The Washington Football Team’s four-game winning streak came to an end Sunday with a 20-15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Washington found themselves down 20-3 before mounting a comeback, but came up short.
Here are four takeaways from the loss.
Haskins’ early troubles hurt late rally
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, making his first start since Week Four, threw for only 8 yards in the first quarter. He was rusty, to say the least, and didn’t look that confident in the pocket. After his first interception, Russell Wilson took the Seahawks 96 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead. Things began to change after that.
“I got mad,” Haskins said.
He led an 11-play drive before the half, resulting in a Dustin Hopkins 48-yard field goal.
Haskins seemed to be a lot more comfortable in the fourth quarter after his team was down 20-3, leading two touchdown drives of 96 and 64 yards, respectively.
On the final drive, trailing by five, he led Washington to Seattle’s 23-yard line before taking two sacks and having to throw a fourth-down desperation ball into the end zone.
Haskins finished with 295 yards on 55 attempts and did some good things but couldn’t take advantage of a Seattle team that came into the game with the league’s worst passing defense.
Head coach Ron Rivera made it clear after the game that if Alex Smith is healthy, he will start again over Haskins.
Offense misses running game but Thomas shines
Running back Antonio Gibson missed his second straight game with turf toe, and it showed. Who knows if the outcome would have been different with Gibson, but the threat would have been.
J.D. McKissic got the start and ran for 51 yards on 13 carries. He also had a touchdown reception, but the team ran for only 84 yards.
Tight End Logan Thomas had a career day and became Haskins’ favorite target. He finished with a career-high 13 receptions for 101 yards on 15 targets.
Defense also experiences slow start
Rivera said all week it was going to be important to contain Wilson, and the defense did that to an extent. They held the All-Pro quarterback to just 121 yards through the air but allowed him to gain 52 yards on the ground.
Jack Del Rio’s unit also didn’t record a sack on Wilson, who engineered three scoring drives to start the game, giving Seattle a 13-0 lead.
Washington’s defense didn’t settle down until after Carlos Hyde’s 50-yard touchdown run just four plays into the second half.
One of the bright spots on Sunday was Daron Payne, who recorded his first career interception to give Washington the ball back and a chance to win the game.
Plenty to play for in the final two weeks
All is not lost with the loss to the Seahawks.
With the Giants’ loss on Sunday night, Washington remains in first place in the NFC East by heading into Sunday’s game against the 4-10 Carolina Panthers.
That’s also the team that fired Rivera a year ago. Do you think Rivera and Washington want to win that one?
It could come down to the last two weeks and needing to win both games to lock up the division. The finale will be in Philadelphia against the 4-9-1 Eagles.
It’s never fun to lose, but Washington still finds itself in a pretty good position with two weeks left in the regular season.