Did the Washington Football Team deserve to win on Sunday?
That depends on what side of the ball you’re talking about. The offense did plenty to be on the winning side. Taylor Heinicke worked his magic. Terry McLaurin was unstoppable. Antonio Gibson was efficient despite playing on a bum shin. JD McKissic once again played a huge role down the stretch.
The defense, on the other hand, was a disaster. There were blown assignments all over the secondary. The pass rush generated just one sack and six QB hits against the immobile Matt Ryan. We counted four missed tackles on one of Cordarrelle Patterson’s three (!) touchdowns.
At the end of the day, a win is a win, and it couldn’t come at a better time. After all, Washington will play a Saints team that lost at home to the Giants on Sunday. An opportunity to get over .500 is the horizon.
For now, though, let’s do what we do every week regardless of the outcome and highlight the game’s best and worst performers.
Washington Football Team: Studs and duds from Week 4
Stud: Taylor Heinicke
There’s no denying that Taylor Heinicke made a number of risky throws that could’ve resulted in interceptions. However, his nerves of steel ultimately proved to be the biggest difference-maker against the Falcons.
On an afternoon where Heinicke received no help from his defense, he finished 22-of-33 for 290 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to JD McKissic with 33 seconds left in regulation.
Heinicke was far from perfect in the game — he missed high on several throws — but anytime you lead a game-winning drive (and fourth quarter comeback) on the road in a must-win game, you qualify as a stud. Case closed.
Dud: Kendall Fuller
At this rate, Kendall Fuller has earned himself a weekly spot on the studs and duds list. Unfortunately, this marks THREE weeks in a row Washington’s de facto No. 1 cornerback checked in as a dud.
Fuller has been a liability all season and his struggles continued on Sunday. While he was beat in coverage on multiple occasions, his lowlight of the game came on a 3rd and 13 when he surrendered a touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson, a former return specialist-turned running back/wide receiver hybrid, in the fourth quarter.
Stud: DeAndre Carter
Is it fair to say that DeAndre Carter made the biggest play of the game? In the first action of the second half– after Atlanta reclaimed the lead with a Patterson touchdown with 10 seconds left in the second quarter — Carter took the kickoff 101 yards to the house to give Washington a 19-7 lead.
Keeping Carter on the roster was a must given Washington’s woes in the return game last season, and he’s been superb thus far. He also caught a big first down on the final drive of the game. A no-brainer stud from Week 4