The Washington Football Team laid a massive egg Sunday in Cleveland. The ugly loss puts them at 1-2 on the young season, but miraculously, they still sit atop the division. Regardless of how bad the NFC East is this year, Washington’s spot should be short-lived, as we can all see this is NOT a very good football team.
Still, there were a few positives to take away from yesterday’s game - albeit not many; to go along with a slew of negatives. The only hope now is that the team can rally together, put on their big-boy pants, and as least make next weeks Ravens game look semi competitive - something that will take a monumental effort in itself.
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game, followed by some comments.
Terry McLaurin - McLaurin continues to show he’s a legit number one wide receiver in the league, despite a horrid performance by quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The second year pro hauled in four receptions for 83 yards. He should have had an EASY touchdown that Haskins misfired on, and another reception later in the game where the refs inexcusably called him for offensive pass interference - an egregiously bad flag. McLaurin’s run-after-catch ability is something special!
Jonathan Allen - Allen was a beast inside all game long. He led the team with nine tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. The team captain is off to a nice start in 2020.
Montez Sweat - Sweat had one of the best games of his young career Sunday against the Browns. He had 4 tackles, 2.5 for a loss and a sack with numerous pressures on the afternoon. He would have had another sack of Baker Mayfield had Ron Rivera challenged the play where Baker escaped the pocket to his right and threw the ball away while going down in the grasp of Sweat to avoid a sack(his knee was down before he released the football). Not that it mattered, because Mayfield was called for intentional grounding on the play which resulted in a loss of down and yards. Sweat now has two sacks, multiple pressures, four tackles for a loss and 6 quarterback hits after three games.
Daron Payne - Payne put together a nice game against a very good Browns offensive line. He was disruptive all afternoon, recording five tackles, one for a loss and a pressure.
Dwayne Haskins Jr. - This was an AWFUL game by the second year quarter, who simply made some head-scratching throws. His accuracy was all over the place, his decision making way horrid, and his body language spoke volumes to the mood he must have been in later in that contest.
Now look, had the Bills given up on Josh Allen after his first 11 starts(which were really bad), they would have been making a massive mistake(52% completed passes for 2074 yards with 10TD’s and 12INT’s). Haskins needs to play the entire season to see what he has for the rest of the year. But, if these mistakes can’t be corrected, you may see Rivera and Co. start looking elsewhere.
Geron Christian Sr. - Christian rebounded from a horrific performance against the Eagles, with a better showing against the Cardinals. He took two steps back however yesterday in his showdown with Myles Garrett and the Browns. Granted, Garrett is one of the more talented pass rushers in the league, but Christian proved he was no where near up to the task of stopping the veteran. Garrett had two sacks, multiple pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against Geron. Christian also struggled to get much movement in the run game Sunday.
Wes Martin - Martin has been struggling all season at left guard, and Sunday was no exception. He failed to help center Chase Roullier with a gap defender early in the game, and the play was completely blown up. He allowed a sack, three pressures and was called for holding. We need a lot better!
Landon Collins - Many, including myself, have been bashing Troy Apke for all his missed tackles on the season, but Landon Collins has had his misses too. On Sunday, he whiffed on numerous attempts, and for a man being paid like he is, that’s completely unacceptable.
Troy Apke - Yep, you guessed it - Apke is a Dud again this week. He AGAIN missed multiple tackles and dropped an easy interception. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a thing on a shorter touchdown run, but in the second quarter, on a Nick Chubb TD, Apke missed him TWICE(you’ll see the film tomorrow in Tyler’s Takes)!
- I’m not calling coach Ron Rivera a dud...but man, you gotta show SOME faith in you team down by just two scores with time left in the fourth quarter and CALL THE DAMN TIMEOUT! This is the second week he’s done this. There may be a method to his madness, but I just don’t like this, and it sends a poor message to the team.
- Antonio Gandy-Golden looked FAST on his reverse, but he dropped a catchable ball in the 3rd quarter and has been inconsistent in getting open. He has potential, but needs a LOT of work.
- I said in a tweet before the game, that I’d like to see Isaiah Wright get the start against the Browns, and that’s just what happened. Wright looked explosive on some short screens, and he hauled in four passes for 24 yards. It’s time to roll with the youngster.
- Tim Settle quietly had himself another nice game on the interior. He recorded three tackles and had a pressure.
- Washington was in a base defense for a good part of Sunday’s game. At linebacker, in his first action of the year, Thomas Davis Sr. looked REALLY slow!
- Dustin Hopkins is good for at least 2-3 chip-shot misses on either field goals or extra-points during the season. He had his first missed XP Sunday.