Biggest winners and losers from Week 16 debacle in Dallas
By Jerry Trotta
Winner: 2021 draft class
On the undisputed lowest point of the season, Washington’s rookie draft class managed to leave a positive impression. Go figure, right?
Ron Rivera and the front office has taken a lot of heat for the lack of output from this year’s class, but we liked what we saw Sunday night.
The star of the group was John Bates, who went full beast-mode on a 32-yard catch and run late in the third quarter and added a deserved touchdown in the closing minutes. The game was obviously decided at that point, but the fourth-round tight end was still giving it is all.
That’s what we call a keeper.
Elsewhere, Dyami Brown (yeah, we know) had his finest game of the year. His signature moment came in the form of a 48-yard reception on which he beat Trevon Diggs, who was on the receiving end of Heinicke’s first INT.
It’s been a forgettable rookie year for Brown, but he showed on this play why he was viewed as one of the steals of the 2021 draft. Maybe his luck will change once Washington finds a QB who can accentuate his best skill: the deep ball.
Loser: Coaching staff
So…when is ok to start critiquing Ron Rivera? In the middle of Year 3? Until he gets a quarterback? We have to stop moving the goal posts. For every step forward Washington has made under his tutelage (the four-game winning streak), they take another two steps back (this current three-game skid).
When teams are undermanned and expected to lose, the least fans expect is 110% effort until the fourth quarter game clock runs out. To say Rivera’s group didn’t show up in the effort department would be putting it kindly.
Look at the effort, or lack there of, the defense showed on 61-yard catch and run from Malik Turner, Dallas’ fifth-string WR, deep into the third quarter.
There’s no excuse for that and there’s no excusing a 42-point loss.
Yes, the players are to blame, too, but Rivera and Co clearly didn’t have their guys ready to play, which is maybe the easiest part of their job.