Rick Snider's Report Card - WFT Loses in Cleveland
It was a weird, wild and ultimately (as usual) disappointing day for the Washington Football Team in Cleveland.
Dwayne Haskins managed a pair of touchdowns to Dontrelle Inman, but his three interceptions costing 21 points changed the game. His blindside sack/fumble cost another three points. Haskins stared at receivers so much defenders jumped routes. His mechanics and footwork were all over the place. This was just a mess.
RUNNING BACKS: B
They seemed overlooked until the third quarter when offensive coordinator Scott Turner opted to rely on them over a slumping Dwayne Haskins even as targets. The group has a talented collective. Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gandy-Golden all made plays. The unit made the most of its chances, but Turner needs to find more ways to utilize them.
Terry McLaurin did the dirty work and Dontrelle Inman got the glory with two touchdowns before hurting his hand midway in the fourth quarter. McLaurin’s 33-yard reception was a beauty and he’s a way better blocker downfield than Inman. Isaiah Wright showed some promise with four catches.
TIGHT ENDS: C
Logan Thomas wasn’t asked to do much this week, but he only caught half the balls going his way. Thomas needs to get those 50/50 balls. He caught one of those layed out with 7:28 remaining.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Overall, the unit kept Dwayne Haskins upright and opened some running lanes. Guard Wes Schweitzer must have a headache after Dwayne Haskins threw a bullet into his ear hole. Geron Christian allowed a sack midway in the fourth quarter that became a turnover. The unit is a better run blocker than pass, but they weren’t a negative factor.
Halftime Report - Week 3 - Washington Football Team @ Cleveland Browns
DEFENSIVE LINE: C+
Losing Chase Young (groin) and Matt Ioannidis (arm) in the second quarter didn’t help, but the unit once again rarely won the line. Nick Chubb sent them a post card from the end zone. Montez Sweat may have played his best game since drafted last season. His sideline to sideline speed is remindful of former Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington. Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen had their moments. Ryan Kerrigan is starting to age before our eyes.
Worst game of young season. They couldn’t stop Browns running back Nick Chubb powering through the line on his way to the end zone. Nor could they cover short passes. Big drop-off from the Arizona game.
Welcome back, Kendall Fuller. Didn’t see you much, though. The Browns are a good offense, but the secondary’s tackling stunk and they couldn’t make a big play aside Fuller knocking one pass away. Troy Apke was embarrassed in open field.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
That missed extra point by Dustin Hopkins was a big strategy problem for much of the game. Coverage and return units were fine, but not a factor.
Ron Rivera kept two timeouts in his pocket at the end of first half, but Washington wasn’t in position to score. But, he didn’t burn them in the final minutes of the second half despite a two-score game, which was a big white flag and vote of no confidence in the offense. Really, who can blame him, but Rivera needed to call those timeouts because the team was on its heels too often. Give OC Scott Turner credit for calling a solid game undermined by turnovers.
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Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Washington football team in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks