The Washington Football Team entered the season with high hopes and expectations of repeating as the NFC East champions. They entered Week 5 with a 2-2 record after pulling out a road win against the Atlanta Falcons. The came back to FedEx Field on Sunday to start a two game home stretch with the New Orleans Saints. All of the same problems showed up on the field, and Taylor Heinicke had his shakiest start this year. The Saints won 33-22, and comments from Head Coach Ron Rivera and players after the game are still not sitting well with the fanbase.
Washington now has three games in a row before they hit the bye in Week 9. They will host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, then hit the road for games against the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. The team is 2-3 now, but a 2-6 record will make the displeasure in the fanbase a lot louder. And that’s not including the distractions coming from off the field...
The collapse of the WFT defense remains one of the biggest WTF’s of the season so far. And don’t think for a minute that things will get any better around the team as the focus from Jon Gruden’s scandal refocuses itself on the franchise that started all that. Last Week: 19
Most improved player: QB Taylor Heinicke
How they’ve improved: There aren’t many candidates here — maybe returner DeAndre Carter — but Heinicke certainly qualifies when you compare him to where he was in 2020: attending classes at Old Dominion University. He was just about done thinking he’d be back in the NFL. For that reason alone, he is the WFT’s most improved player. Heinicke has his limitations, and they’re on display against really good defenses — four combined picks in losses to Buffalo and New Orleans. But he has thrown for 1,208 yards and eight touchdowns (with five picks), and he has led two late, game-winning drives. His future might just be as a solid backup, but a year ago he was an NFL afterthought. — John Keim Last Week: 19
An overhyped defense continues to be a massive disappointment, allowing an NFC-worst 31 points per game. The WFT has already allowed at least 29 points in four games, something it did just five times in the entire 2020 regular season. Last Week: 20
It’s all coming apart for the Washington Football Team. A consensus top-10 defense entering the season is allowing Hail Mary touchdowns and making Jameis Winston look like an MVP. Meanwhile, quarterback Taylor Heinicke (two interceptions, 47.6 passer rating) fell back to earth. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to feast on Washington’s secondary in Week 6. Last Week: 20
Oddshark - Last Week: 14
NumberFire - Last week: 20
Washington’s secondary just isn’t good enough to keep the team in games. It needs a great effort from the front four, and that hasn’t happened yet. Washington isn’t going to stay in the NFC East race very long playing like this. Last Week: 20
WFT’s defense looked like it was dialed in again against the Saints, until the Hail Mary opened the door for the familiar breakdowns stemming from a lack of discipline and fundamentals. The burden of winning is starting to overwhelm Taylor Heinicke and the offense. Last Week: 19
This team might be broken. Washington’s secondary can’t get on the right page, and it’s cost them greatly. Why only WFT defender lifted his feet more than three inches off the ground on the Saints’ second-quarter Hail Mary, we may never know. What we do know is this defensive line can get pressure, and the secondary is struggling to cover … anybody.
Offensively, Taylor Heinicke is a great story, but he’s not a good quarterback. He’s physically limited as a passer, but his mind sees windows and angles that don’t exist in reality. Unless Washington can find an answer at QB, they won’t win very many games, even if their defense turns things around. Last Week: 22
A talented Washington defense continued to disappoint despite the fact that Jack Del Rio’s team managed to sack Saints’ quarterback Jameis Winston twice and force him into a pair of turnovers. This unit also gave up 279 yards and four aerial scores on the afternoon.
Washington’s Antonio Gibson ran for 60 yards and two scores. Taylor Heinicke threw for 248 yards and zero touchdowns but served up a pair of interceptions in this latest setback. Last week: 23
The defense is such a disappointment. Last Week: 19
New York Post - Last Week: 18
This team simply isn’t very good right now. The offense is limited, and the defense continues to fail to live up to expectations. That makes for, frankly, an irrelevant team. Last Week: 19
After some recent heroics, Washington Taylor Heinicke showed in Week 5 against the Saints why he has been a backup thus far in his career. The QB had his toughest game, but the carpet continues to get pulled out from underneath the Football Team’s defense. The Hail Mary was a tough look. Last Week: 20
Now dealing with key injuries on both sides of the ball, Washington is giving up 31 PPG and is only completing 30.5% of 3rd down opportunities. Taylor Heinicke has been good but not great and the WFT is stuck in neutral. Last Week: 22
Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t get back soon enough. Last Week: 20
The Ringer(Kelly) - Last Week: 21
Is there a more disappointing defense in football than Washington’s this year? Ron Rivera’s D made progress in pass-rushing and takeaways against the Saints, but the inability to stop big plays continued to haunt the Football Team in a 33-22 loss. On Sunday, Washington allowed a 72-yard touchdown to Deonte Harris and a Hail Mary score to Marquez Callaway at the end of the first half. After the game, Washington players said they didn’t see the end zone heave coming, which, hoo boy. Said Rivera: “I’m very frustrated, because we have too many good football players to not be better than what we are right now.” Last Week: 23
Before the season began, there were more than a few pundits who expected the Washington Football Team to field one of the best defenses in the NFL. Maybe the best.
Five weeks into the season, it is abundantly clear that is not the case. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Entering Week 5, Washington ranked 29th in yards allowed and dead last in the NFC in points allowed. After surrendering 33 points to the Saints in Week 5, Washington has given up at least 30 points in four straight contests.
While speaking to reporters after the game, Washington head coach Ron Rivera admitted he’s at a loss as to why the team is struggling so badly on defense.
“I think we lack a little bit of confidence right now,” Rivera said. “I’m very frustrated. We have too many good football players. Your record tells everybody what you are. We’re a 2-3 football team.”
With a desperate Kansas City Chiefs team up next, Washington had better figure something out quickly. Otherwise, given how well the Cowboys are playing, any chance the WFT might have in the NFC East could be gone before Halloween.
Last Week: 20
It’s hard to believe we imagined a dominant defense in Washington. That unit isn’t good right now and they face a must-win game this week against Kansas City. Last week: 20
Where should the Washington Football Team rank heading into Week 6?
Middle of the pack