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The Washington Football Team survived a terrific effort from the Las Vegas Raiders. To open the game the Raiders won the toss and decided to defer to the second half. That meantWashington was starting out on offense first. The Football Team who has struggled mightily scoring on their opening possession this season had no such trouble today. Taylor Heinicke engineered an excellent first drive leading the team down the field for nine plays, seventy-five yards in five minutes, twenty-one seconds. The drive culminated with a seven-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Logan Thomas in the endzone making it 7 - 0. Unfortunately, this Sunday there was not a lot scoring in the cards for the Washington Football Team.
The NFL’s passing leader Derek Carr came into today’s game off an impressive performance against the Cowboys the previous week. There was no such performance from Carr today. The Washington defense came prepared stop the Raiders vertical passing attack and that they did. The defense limited Carr and the Raiders to six points through the first three quarters making it 7 – 6 heading into the fourth quarter. Washington’s defense was not the only unit finding success this afternoon. The Raiders defense came to play today and did a solid job in trying to slow down the Washington run game. The Raiders used an array of run blitzes and movement to routinely get penetration into the backfield stopping plays before they started. Even with the Raiders finding success in slowing down the run game Antonio Gibson still had twenty-three carries and eighty-eight yards rushing. Washington’s offense struggled to find its footing in the pass game. Terry McLaurin had three catches for twenty-two yards with no touchdowns. The offense continually sputtered for most of the day, wasting opportunities with penalties and poor execution. Not everything was bad for the offense as the team rushed for a total of one hundred-twelve yards on the ground. The offensive line was able to continue its dominance by helping the team win the time of possession battle again with (WFT) 33:43 to (LVR) 26:17.
In the fourth quarter Derek Carr was able to find yards through the air finally going over the two hundred yards passing markafter being held under that for the first three quarters. The Raiders were able to score nine points in the fourth quarter forcing the Football Team to have to respond. Heinicke and the offense were up to the task. After not doing much all day Heinicke was able to lead a short drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gibson to make it 14 – 15. After trading possessions with the Raiders, Heinicke now needed to lead a game winning drive. Taylor who has led a couple of game winning drives this season was able to create one more today. Heinicke was four of five passing with thirty-seven yards on the final drive to get his team into scoring position. Then of course it came down to the brand spanking new kicker we just signed, Brian Johnson. With all the pressure of every Washington Football Fan hanging in the air, Brian Johnson uncorked a forty-eight-yard field goal that sneaked inside the upright to make it 17 – 15 Washington. Just like that,it was four wins in a row.
The one of the biggest takeaways from today’s game was that the Washington Football Team found a way to win despite not having its best game. That’s not something that usually happens here in DC. Typically, over the years this team has found a way to lose games that they should win. That narrative seems to be changing, with this team showing a resilience and confidence no matter the situation. Ron Rivera who has been preaching being mentally tough and disciplined to his players all season is seeing the fruits of his arduous work pay off during this winning streak. The players who seemed lost at the beginning of the season are now showing a Ron Rivera type of toughness and are ready to meet the moment no matter what it brings. This type of growth from the team is a huge step towards its goal of being a consistent winner. Dallas is next and nothing would be more appropriate than a good old fashioned beatdown of Dallas.