10 quick thoughts from Week 14 as Washington’s win streak ends at four games
By Jerry Trotta
Worst possible start for Washington: What’s worse than trailing 11-0 before the end of the first quarter? How about trailing 18-0? On 4th and 2 near midfield, Ron Rivera rolled the dice and left his offense on the field. We didn’t hate the call, but Micah Parsons had other ideas, as the rookie blew past Brandon Scherff to cause a sack-fumble on Heinicke that Dorance Armstrong returned for a touchdown.
Long third downs aren’t sustainable: Ron Rivera preached earlier in the week to fall in love with the three-yard run. His reasoning? If you pick up six yards on first and second down, you set yourself up with a manageable third down.
That’s been Washington’s identity during their win streak, and it appears Dallas discovered that in the film room this week, because they gave Antonio Gibson no room to operate. Before the midway point of the second quarter, Washington had 3rd and 8 (twice) 13, 10, 6 and 7, none of which were converted.
Can someone tackle CeeDee Lamb?
Washington’s defense has vastly improved at all three levels over the last month. A constant theme over that stretch? Players flying to the football and making open field tackles. Even if a player was unable to wrap up, there was always second, third and fourth waves of defenders storming in to pick up the slack.
That disappeared for most of Sunday.
The worst display BY FAR was a 3rd and 10 completion to CeeDee Lamb early in the second quarter. The second-year WR made the catch well short of the sticks and danced around three (four?) would-be tacklers to pick up the first down.
Ref show in Landover: What better way to ruin a Week 14 game between two division rivals than for the referees to halt any and all momentum? There was yellow laundry all over the field on Sunday, and some of the calls were needless, to say the least.
William Jackson’s pass interference on Michael Gallup was ridiculous, as was the roughing the passer on Dak Prescott. In the first half alone, Washington was flagged five times for a total of 50 yards, a chunk of which helped Dallas tack on three points with a field goal in the second quarter.
No, the refs weren’t the reason Washington lost, but the zebras making their presence felt on tacky plays helped rub salt in the wound.
They even tried to take Cam Sims’ miraculous touchdown grab away (More on that in a minute) and the ruling on Kyle Allen’s game-ending fumble was questionable, at best. It looked like a forward pass to the naked eye.