Washington Football Team: Highs and lows from Week 7 win vs. Cowboys
Compared to the rest of the season, Washington played an almost flawless game today, so there weren’t too many lows. However, the team did again suffer some injuries that are concerning and had some mishaps that can be worked on over the bye week.
Landon Collins’ Injury
After getting the sack that led to a safety in the first quarter, Collins didn’t last too much longer against Dallas. He went down with what was reported as an ankle injury early in the second quarter, and was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Reports state that it looks like Collins is going to miss the remained of the year with an Achilles injury. Although his performance hasn’t been the best this season, his injury hurt any chance Washington had to trade him, which Chris Cooley had suggested.
Washington also doesn’t have too much depth at safety and might need to make a move before the trade deadline to fill that hole. They also could check out some of the available talent on the free-agent market.
Special Teams Struggles
Outside of Tress Way, special teams is an area that needs some work. Dustin Hopkins missed another field goal and is only 8-of-12 on the year., which is tied for second-to-last among kickers with more than five attempts. He is just 3-of-7 from beyond 40 yards and provides almost no value for the team in close game situations. Would you trust him on a game-winning kick? I wouldn’t.
Beyond field goals, Hopkins also made a mistake on a kickoff against the Cowboys. His line-drive kick after Washington took a 9-0 lead, didn’t provide much hang time and allowed Tony Pollard to have a lot of room on the return. If it wasn’t for a touchdown-saving tackle by Troy Apke, this could have been a momentum-shifting play.
Jon Bostic’s Hit on Andy Dalton
Although this play didn’t alter the outcome of the game, it was a boneheaded decision. On a third down, Bostic had a helmet-to-helmet hit on Andy Dalton, who had given himself up on a run. The impact of the collision knocked Dalton’s helmet off and he was declared out for the game. Bostic was rightfully ejected and should expect a fine from the NFL for the hit.
Not only was Bostic ejected, which took one of Washington’s leading tacklers out of the game, but the penalty gave Dallas a free first down.
After the game, Ron Rivera said, “You’d like to tell Jon, he’s gotta be smarter than that because he’s a veteran guy.”
Overall, Washington was able to limit mistakes throughout the game and take advantage of one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL. With the win, Washington goes into the bye week with some momentum and can continue to work towards Rivera’s goal of a playoff berth.
Rivera was able to take a 7-8-1 team to the playoffs in 2014 with the Panthers. That team not only made the playoffs, but won its Wild Card game, and kept up with the Seahawks through three quarters in the divisional round.
Let’s see if Rivera can work his magic on this Washington team. It looks like the team has bought into his message, now we just need to continue seeing the results on the field.