Glass Half Empty: Washington’s success formula is unsustainable
For as relieving as it can be for Washington to still be 2-2, despite the master plan going awry, when the season is put in full perspective there is still reason for concern.
The other side of the argument is that there seems to be something completely wrong with the defense. The front four ranks high in pressure rate, so that points to more sacks in the future, but it does not matter with as poor as the coverage has been.
The linebackers have been poor, leaving the middle of the field wide open. There seem to be consistent week-to-week miscommunications in the secondary and the defensive line seems to be far too undisciplined at times.
Washington has loads of talent on its defense. Yet something is just not clicking, including the Jack Del Rio scheme which needs to be questioned too. Maybe inserting a press-man corner into Jack Del Rio’s scheme was just a poor process for a talented player.
So it is fair to question if the defense will ever get right. Maybe the defense and Jack Del Rio are just operating with far too much arrogance, expecting their talent to eventually take over, that the defense never gets fixed.
Well, then that would force Washington to win games featuring offensive fireworks with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. For as great as his story is, that formula can be argued that it is faulty.
Especially with quarterbacks like Jamies Winston, who can become electric on a given notice, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott twice, and Derek Carr still on the schedule, winning shootouts certainly could backfire.
It is safe to say that Washington has a process problem. They may be 2-2 and one game out of first but the process must change for Washington to be playing meaningful football in December and January.
Maybe I, and multiple other people are completely wrong about Taylor Heinicke. Maybe he transforms from a seemingly younger, clean-shaven, Ryan Fitzpatrick and becomes a consistent week-to-week starting NFL quarterback.
But his physical limitations and his play style point to a volatile quarterback. He plays like Brett Favre with a 1/4th of the arm. Meaning Washington simply cannot rely on sustaining elite offensive production week-over-week.
Washington being 2-2 is a good thing. It keeps them within an arms distance of the Cowboys, while they troubleshoot their defense. But with Dallas firing on all cylinders with Dak Prescott and their defense looking improved, one thing is certain: The troubleshooting of the defense better work.
Or Taylor Heinicke needs to continue to make it work. I’ll bank on the former being more likely to happen than the latter. Washington needs to solve their defensive issues and solve them fast. And it starts against New Orleans on Sunday.