Five positives and negatives for Washington Football Team in loss to Cardinals
On the flip side, Washington is sporting a 67 percent efficiency on fourth down conversions after two games. Sure, it is only two games, but that is a good statistic to build on.
Converting a fourth-down can keep a drive going, especially at a critical point in the game. In contrast, Washington is staring at a putrid 30 percent efficiency on third-down conversions after two games, and that is why we have seen fourth down situations thus far.
Converting on fourth downs can win close games. Such plays can make come from behind victories possible. It can also give the defense an extended period of rest when it is probably needed the most. A 67 percent conversion rate on fourth down is a definite positive and while coaches would prefer to avoid fourth-down scenarios, at least the WFT appears to be on the right track here.
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Turnovers. Last week, it was a positive. This week, it is a negative. Washington had a first and goal in the first quarter and Dwayne Haskins lost a fumble at that juncture. That is seven points given away right there. Seven crucial points.
Steven Sims lost a fumble on a punt return late in the first quarter and the Cardinals were able to score a touchdown six plays later. That’s another seven points given to the home team. That simply can’t happen if the WFT wants to be competitive throughout the game.
Those two turnovers in the first quarter were huge. If Washington is able to score a touchdown and extra point on that drive, we’re looking at a 30-22 final score. If Sims doesn’t fumble, let’s assume that we can subtract the Cardinals touchdown on that drive. Now we are looking at a 23-22 deficit.
If the game is that close, Washington likely kicks two extra points instead of going for a pair of two-point conversions in the second half. That gives the WFT a 24-23 victory. It’s all theoretical, but not out of the realm of possibility here. Those two turnovers directly impacted the outcome of the game.