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The Washington Football Team’s offensive woes were exposed by the Arizona Cardinals, led by 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray.
Washington’s inability to start fast plagued them in week one but they were able to pull off an impressive comeback victory. Heading into Sunday’s matchup, Washington knew that if they wanted a chance against Arizona’s high-powered offense that now includes wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, they needed to start fast.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so Washington found themselves trying to put together another come from behind victory after facing a 20-0 deficit.
“Start of the game, we were just trying to figure out how we wanted to attack the defense,” quarterback Dwayne Haskins said. “In film we saw a lot of cover 3 and cover 4. In the first half of the game, I saw a lot of man coverage, so I had to figure out how we wanted to attack them.”
Between the slow start, mental mistakes, and inconsistency, this is not the formula head coach Ron Rivera is looking to continue moving forward.
“We turned the ball over. We made mistakes,” Rivera said. “It’s one of those things where we have to sustain the success we have. We did the same thing on defense. We have to learn to be consistent.”
“We hurt ourselves in that first half if you go back and look at it,” Rivera continued. “We take the ball away and we give it right back. We force a punt then we fumble the football. We can’t do those things; we’re not experienced enough to do it. We’re a good football team, but we’re not experienced enough to overcome helping the other team beat you.”
The defense had a more successful day than the offense but Murray was still able to accumulate 286 passing yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns. That means Murray accounted for 21 of the Cardinals’ 30 points with his arm and legs.
“I don’t think we got worn down. I think you’ve got to give credit to the young man, he’s a heck of a football player,” Rivera explained. “When you’re not stopping a phase of their game, they get an opportunity to do what they want.”
The fact is, Washington is a young team and there will be growing pains. Figuring out how to get the offense going early and maintaining consistency will be a learning process. However, that will be key to their progress moving forward. Especially as they gear up to face the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off their first victory of the season.