Washington Football Team: Week 1 by the numbers as WFT comes up short vs Chargers

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Washington QB Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Football Team
Washington vs Chargers. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

20: Yes, we knew the offensive line would be a work in progress, but who would have thought that 20 minutes into the game, Washington would have their starting quarterback go down with an injury? The offensive line was thoroughly dominant when Fitzpatrick was in the game, giving up two sacks and two QB hits.

6: Remember last season when Washington nearly became the first team this century to not score on its opening drive? They were finally able to get over the hump in Week 17 against the Eagles. Well, this season didn’t begin much better, with the Football Team going three-and-out on its first drive, gaining a total of six yards.

2.2: Fans thought bringing in Ryan Fitzpatrick would lead to more deep shots down the field, well, that didn’t seem to be the case early. Fitzpatrick left the game after going 3-for-6 for 13 yards, or 2.2 yards per pass. Those are Alex Smith-esque numbers and that is not going to get the job done. Before his injury, Fitzpatrick did not look comfortable, almost throwing an interception on one of his incompletions.

14-for-19: Washington had a top-10 third down defense last season. That was definitely not the case on Sunday, as they allowed the Chargers to go 14-for-19 on third-down. The worst sequence was when it mattered most with Los Angeles trying to run out the clock.

On the last drive of the game, the Chargers went four-for-four on 3rd down including a huge 3rd and 16 play from LA’s 12-yard line, which could have allowed Washington to get the ball back with over five minutes to go.

931: The Washington defense is expected to be one of the best units in the NFL, but it hasn’t played that way over its last two games. Between the playoff matchup against the Buccaneers and today’s game, the Football Team has given up 931 total yards over its last two contests. That. Is. Horrible.

-12:06: Last season, Washington’s average time of possession excluding overtime was 29:50, which was 17th in the NFL. Against the Chargers, Washington held the ball for only 23:57, with Los Angeles controlling the time of possession, holding the ball for 12:06 longer than the Football Team.

31/47 337: The Washington defense had no answers for Justin Herbert who went 31-for-47 for 337 yards and made all the plays when they counted most, especially on the last drive of the game.

3: The Football Team fumbled the ball three times, once by Fitzpatrick and two times by Gibson. The Gibson fumble was especially costly, as Washington had just stopped the Chargers in the red zone on William Jackson III’s interception with the Football Team up 3, with momentum on their side. One play later, Gibson coughed up the ball at the Washington three-yard line. Less than a minute later, Mike Williams caught a touchdown pass from Herbert to put the Chargers up for good.

4 for 25: Last season, Washington’s primary weapons in the receiving game were McLaurin, Thomas, and Gibson. With all the receiving weapons the Football Team added this offseason, that was supposed to change, but it was more of the same in Week 1. Outside of those three, the rest of the team only had 4 receptions for 25 yards. Not an ideal recipe for success.

So many questions remain, but Washington has less than a week to figure out some answers before Thursday’s game against the Giants. Will Heinicke start? Will there be any offensive line changes? We’ll have to wait and see if the Football Team can get back on track and pick up their first win of the 2021 season.