There were several positives to take away from the Washington Football Team‘s opening day loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but overall, it was a very depressing beginning to the 2021 season.
Here then, are the good, the bad, and the ugly of Week 1.
William Jackson III is clearly the best defensive back Washington has. As of now, he is the only player who you feel comfortable with in man-to-man coverage, and his interception was a potential game changer.
It was a very rough day for the rookies. Jamin Davis was largely invisible. Sam Cosmi was eaten alive by Joey Bosa until he got some help and settled down a bit. Benjamin St-Juste was often in position to make plays but was abused on two back shoulder throws to Mike Williams. John Bates whiffed on a key block. None of this is scary, because there were bound to be growing pains. They should all improve. But this was not a good way to start.
Best newcomer, Part 2
It was nice to see what a professional kick returner can due. DeAndre Carter will help this team win games this year.
Worst newcomer, Part 2
Seems unkind to pick on Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was knocked out of his Washington Football Team debut game early in the second quarter. But he didn’t do much when he was in there. Coming on the heels of an unimpressive pre-season, unlike the rookies, this is a huge cause for concern.
The offensive tackles had some protection problems and Brandon Scherff had some costly penalties. But Chase Roullier was a stud, building on his solid showing last season.
Best veteran, Part 2
Logan Thomas is the smartest player on the team. He did this constantly last year as well. He was the first, and virtually only, player on the field to recognize that Taylor Heinicke’s apparent incomplete pass in the first half was going to be ruled a fumble and pounced on the ball. And he makes the simple plays, like getting out of bounds at the end of the first half, something not every player always does.
Worst play by an otherwise excellent player
Antonio Gibson had such a good game, proving that he is now a first-rate runner. It’s a shame his fumble was the turning point in the loss. He will be a major force this year.
Best play by a player who was strangely ignored
I realize you cannot throw to Terry McLaurin every play. But the Chargers seemed to have no problem going to Keenan Allen time and time again. McLaurin obviously needs to be a bigger part of the offense than he was against the Chargers. His big catch in the third quarter was truly spectacular, demonstrating some of the best concentration you will ever see.