Washington Football Team: 3 key stats responsible for WFT’s slow start

Washington vs Bills (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
Washington vs Bills (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images) /
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Washington Football Team
Washington RB Antonio Gibson (Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Time of possession

Through the first three games of the season, the Washington Football Team has lost the battle for time of possession in every game — and it isn’t particularly close.

When Washington hosted the Los Angeles Chargers in Week1,  the defense could not stop second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert threw for 337 yards and a touchdown in the game, but his ability to extend drives and keep the Washington defense on the field ultimately led to the Chargers’ 20-16 victory.

Los Angeles controlled the ball for a dominant 36 minutes and 3 seconds, while Washington held the ball for just 23 minutes and 57 seconds. In those 36 minutes, the Chargers ran 78 plays, 29 more than Washington accounted for.

The story was much the same in Week 1, though Washington was able to come away with a win this time around. The Giants controlled possession for 31 minutes and 44 seconds despite the loss. Unlike Week 1, Washington ran more plays than the Giants in their last-second victory.

Week 3’s loss to the Buffalo Bills felt like a culmination of all of Washington’s early season troubles. Josh Allen controlled the game and dominated the Football Team’s stout defense, which hasn’t lived up to the hype so far.

The Bills maintained possession for 35 minutes and 37 seconds, all the while running 27 more plays than Washington. Buffalo’s ability to keep the Washington defense on its heels from the opening whistle led to the Bills’ dominant victory.

If Washington wants to turn their season around, they will have to sustain drives on offense, as it is a must to keep opposing defenses on the field for as long as possible. If the WFT offense is able to have some sustainability, they will be able to beat teams in the same way they’ve been beaten early in the season.