ASHBURN, Va. - The Washington Football Team didn't have an easy win on Sunday but they were dominant in the second half, en route to a 20-9 victory over the Bengals.
As usual, Washington was trailing at halftime, an issue we have seen all season long, though it was only a 9-7 deficit.
Just then, the defense got juiced up, and after an unfortunate injury to Cincy rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, Washington took control, establishing the running game, and locking down the Bengals' offensive attack.
Instead of game balls to give out, which is what they do in the NFL, how about a 'Victory Cigar' on a rare 'Victory Monday'?
How rare? Washington has only won seven times since November 12, 2018, which, coincidentally, was the last time Alex Smith won a game as a starting quarterback
If you're doing the math at home, that is seven wins in 36 games. Obviously not ideal.
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Offense: Let's start with the Washington offensive line, who were able to wear down and gash the Bengals for 164 rushing yards on 34 attempts. Many of those attempts, 24 in fact, coming in the second half of the game.
The 'Hogs 3.0(?)' were dominant for most of the day against a depleted Bengals front, thanks in large part to the absence of Carlos Dunlap, who was traded to Seattle, and D.J. Reader, who was knocked out for the season with an injury.
After a successful day against Cincinnati, the next challenge for this offense is whether or not they are able to hold up against the significantly more talented front of the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. They must also face the undefeated Steelers in two weeks... a team that boasts one of the best defensive fronts in all of the NFL.
Antonio Gibson already has eight rushing touchdowns in his rookie season through just ten games, as well as five in the last four on 119 rushing attempts this season.
Gibson had only 33 career college rushing attempts but had eight receiving touchdowns last season.
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Alex Smith: Smith started his second-straight game on Sunday, and did well to manage the game and keep Washington in a position to succeed.
Smith also took a couple of deep shots in the game, connecting with Terry McLaurin for 42 yards off of play-action in the first quarter, and drew a defensive pass interference call on a pass intended for Isaiah Wright near the end zone later in the game.
Smith did throw an interception in the game, which came off of a tip/deflection.
Scott Turner: The first-year offensive coordinator came out throwing to begin the game on Sunday, but after the flow of the game was established, wisely adjusted to a run-heavy attack, allowing the offensive line to get into a rhythm, and help protect Alex Smith. Turner also kept the Bengals defense on its toes, taking deep shots, using gadget plays, and use tempo to his team's advantage.
So ... cigars all around. ... a few days before it's turkey all around.