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At 2-6, the Washington Football Team is nowhere near where they expected to be at this point in the season. All options are now on the table for fixing the many issues that have emerged in the first eight weeks of the season.
“Well, I’ve seen some things that are positive, and I’ve seen some things that we need to get better at obviously,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “That’s the big thing that we’ve got to figure out going forward is, where are we? So, that’s the nice thing about having this bye – we’ll have the chance to reevaluate, take a look at a lot of things and have a good feeling about where we think we’re headed.”
Washington has quite a bit to figure out during the bye week. Offensive execution in the red zone has been poor and the defense is not playing to its full potential – especially on third downs.
“We need to get guys on the same page. We just need to finish, everyone needs to execute, including me,” running back J.D. McKissic said.
“This isn’t college at Ohio State where you are going to win every game,” defensive end Chase Young said. “We play against guys who are getting paid too, so we just have to be better. I have to be better, we all have to be better.”
Several injuries have also hit the Football Team and the offense has particularly suffered. Right guard Brandon Scherff has missed the last four games with a knee injury, and rookie right tackle Sam Cosmi has missed three games with an ankle injury.
In the matchup on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, center Chase Roullier was carted off in the second quarter with a knee injury and left guard Ereck Flowers injured his lower leg/ankle. They’re also missing wide receivers Dyami Brown (knee) and Curtis Samuel (groin), tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring) and running back Antonio Gibson has been limited.
The hope is that some of the injured players will make a return after the bye week.
One of the most troubling aspects of Washington at this point is that players and coaches are acknowledging that they are still searching for an identity. Most of the pieces from last season have remained in place and with eight games under their belt, this is a concerning place for the team to be.
“We’re still searching for an identity,” left tackle Charles Leno Jr. said. “We need to look at the tape, do some self-scouting and understand what we’re really good at and do those things and eliminate all that stuff we’re bad at. I think that will help our offense do well and find an identity and then we can get things rolling – because our defense is starting to play really good football, and we got to help complement them.”
It has also become evident that Taylor Heinicke is not the franchise quarterback and at this point, he hasn’t been able to get Washington’s offense over the hump. Nonetheless, Rivera is sticking with him moving forward.
Then there is the inconsistency on special teams with the kicker situation.
The fact of the matter is, Washington has some serious soul-searching to do during the bye week to figure out who they are, who they want to be and make improvements to get there. They will have to make it happen fast with their next opponent being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, November 14th at FedEx Field.
“When we come out of the bye, we’ve got a heck of a game coming up with Tampa Bay in two weeks,” Rivera said. “We’ll show up on Sunday. We’ll play hard. We’ll see what we’ve learned and we’ll see if we’ve progressed.”