Just two weeks ago, the Washington Football Team obliterated their division rival Dallas Cowboys, 26-3.
Kyle Allen had put together two solid games in back-to-back weeks and Antonio Gibson was starting to touch the ball more. Not to mention, Washington was coming off their bye week — a week that allowed key players, such as rookie DE Chase Young, to get back to 100 percent. All signs seemed to be pointing towards Washington securing another pivotal divisional win.
However, this is the NFL and the old adage clearly states, “Any Given Sunday.”
The Giants took the opening possession and moved the ball with moderate ease. Joe Judge passed on the 52-yard field goal attempt and elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 on Washington’s 35. Dion Lewis took the handoff and was immediately met by Daron Payne for a turnover on downs. That’s about the only positive play Washington had in the entire first half.
Washington gave the ball right back to the Giants after Gibson coughed the ball up on Washington’s first offensive play of the game. Graham Gano was able to tack on a 38-yard field goal, giving the Giants the early 3-0 lead. With 5:26 left in the first quarter Washington committed its second turnover of the day when Isaiah Wright muffed a punt, setting the Giants up in the redzone. Four plays later, Wayne Gallman ran it in from two yards out, extending the Giants lead to 10-0.
What is it with Washington QBs and lower leg injuries? If you’re a quarterback and aspire to play in the NFL, you might want to stay away from the DMV.
Towards the end of the first quarter Allen was carted off the field after suffering a gruesome leg injury. Ironically, Alex Smith came in to replace Allen.
On that same drive, Washington put its first points on the board as Dustin Hopkins connected on a 48-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7.
On the ensuing drive, the Giants added another three points, as Graham Gano connected on a 48-yard field goal of his own. Washington was unable to answer, as they lost four yards and had to punt the ball away after a three-and-out.
The Giants turned to Alfred Morris and watched him gut Washington’s defensive front. He carried the ball five times, racking up 44 yards and set the Giants up at Washington’s 16. Daniel Jones capped off the drive with a 16-yard strike to Evan Engram, extending the lead to 20-3.
After being completely dominated in the first half, Washington came out of the break swinging. Gibson capped off a six-play 75-yard drive with a one-yard score up the middle, cutting the deficit to 20-10. After an exchange of field goals, Washington entered the fourth needing to mount a 10-point comeback.
It seemed as if Washington would do just that. With 10:24 remaining in the fourth Terry McLaurin caught a pass on a post pattern, broke a tackle, and ran it in for a 68-yard touchdown, bringing Washington to within three, 23-20.
Washington would possess the ball two more times before it was all said and done. Unfortunately, they would fall just short as both drives ended in Smith throwing it to the men in blue.
Once again, the Washington faithful saw their Burgundy & Gold start off slow as molasses.
Their offense was non-existent in the first half, putting up only three points. Overall, Washington’s defense played well, holding the G-men to only three points in the second half. The ferocious five up front were much improved from the first matchup, totaling four sacks on the day.
However, Washington simply does not have the fire power on offense to mount double-digit comebacks on a week-to-week basis.
Outside of Terry McLaurin — who had a great day finishing with seven catches for 115 yards and a score — Washington lacks playmakers. For Washington to have a chance going forward, they must have some form of consistency. Alex Smith resembled that of a gunslinger, hitting on a few big plays, but careless with the ball in throwing three costly interceptions.
Washington currently sports a 2-6 record and sits in second in the jumbled NFC East. If Washington wants to be successful, they will need Smith to revert back to the game manager that we’ve all come to love. He’ll now have a full week to prepare as QB1 with a very winnable game on tap.
Tune in this Sunday at 1:00 PM as the Washington Football Team travels to Motown to take on the Detroit Lions.
(Featured Image Credit: Washington Football Team)