Washington Football Team: 5 negative takeaways from loss to Chargers

Washington CB Kyle Fuller (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Washington CB Kyle Fuller (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Game one of the 2021 season is in the history books and the Washington Football Team suffered a bitter loss at home to the Chargers.

Welcome to the first installment of our positives or negatives after each game for this season.  Unfortunately, it is negatives this week for the Washington Football Team after a poor performance against the Chargers on Sunday.  As the 2020 season progressed, we had more positives to talk about and fewer negatives to mention.  We can only hope that the positives are mentioned each week much more often, but 2021 is not off to a good start.

We’ve added a new feature to the weekly positives or negatives for 2021 – grades for the previous game and a prediction for the next game.  It won’t be comprehensive, but it will provide some additional insight into both games.  As painful as it may seem, let’s give you five negatives from Sunday’s game.

1. The defensive line struggles

The first negative for the Washington Football Team vs. the Chargers is a curious choice. Throughout the offseason, numerous analysts and experts were often placing the defensive line amongst the best in the league.

Let’s go back to the playoff game against Tampa Bay earlier this year.  Tom Brady shredded Washington’s defense with 381 yards passing and a pair of sizable touchdown passes.  The defensive line struggled in the playoff loss and they struggled in the opener on Sunday.

Additional games in 2020 when the line had difficulties include losses to Arizona, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, and Seattle.  The one common denominator is the opposing quarterback.  Each of the aforementioned teams has/had solid franchise quarterbacks and Washington’s defensive line had challenges against each of these teams.

Is it too early to panic or is it a legitimate concern?  Honestly, it would be premature to rush to any chaotic judgments at this time, but it bears watching.

2. The Antonio Gibson Factor

It is always difficult to single out a particular player, especially one that is loved by the fans and respected by the opponents. Antonio Gibson had a solid outing against the Chargers, but there is one play that severely hurt the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

Rushing for 90 yards and producing 108 total yards from scrimmage is normally a solid day, but the fumble came at the most inopportune time possible.  After William Jackson intercepted a Justin Herbert pass near the Washington end zone, Gibson turned the ball over on the next play on the three-yard line.  It was very costly and the Burgundy and Gold could not recover from that turnover.

Without the fumble, Gibson had a superb day.  No one questions his talent and one mistake is not the biggest negative we can think of, but the timing of it was critical.  This is the only reason why it is a negative for the week.