1. Offensive line
Washington’s offensive line was sensational on Sunday afternoon. Every pass blocker yesterday — whether it be rookie right tackle Sam Cosmi or right guard Wes Schweitzer — the entire offensive line came to play.
The offensive line allowed only one sack yesterday. Everyone but center Chase Roullier posted pass-blocking grades from Pro Football Focus of 68.9 or better. The entire unit came to play in pass-pro.
While the run blocking grades weren’t as strong, they put together an impressive stretch late in the third quarter that ended with an Antonio Gibson touchdown. The offensive line has been a constant improvement throughout this season, something that Washington needs to continue if they want to compete at some level this season.
2. Overlooked pass-catchers step up
Washington has plenty of unsung heroes along the perimeter, a pleasant surprise. Wide receiver DeAndre Carter and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones performed at an extremely high-level yesterday as receivers, whether it be Carter’s crucial fourth-down catch or Ricky Seals-Jones with a circus catch one-handed grab along the sidelines, both have proven that they can play and produce for this offense.
It doesn’t end with those two, as wide receiver Adam Humphries put up 73 yards receiving on Sunday, giving him a grade from Pro Football Focus of 67.4. Washington has serious depth when it comes to playmakers. They may not have a ton of home-run hitters, but they have a plethora of options that can work the intermediate passing game and help sustain drives for an offense that needs it.
1. Defensive line showed up
The defensive line came to play. Whether it be Chase Young‘s strip-sack, the trio of Matt Ioannidis, Jon Allen, and Daron Payne dominating on the interior, or even Montez Sweat coming in hot with four pressures, Washington’s defensive front has arrived. They got to Winston twice on Sunday, but they had six quarterback hits, and 18 hurries.
This unit is finally building some momentum and will likely continue to improve throughout the season, reaching levels that we all thought they should have already been at. Though they are improving, they will need their back seven to finally string together some strong performances to maximize the pressure this DL can generate on any given passing down. But for now, it’s ultra-encouraging to see Washington’s defensive front finally playing at an adequate level, with plenty of room to grow.