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Washington Football Team: 3 Losses in 1 Game

Rivera cautioned all summer that his Washington team should be careful to not think it has "arrived.'' Did they listen?

The Washington Football Team lost a quarterback.

Then the WFT lost a fumble.

And finally, they lost the game, 20-16 to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 of the NFL season.

READ MORE: What Went Wrong?

The Washington loss can largely be pinned on this vaunted defense, which, based on this performance, may have believed too many of the offseason media coverage referring to it as a "vaunted defense.'' The WFT on third down allowed the Chargers to convert on 14 of 19 tries, and could manage but one sack of young QB star Justin Herbert, who completed 31 of 47 passes for 337 yards.

Taylor Heinicke became the QB of record for the home team when, in the second quarter, starter Ryan Fitzpatrick was knocked from the game with what the team said is a hip injury.

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Part of Rivera's job - and his list of duties here is an admittedly long one - is to build a Super Bowl contender ... and to sell the world on that vision.

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Said tight end Logan Thomas, who made a spectacular second-half catch off a Heinicke toss for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Football Team a 16-13 lead. "I talked to (Fitzpatrick) at halftime. He's in good spirits. Obviously not real sure what it is yet, but hoping for the best for him."

Coach Ron Rivera added that the team would know more about Fitzpatrick's injury on Monday. Meanwhile, Heinicke readies for a quick turnaround as the defending NFC East champs sit at 0-1 and await a visit from division rival the New York Giants on Thursday night.

Heinicke completed 11 of 15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown, offering up some of the same football heroics that made him a folk hero at the end of last season, when he showed grit in a start in a playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And maybe this thing would've gone differently if not for a late Antonio Gibson fumble that gave the Chargers a first-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line.

That error set up Herbert to find wide receiver Mike Williams for the game-winning TD.

Gibson ran for 90 yards on 20 carries, a solid enough effort - but the fumble caused teammates to try to console him afterward. That pull-together approach will come in handy for a group that Rivera cautioned all summer should be careful to not think it has "arrived.''

Three losses in one game say they have not arrived.