Going into this game, one of the keys to a Washington victory was their ability to contain Kyler Murray on the ground. They were unable to do so, as Murray burned them for 67 yards and zig-zagged his way to two rushing touchdowns. Murray also went 26-of-38 while adding another 286 yards and a score through the air.
The dynamic dual-threat gave the Cardinals an early 7-0 lead, hitting DeAndre Hopkins for a wide-open four-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone. Murray added a 22-yard scamper for a score, and Zane Gonzalez notched two field goals in the second quarter, putting Washington in a huge hole heading into the half, 20-0.
Washington’s offense was blistering-cold in the first half. Dwayne Haskins completed 9-of-16 of his passes for an anemic 52 yards, while also fumbling the ball away for his first turnover of the season. Steven Sims, Jr. did his QB no favors, adding to the turnover margin when he fumbled away a punt return late in the second quarter.
Washington finally awoke from their offensive slumber in the second half, but it was too little, too late. Dustin Hopkins notched a 24-yard field goal halfway through the third to end the shut-out. With 12:20 left in the fourth quarter, Haskins hit Terry McLaurin on a slant across the middle for a 24-yard touchdown. Haskins finished the day completing 19-of-33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown, while also committing one turnover.
Washington’s ground game wasn’t much better than what was on display in Week 1. After scoring two touchdowns in the season opener, Peyton Barber was non-existent, finishing with only one carry for one yard. It was rookie Antonio Gibson who led the way with 13 carries for 55 yards, eleven of which came on a touchdown run with just under seven minutes left in the fourth. J.D. McKissic also added 53 yards on eight carries for the day.
In a game that was never truly in reach, Washington did end up leaving with a few things to hang their hat on. Second-year receiver Terry McLaurin continued to build upon his impressive rookie season, putting up 125 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. If Haskins is to be the future at QB in Washington ,it’s imperative that he continues to build his repertoire with McLaurin.
On the defensive side of the ball, Chase Young once again justified Washington taking him with their second-overall pick in this year’s draft. Young finished the game with four tackles, one QB hit, and one sack, bringing his season total to 2.5 sacks after only two games. Landon Collins also backed up his record-breaking contract by contributing in all facets of this game, logging one sack and breaking up a pass attempt, while also recording the only Washington interception of the day.
The “Washington Five” didn’t quite back up their play from Week 1’s domination of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz, finishing the day with only three sacks. This is not a knock on Washington, as it is more of a testament to the play of Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Murray brings a slippery elusiveness to the field that only a few QBs in the league possess.
Nobody should be worried about Washington’s defense. The offense is something to start to worry about, though. After two weeks, they have yet to really get the ground game going. Dwayne Haskins has had a difficult time moving the ball down-field and extending drives that end in points. It’s only two games, but if the offense doesn’t start producing at a higher rate, it’s fair to question if Haskins is the future QB1 of the Burgundy & Gold.
Now sitting at 1-1, the Washington Football Team will look to get back on track in Week 3 as they travel to “The Land” and square off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns this Sunday at 1:00 PM.
(Featured Image Credit: Tanner Serrano / NFL.com)