Rick Snider's Week 1 Washington Football Team Report Card
Here's Rick Snider's position by position report card grades after the Washington Football Team's upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dwayne Haskins improved as the game progressed, which seemed his style last season. He threw a nice touchdown to Logan Thomas and committed no turnovers despite being chased too often. His coolness was apparent, especially when side-arming one completion. His 17 of 31 for 178 yards is probably his typical line this season, but the key was watching him calmly lead the comeback.
RUNNING BACKS: B
The committee did a nice job. Peyton Barber converted two short runs when Washington badly needed them with a fourth-and-one and then scoring on a three-yard run for a 24-17 lead. With two touchdowns, Barber looks the prime back moving forward over Antonio Gibson, who did respectably.
As expected, it was Terry McLaurin and the others. And, the others didn’t do much or get many chances. McLaurin caught a team-high five balls for 61 yards. Steven Sims added three, Dontrelle Inman two. That’s about what we’ll see most weeks.
TIGHT ENDS: A
Logan Thomas should be on your fantasy team. He has quickly become Dwayne Haskins’ go-to guy in short yardage. That touchdown against the Eagles showed his value. Thomas will get more work as Dwayne Haskins gets used to him.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
They grinded out the win. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was hit 10 times and left tackle Geron Christian and left guard Wes Martin looked bad in the first half. But they steadily improved and the run blocking was better late as the Eagles wore down. Christian’s biggest play was recovering an early third-quarter fumble that could have put the game away for the Eagles.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A+
It was exactly what has been expected since drafting Chase Young. Five linemen combined for seven sacks, including 1.5 by Young and two by Ryan Kerrigan. They weren’t bad against the run, either. Washington rides or dies with this unit and it started a little slow and make two key penalties in one Eagles scoring drive despite three sacks. But, this is the path Washington wins games.
This team still can’t cover a tight end, but Jon Bostic made plays everywhere, including a key third-down sack on a blitz. Kevin Pierre-Louis’ play was uneven, but he’s still a plus. Basically, linebackers see most of the plays made in front of behind them, but supplemented the run defense well.
Teammates always talk about Jimmy Moreland’s football smarts. He jumped a route for an interception that led to a touchdown. Fabian Moreau’s pick also led to a touchdown. Sure, they were burned some early and will get better when cornerback Kendall Fuller returns, but it was a decent effort.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Not a good day for Stephen Sims on punt returns. Looked around too much before making his first step to end up with little too often. Dustin Hopkins missed a 48-yarder, but then nails two field goals so it’s all good. Tress Way was great as always.
“Riverboat” Ron Rivera came through by calling a fourth-down run in tie game that led to a touchdown and victory. Good halftime adjustments by coaches as Washington defense upped its tempo and dominated afterwards. That’s the go-go-go by defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Nice offensive game plan by offensive coordinator Scott Turner keeping the Eagles off balanced late.
Good golly, Miss Molly. Did you see that comeback win? First home opener win since 2015 and kept the franchise from having an overall losing record. And the field – have you ever seen such green grass at FedUp Field. Naturally, local fans couldn’t attend to see such a fun win over a team whose visiting fans owned FedUp the last two years.
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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