Big plays and missed assignments continue to be costly for Washington’s defense.
47: Washington Football Team’s defense last year thrived on a bend but don’t break approach, but this season, it looks like the defense is broken. The Saints got 47% of its total yards on five scoring plays, including a 72-yarder early in the game where Landon Collins found himself out of position.
31: Even when the offense was performing, Washington was able to receive lucky breaks to keep the drive alive. Washington’s first touchdown drive was seven plays and 44 yards, out of which 31 came off a penalty. The drive was all but over, but Washington was saved by a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty on a Tress Way punt. Later in the drive, Washington benefitted from a pass interference call on a pass intended for Dax Milne.
8: Washington continues to struggle on its opening drives of both halves, finishing with 8 total yards on 7 plays, but getting three points due to good field position of an early interception.
9.9%: According to NextGen Stats, the 49-yard Hail Mary from Jameis Winston to Marquez Callaway had a 9.9% completion probability, the lowest likelihood for a passing touchdown all season. Washington fans watching the game would kindly disagree as the defenders did not even attempt to defend the pass, on what ended up being a major turning point in the game.
13: Washington’s offense was able to get into Saints’ territory on five of its six first-half possessions and finished with only 13 points.
369: The defense gave up 369 total yards, which embarrassingly enough is the lowest allowed in a game by Washington all season.
140+: According to PFF, Landon Collins allowed over 140+ receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. It looks like all the pre-season hype surrounding him was all a mirage.
2: Curtis Samuel only ran two routes against the Saints before re-injuring his groin. After only playing 22 snaps last week and missing over four months since joining the team, Samuel looks to be the latest in a long line of wide receiver misses for the franchise.
13: With Jon Bostic lost to injury, many expected Jamin Davis to get a major uptick in playing time. That hasn’t happened as he finished with only 13 snaps in the game. One of those plays was the Alvin Kamara touchdown run where Davis looked to be in the wrong defensive lane, leading to a huge opening for Kamara.
31.25: Coming into the game, Washington had the second-worst third-down conversion percentage on offense. It did not get much better against the Saints as Washington finished 5-for-16 (31.25%) on third downs.
48.7: After having a 69.5% completion percentage in his first four games this season, Taylor Heinicke came back to earth a bit against the Saints, finishing with a 48.7% completion percentage.
1-for-7: After throwing his first interception of the game, Heinicke went 1-for-7 for 7 yards for the rest of the first half and into the first drive of the second half.
2: Heinicke finished the game with two interceptions, but he was lucky he did not have more. In what was his worst performance this season, he constantly missed receivers and underthrew Terry McLaurin multiple times. The Saints were able to expose Heinicke’s lack of arm strength and his propensity to force some throws.
40%: Washington came into the game with the sixth-best red zone scoring percentage (TDs only), but finished the game only 2-for-5 (40%) on red-zone scoring attempts against the Saints.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Washington, with upcoming games against Mahomes and the Chiefs, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos before going into the bye week. Washington could very easily finish the upcoming three-game stretch 0-3, which will leave the team with a lot to think about for the future during the bye week.
Will Landon Collins’ quote on the Hail Mary completion (“We weren’t prepared for that one.”) foreshadow the rest of the season or will this team be able to overcome adversity and make a run, as it did last season? We’ll find out!