Three Keys for a WFT Win Vs. Bengals

Chris Russell

LANDOVER, Md. - It's a must-win for the Washington Football Team at FedExField today as they hope to get a third win and avoid a third loss in a row out of the bye week.

Let's put it this way: Because the Bengals are an AFC team, this game is not as important as the last two and not as crucial as what it ahead this Thursday (Thanksgiving at Dallas).

But make no mistake - you have to win this game. If you have any realistic chance and if you have any pride remaining.

Here's what you have to do to get it done.

1. Show up at 1:02 pm: The WFT are the only team in the NFL not to score at all on an opening drive this year. As we tracked last week, they are being out-scored 148 - 72, more than double in the first half, which averages out to 16.4 points per first half allowed and only 8.0 scored.

This is not just on the offense, it's on the defense and the special teams. All three units have been largely terrible in the first half of games.

Instead of coming to play at 2:35 (roughly the start of the 2nd half of games), Washington needs a first half lead by ideally double digits and good execution.

Washington has only scored twice first in a game and they are 1-1. They're only 1-7 when trailing at halftime and 1-6 when trailing after three quarters.

Quite simply, establish the run with reasonable success, as they did in the Dallas win. Take a lead and unleash the pass rush. 

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2. Make Joe Burrow and the Bengals one-dimensional: By bottling up the run and hopefully taking a lead, the Washington Football defense can then invite the Bengals strength into their waiting arms.

Sure, they would give up yards and completions but they would also largely know what's coming. It's easier to defend the pass if you know the pass is coming.

Joe Mixon is out for the challenge is Gio Bernard and former Washington running back Samaje Perine. This marks the third consecutive week they'll go against a former running back (Alfred Morris, Adrian Peterson)

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3. Turnover Party: The Washington Football Team has only had nine takeaways this year but three came in a season opening win. In the next eight games, they only have six combined. Not enough. 

Meanwhile, the WFT have had two games with five turnovers in each game (including their last home contest) and are a minus-7 in turnover differential overall. 

It's not a guarantee that Washington wins with a + 1 turnover margin in this game but + 2 should get it done. 

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