The Washington Football Team fell to the New Orleans Saints yesterday 33-22, moving them to 2-3 on the season. Another frustrating loss for the same reasons that Washington had struggled in their previous four games. Washington dominated the time of possession in the first half by having the football for nearly ten more minutes than the Saints; but they still trailed 20-13 at the half. Washington entered the Saints’ redzone on three occasions in the first half, scoring just one touchdown out of that.
In the end, Washington had five attempts and scored just twice on five redzone attempts. Further, in a game where Washington dominated the time of possession for three of four quarters of the football game, Washington was dominated by the Saints when it mattered, most, holding the ball just five minutes in the fourth quarter.
It’s easy to see why Washington Head Coach Ron Rivera is frustrated knowing how the game went, but what exactly will his frustrations amount to?
“Yep, I’m very frustrated because we’ve got too many good football players to not be better than what we are right now. But your record tells everybody what you are, that’s what we are. We’re a 2-3 football team right now.” - Rivera on if he is frustrated with the team.
Not only did Rivera acknowledge that he was frustrated with the team, but he also admitted that he believes his team is lacking confidence.
“I think we lack a little bit of confidence right now. We had a little bit of confidence, we made some things happen, then we made a couple of mistakes and lost a little bit of confidence. We need to keep our confidence level up if we expect to give ourselves a chance to win football games.” - Rivera on his overall feeling of where the team is at right now.
When asked to speak specifically on where the confidence has been lost, Rivera stated, “Sometimes just not making plays when we need to. That’s how I see it. Because we made plays and got things rolling, then we had something bad happen, and we just have to handle that and deal with that a little bit better.”
For the most part, Rivera was tight-lipped during his post-game presser about the most critical moments in the game. That indicates that he’s all out of excuses but cannot afford to continuously give the media and the fans the same answers for the defensive errors by players and their coaches. Further, if there was no confirmation that the defensive players are so transparent in their looks to the opposing offenses, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston let us know that he can see what’s coming from Washington’s defense.
Jameis Winston said he knew Saints could hit big on that 72-yard TD based on the coverage (quarters), and the safety. Said of Landon Collins "It’s all predicated on his depth. He was 12 yards and his speed and Deonte’s speed was not really a comparison."— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) October 10, 2021
So the coaches know the issues, and opposing players call out the predictive alignments that Washington’s defense is in; the last thing left to ask is where the accountability is?
Landon Collins said they didn’t think the Saints would attempt a Hail Mary. Said they were expecting a quick pass and FG attempt “we werent prepared for that one”.— John Keim (@john_keim) October 10, 2021
Rivera’s team is facing a gauntlet of an upcoming schedule, and they have already regressed beyond anyone’s expectations, even after the perceived upgrades that his team has had on both sides of the football. So instead of talking about what Rivera’s players are or are not doing, it now turns to what exactly Rivera is doing or not doing. Time is running out on saving the season, and it will fall on Rivera’s shoulders if Washington fails miserably in the win/loss column at the end of the year.