly dominated the Washington Football Team. With the end result being a victory for Dallas, there are a few big takeaways after Sunday’s game. First, that defense for Dallas seems to be the real deal. They were constantly causing pressure and absolute havoc for Washington’s QB’s. Taylor Heinicke had to be taken out of the game after taking too many hits, leaving the game after throwing one touchdown, one interception, and getting sacked several times.
This leads to one of my next points, which is that Washington cannot stay healthy. I would say just the O-line due to how deep in the rotation they are with the players in use there. However, their third-string quarterback just touched the field for the first time this season yesterday. Not to take anything away from his performance, as it was spectacular. It was just the spark Washington needed, after only being able to put points on the board from a prayer thrown by Heinicke to Cam Sims, which was a 50-50 ball between him and Trayvon Diggs. Now, let me take a break from Washington and its struggles – I must note this defense for Dallas played together for the first time all season, as they were previously injured.
Can’t Prepare for Something Never Seen
Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and a few other members of this defense were previously unable to play due to concerns about their health. With this defense back intact, it caught everyone off guard with how great they can truly be. Consequently, Washington could not fully prepare for this game on Sunday. This is because there was no film of the team that Washington played Sunday, and how can a team study with no material? They can’t. However, they did the best they could with the time they had left and made the necessary adjustments at halftime to keep the game competitive. Dallas went into the locker room up 24-0 at halftime, scoring what seemed to be a fairly easy 24 points. After halftime, Dallas was only able to put up a total of three points in the 2nd half of play.
Dak’s Worst Performance
After pointing this out, it is critical to understand that Sunday was the worst game for the Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in his entire career. Sunday, Prescott managed to average his worst QBR ever played in his career against Washington. Finishing with a QBR of 9.9, it beat out his previous worst rating and performance of 10.3 in a loss to Kansas City earlier this year. With this performance, Washington has now exposed a chink in the Cowboys’ armor. Although their defense is extremely stout and talented, their counterparts on offense seem very suspect. After a blowout first half, the Cowboys could not score in the second. Most of the points in the first were either scored or set up by the defense. I hope the scope of this game is starting to become easier to grasp for those who turned it off by the half.
Washington’s Come Back
Don’t worry, if there is still any confusion, I will be sure to clear it up. Kyle Allen and the Washington defense came alive in the 3rd and 4th. When the second half started, things looked like more of the same. Washington got a stop but couldn’t score. Things were nearly identical until a fumble by Antonio Gibson and a hard hit to Heinicke. When Allen and new signee RB Jonathan Williams came into the game, they were instantly able to do what the starters above them couldn’t: put a drive together. Both were able to assist in a great drive to make the score 14-27. Next, with a red-hot defense feeling the momentum, MLB Corey Holcomb takes an interception back for a touchdown.
Cowboys Close the Door
Now, with a score of 20-27 Washington gets another critical stop. With time in the 4th to tie the game, Allen is back on the field. All of a sudden with a chance to tie on 2nd and 3, Allen throws the perfect pass to Deandre Carter and the veteran receiver drops it. A throw that couldn’t have been any better. After this play, Dallas went back to being what they were in the first half, dominant on defense. Forcing a game-winning fumble, with the help of Gregory sacking Allen on 3rd down, sealed the game.
Washington is still in control of their own Destiny
After this game concluded and ended in a loss, many Washington fans have lost optimism. Nevertheless, the Football Team is still in the Wildcard round if the playoffs started today. Granted, they’re a lot lower than previously ranked, yet it still means that Washington has a chance, and a good one. The theme before this game on Sunday was “Washington controls their destiny,” and they still do. With the last games of the season all being within the division, they have an excellent chance to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
The Road ahead for Washington
The remaining schedule for Washington goes as follows: Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles again, and then the New York Giants to end the regular season. This schedule gives Washington the most control over whether they want to make it to the postseason or not. I know there may be a concern for this team and its capabilities after last night’s performance, however, that was a great game for such a bad performance. Meaning if Washington can clean up some of the minor errors the rest of the season should work out in their favor. Also, more of their players should start to become available to assist as the season closes. Injured players such as Logan Thomas, Curtis Samuel, Montez Sweat, and members of the O-line are key pieces for victory and should soon return. Washington finished last season strong – I believe they can do it again.