For more details on this and other similar topics, check out the podcast here:
The Washington Football Team played about as bad of a first half as you can imagine. The offense showed no life at all. The offensive line gave no push at all, allowing the Dallas defensive line to get penetration at will. Taylor looked like the QB we saw at the start of season where he routinely sailed passes high or off the mark. Heinicke was asked to drop straight back for most of the day which played right into the defense’s hands as their pass rushers had an easy time finding Heinicke. There was no moving of the pocket to try and slow down the Dallas pass rush. Heinicke was also to blame, constantly holding onto the ball way too long. Scott Turner also struggled mightily calling plays and getting his players into the best possible positions often opting for the pass.
The defense in the first half was also just as bad. With several defensive ends out with Covid-19. The team had to rely on the likes of Shaka Toney, Bunmi Rotimi, Daniel Wise and William Bradley-King. With the influx of inexperienced players and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s resistance to bringing pressure or mixing up coverages, Dak had all day to throw. Dak was able to sit back and make any throw he wanted in the first half. Dallas was also able to find room on the ground as they picked up a couple of first downs by running the ball. Washington’s loose coverage also led to many big run after the catch plays by Dallas wide receivers.
The half ends with DAL 24 – WFT 0.
The second half started out with more of the same. The offense was still inept, and Taylor Heinicke looked lost and unsure of what he was doing. Then late in the third quarter Taylor Heinicke was able to scramble and find a leaping Cam Sims in the endzone for the team’s first touchdown. WFT 8 – DAL 27. That would be it for Heinicke as shortly after that drive both he and C Tyler Larsen were injured on a pass play. Neither player would return. Third string QB Kyle Allen would enter the game and help to engineer a long touchdown drive capped off by RB Jonathan Williams 1-yd touchdown run. Then out of nowhere an unexpected interception of Dak Prescott by LB Cole Holcomb who promptly returned it for a touchdown brought the score to WFT 20 – DAL 27. Now there was real hope that the Football Team could have a shot to win the game. After the defense forced another punt by Dallas, Washington would take the field with an opportunity to tie or move ahead with a touchdown and two-point. The defense did perform better in the second half limiting the Cowboy offense to just three points.
Unfortunately, that is where the comeback ends. On a pass attempt by Kyle Allen, a defender would hit his hand as the ball was coming forward which the Refs would rule was a fumble recovered by Dallas and not an incomplete pass. Game Over. The Washington Football team couldn’t overcome the hole they dug for themselves.
Final WFT 20 – DAL 27.
This was the thirteenth game of the season and the Washington Football Team players as well as coaches looked to be unprepared for at least one half of football. That absolutely cannot happen this late into the season. Today’s performance looked like it was straight from the first eight games of the season when the team was 2-6. This falls squarely on Ron’s shoulders. To have allowed such a poor gameplan coming into today’s game is inexcusable. It was clear that their plan wasn’t working from the start, but the egregious mistake by Ron was choosing to let the ineffective play and mistakes continue up to halftime before trying to make any changes. Rivera has been terribly slow to make changes or involve himself more in the game-planning process even when the losses were piling up. It will be paramount for him to make faster decisions or changes as there are only four games left. Time is running out.