"We've got a long way to go."
Those were the words of Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, after his team's embarrassing 43-21 road blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon.
And he's not wrong.
Sunday's matchup marked the most points given up by the franchise since a December 2019 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, and the most given up by a Rivera-coached Washington team.
"The truth of the matter is that we got beat today," Rivera said. "My expectations were for us to play better than we did, to be honest."
So what went wrong? Well, everything. It's hard to pinpoint one cause for the disaster.
But in this case, we have to take a hard look at the defense, which allowed the Bills to accumulate 29 first downs and 481 total yards on 12 drives, while failing to cause a single turnover.
More than that, however, Bills quarterback Josh Allen was able to stay clean for nearly the entire day, with Washington managing six quarterback hits and no sacks.
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The result? Allen torched the WFT defense for 358 yards and four touchdowns.
"They did a nice job of protecting the quarterback," Rivera said. "We didn't get enough pressure on them when we had to. It allowed for their receivers to work a little bit longer downfield."
But that's not all. Washington also allowed 122 yards on the ground to the Bills committee rushing approach, including 60 yards on 13 carries for Zack Moss.
Unfortunately for Washington, this seems to be trend more than an aberration.
In Week 1, Chargers QB Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards and a score. In Week 2, the Giants' Daniel Jones had 249 yards and touchdown through the air, to go along with 95 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Things aren't about to get any easier either, with Washington facing Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers over each of the next four weeks.
Unless Washington can figure out the source of its defensive woes and fix them, things will only get worse before they get better.
And to do that, Washington may have to go back to square one and re-think their approach.