Remember how you felt about the Washington NFL team when they beat Oakland 27-10? What about their 29-20 loss to Kansas City?
The promise and overall joy of what could be is clearly over. We are back to the enduring theme of the franchise – mediocrity.
After another disheartening loss to the Carson Wentz-led Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night, the Washington NFL team dropped to a 3-3 overall record. This is the same record next week’s opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, has. The upcoming game couldn’t be more fitting as both teams are moving in total opposite directions. What has made Washington’s latest swoon of total ineptitude so disappointing is after six games, the same questions people had early in the season are still being asked.
No run game? Check.
Lackluster play from the receiving corps? Check.
QB Kirk Cousins not making winning plays and just being average? Check.
The defense not getting consistent pressure on the opposing QB? Check.
If anybody has wondered why fans are iffy about Cousins’ eventual contract and its salary could look no further than this game. There are instances where you need your best players – usually the most talented – to make winning plays. Cousins just makes the “right” play most of the time, while Wentz was on the field making things happen with his feet and his arm. On numerous occasions, Wentz ventured out of the pocket and extended drives. Twice this season, his legs and his ability to make tough NFL throws outside of the conventional offense has basically won Philly’s two games against Washington.
Cousins has not played terribly all season but he hasn’t been outstanding. He just hasn’t been good enough to mask the fundamental flaws of the franchise. One major flaw is the lack of a consistent run game. Maybe it’s the talent at the position or play calling, I don’t know, but something’s amuck. This is season four of the Jay Gruden era and there has been no run identity since he’s been named head coach. This should be concerning for everyone. At this point, it’s not a facade, it’s who this team is fundamentally. It almost makes you miss the recent bygone Alfred Morris era, who for three of his fours seasons in DC actually was a damn good back, doesn’t it?
The defense hasn’t been as sharp as it was in the early season and I can attribute that to mostly injury. A mediocre team cannot lose talents such as Josh Norman, first rounder Jonathan Allen, and starting safety Deshazor Everett and think that the team could withstand it without losing a beat. The all-too-familiar pattern of starting the game like gangbusters then slowly start to lose steam and give momentum to the opposition right before the half reared its ugly head yet again.
Another Monday Night disappointment coupled with four consecutive daunting games, this season, which looked so promising after the Oakland win, can unravel before our very eyes before Thanksgiving.