Updated: Jan 22, 2021
The Washington Football Team celebrates their first Victory Monday of the season, but as predicted in The Burgundy and Gold Report’s Washington’s Defensive Line Could Be Scary the defensive line would and did carry the team to victory. Fans should be proud of Washington’s “never say die” attitude, but be even prouder of the second half adjustments made by the coaches. After trailing 17-7 at halftime, the second half was dominated by Washington who scored 20 unanswered points which resulted in a 27-17 victory. The defensive line led the way, recording 7 of the defense’s 8 sacks. Defensive tackles Daron Payne (0.5 sacks), John Allen (0.5 sacks) and Matt Ioannidis (1.5 sacks) imposed their will and looked unblockable at times.
Second year defensive end Montez Sweat (1 sack) and rookie Chase Young (1.5 sacks 1 FF) looked as good as advertised. But the elder statesman of the group, Ryan Kerrigan (2 sacks), stole the show after breaking Dexter Manley’s club sack record that stood for nearly 30 years. Kerrigan surprised many fans with his play, after losing his starting position to Young. One thing that seems clear after Washington’s dominant defensive performance is that DC Jack Del Rio will continue to roll out different combinations along the defensive line.
The cornerbacks started off shaky with Kendall Fuller inactive due to a sore knee. Fourth year cornerback Fabian Moreau recorded the teams first interception of the year and Jimmy Moreland recorded the teams second during their dominant second-half comeback. The defensive backfield should get a boost with the return of Fuller next week against Arizona, barring any setbacks.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins (17/31 178 passing yards with 1 TD and no ints) had a shaky performance, but seemed to get in a groove when OC Scott Turner decided to go uptempo in the closing minutes of the second half. In the end, Haskins made enough clutch throws to preserve the victory. The running game saw no back go over 40 yards, but Barber had two goal line touchdowns. The running back group with J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber and Antonio Gibson only managed to run for a combined 63 yards rushing.
The run game is a work in progress, but Philadelphia is always a tough team to run against. The receivers made plays when they were there and it was no surprise Terry Mclaurin led the way with 5 rec for 61 yards. Second year receiver Steven Sims Jr chipped in 50 yards on 3 receptions.
It’s clear the offense will take time to click. However, the defense looks ready to make their mark on the league. Washington faces another tough opponent next week in Arizona who upset the 49er’s 24-20 behind an outstanding performance from quarterback Kyler Murray. Players and fans will take the next 24 hours to enjoy a well deserved victory Monday, but come Tuesday it’s on to Arizona.