Is this what rock bottom’s like? It sure feels like it.
The Washington Football Team suffered their fifth consecutive loss this season on Sunday, this time to the previously winless New York Giants, and have now plunged to the final spot of the worst division in football. And boy let me tell you, it was a doozy of an afternoon.
Coming down to a final two-point conversion to win the game, the newly appointed starting quarterback Kyle Allen rolled to the left with a chance to tuck it and run for the endzone, but instead came to a full stop and essentially threw the ball into an open space of the field where no one was to be seen. It was actually pretty comical to watch. Even more comical was the rewatch, where it looked like Allen actually might have had a chance to run it in for the win had he not come to a complete halt.
We’ll get more into Allen’s performance in a minute, but for now, let’s embrace the #TankforTrevor movement because we are absolutely in the thick of it. Not that this team is really going to tank under a coach like Ron Rivera, but the talent on this team speaks for itself, they’re losing games whether they try or not. Might as well hope and pray for a generational talent like Trevor Lawrence in the process. The Jets seem like the team destined for the top pick though, so don’t get your hopes up. Still, it’s time to start thinking about this upcoming draft. There are plenty of quarterback options (and even an elite tackle from Oregon) to choose from. That’s a discussion for another day though. Today, we talk about the hilariously sad loss to a team just as low as we are.
Kyle Allen should not be a starting quarterback in the NFL
Before I really rip into this guy, I’ll admit he had his moments in this game. The touchdown throws to Logan Thomas and Cam Sims were actually really beautiful passes, and he made a couple nice scrambles that showed off his sneaky athleticism. He actually had a legitimate chance to be the hero in this one if he just tucked the ball and ran for the pylon on that game-deciding two-point conversion. I’m sure on a decent team, Allen wouldn’t be a bad backup or spot starter.
That’s the end of the praise. Kyle Allen is a terrible choice to lead this team. The mistakes he made absolutely cost Washington the game. I don’t even know where to start with this guy. His two turnovers were so utterly horrendous that I had to just laugh. The first interception made zero sense; he had a decent pocket, he was able to actually step in and deliver the throw and he just gifted it to James Bradberry in double coverage. I don’t even know what he was trying to do there because I saw no window to throw into. He made the throw though and essentially handed New York an easy scoring drive that started at the Washington 27. Way to be, Kyle.
The fumble was a combination of terrible pass protection and Allen’s inability to just hold onto the football. There was nothing he could do but just put two hands on the ball and go down. Instead, he weirdly flailed his arms around and just threw the ball up in the air I guess? I’ve watched the play a few times and I’m not sure if he just couldn’t properly hold onto it or if he was actually trying to make something out of nothing. Either way, it was tragic.
The guy’s mastery of the scheme was really on full display. I totally get why this coaching staff thinks this guy gives us the best chance to win the division over Dwayne Haskins. This season has been a fever dream ever since that coaching decision. I continue to have no clue why they did that. Allen will not be leading this team, or any team, to a division title in his NFL career. That doesn’t feel like too bold of a take to say, but I’m saying it anyway.
I’m done talking about this guy. It’s just sad to type about.
The defense was fine, albeit underwhelming
I really was hoping to see the defensive line show out yesterday against one of the worst offensive lines in football (next to ours, of course). So far this season, Daniel Jones has been sacked 17 times, the fourth most in the league. Washington accounted for just one of those. The fact that they only pressured him five times all game with this type of defensive line is hugely concerning.
They also gave up the big play way too often. I was wondering why Fabian Moreau wasn’t getting a lot of snaps this season after a strong first week and I guess I now know why. With just 13 snaps all game, Moreau managed to be the main culprit on New York’s biggest offensive play, a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton. I guess we won’t be seeing too much of him next week against a far superior Dallas receiving corps.
Letting a threat like Slayton get open down the field is one thing, but to let Jones himself beat this defense with his legs was just the cherry on top. I guess they really didn’t need Saquon Barkley after all because Jones led the way with a game-high 74 yards rushing off seven carries. The guy out-ran the entire defense on one play and later embarrassed Landon Collins with another one of his patented missed tackles. It wasn’t Collins’ only missed tackle of the day though.
There’s still four more years left on his contract by the way.
They only gave up 13 points at the end of the day despite all of that, which I think is perfectly decent all things considered. I won’t pin this loss entirely on the defense because they were able to hold this offense to two field goals and a short-field touchdown courtesy of Kyle Allen’s decision-making. I guess that gives them a passing grade, but just barely.
It’s time to cut ties with Dustin Hopkins
Hopkins has been with this team for six years and for the most part he’s been a pretty reliable kicker despite a few ups-and-downs, but we’ve got to let this guy go. He’s just not very trustworthy anymore.
His 47-yard missed field goal on the opening drive proved to be a deciding factor in the outcome of this game, and it’s not like he’s really been all that good this year anyway. He’s now missed three of his 10 field goal attempts this season, all of which were from 47+. Surely there’s an upgrade out there on the market. This team has a bunch of unfixable issues that can’t really be addressed until the offseason, but this one can absolutely be fixed right now.
A space for appraisal
I did this last week by mentioning Kendall Fuller and Montez Sweat as bright spots in the loss to the Rams so I’m going to do that again, but in a different format. I’ll probably end up keeping it like this in these types of losing situations (which will probably happen a lot this season). So let’s mention a few guys I thought played pretty well.
Da’Ron Payne: He was the best defenders on the field yesterday, finishing with five tackles, one tackle for loss and a deflected pass. I thought he looked good most of the day and he made a couple really nice plays in the process. The guy is a stud on the line.
Logan Thomas: Thomas made one of the best plays of the day with his fantastic five-yard touchdown pass before the end of the half. Rarely do we see the fade work with this team, but Thomas made a great effort by tip-toeing the line and staying inbounds for a heckuva grab. He finished the day with a solid three catches for 42 yards.
Cam Sims: He only made one catch on seven snaps, but boy was that some catch. Sims hauled in his first career NFL touchdown on the final drive of the game to make it 20-19 and give this team a chance at a win. I’ve always liked Sims and found him to be an underused possession receiver with some good size so it was nice to see him make a big play late in the game.
Terry McLaurin: This is a weekly thing. He’s always great even when the rest of the team isn’t. He finished with a quiet but strong seven catches for 74 yards. My love for F1 is one of the few things that keeps me watching this offense with some shred of hope.
J.D. McKissic: You know, he hasn’t been great this year, but I came away pretty impressed by McKissic’s performance in this one. Considering how often Allen just dumps the ball off to his checkdown, McKissic sees a lot of action in the passing game, and I thought he made a few nice effort plays to extend drives. He finished with six catches for 43 yards and also led the team in rushing with a modest 41 yards on eight carries.
Kendall Fuller: Similar to McLaurin, this is a weekly thing because Fuller is always good at his job. He made another fantastic play this week with a diving interception in the red zone that ended a drive that went for over nine minutes. I give credit to Chase Young for the pressure on Jones, but that play doesn’t happen without Fuller completely committing to laying out for that ball. He’s one of the good ones.
That’ll do it for this week’s edition of Robservations. Obviously it wasn’t a great week for this team, who now sits at 1-5 and is very much in line for being one of the worst teams in the league. I’d keep an eye out for a fire sale of players as we get closer to the trade deadline; Haskins obviously is a big one, but guys like our beloved Ryan Kerrigan (who had just seven snaps all game), Ryan Anderson and maybe even Brandon Scherff could potentially be on the way out as this team continues to rebuild.
Next time we’ll be talking about our week seven matchup with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys which I’m sure will not be a fun conversation.