Washington took an early 7-0 lead as Dwayne Haskins hit Dontrelle Inman for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:24 left in the first quarter. Washington’s first first-half lead of the season didn’t last very long as the Browns completely took over in the second quarter.
Haskins was magnificently efficient in the first quarter, finishing 7-of-9 for 71 yards and a touchdown. However, he was abysmal in the second quarter, going 4-of-10 for 47 yards and two interceptions. Cleveland got it going with a 42-yard field goal off the leg of Cody “Double Doink” Parkey, early in the second. Haskins’ first turnover ultimately resulted in seven points for the opposing team. Nick Chubb then put together a marvelous 16-yard score and scamper after he took a handoff and immediately cut back to the left side of the field, evading the tackle of Troy Apke and then powered his way in to the end zone. Haskins’ second interception once again set Cleveland up with a short field with just under two minutes before half. Kareem Hunt then added a nine-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield leaving Washington trailing at half, 17-7.
Washington made adjustments as they came out of the break clicking on all cylinders. Rookie first-round pick Chase Young missed the second half because of a groin injury, but it didn’t seem to hinder the defensive front. The defense put the Browns on lock and limited Cleveland to zero points and negative-12 yards in the third quarter. Antonio Gibson scored a touchdown from two-yards out and Dontrelle Inman caught an 11-yard score, his second of the day, to put Washington back on top, 20-17.
In what seemed like a bit of déjà vu from earlier, Cleveland completely owned the fourth quarter. It was Washington’s inability to stop the run late in the game and their inability to protect the football that ultimately did them in. The duo of Hunt and Chubb combined for a total of 91 rushing yards and a touchdown. Haskins reverted back to the second quarter and threw his third interception of the day while also adding a fumble. Down by 11 with 6:36 remaining in the game, DE Myles Garrett put an end to any chance of a Washington comeback as he beat LT Christian Geron Jr. around the edge to force a strip-sack.
Washington’s defense couldn’t contain the Browns run game in the final stretch, but ultimately played well, given all the terrible situations their offense put them in. Haskins flashed his arm at times during the first and third quarter, but ultimately, he had one of his worst games of his young career. He was unable to take advantage of an achingly-weak Browns secondary, finishing 21-of-37 for 223 yards, two touchdowns, and not one…not two…not three…but, four turnovers. In what was the glaring bright spot of the day, Inman tallied three receptions for 38 yards and two touchdowns. Terry McLaurin also added 83 yards on four catches.
After starting off the season with an upset win over their division rival Eagles, the Washington Football Team has now lost two in a row, falling to 1-2 on the year. The good news? Washington resides in the NFC “Least,” and a 1-2 record currently has them sitting pretty at the top of the division.
That’s right — if the season ended today your Washington Football Team would be in the playoffs. The bad news? A match-up with their pissed-off neighbors up north in the “Battle of the Beltway.”