By: Joe Dillard Jr.
Headline Photo Credit: Elijah Griffin Sr/Emilee Fails.-Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team has been trying to find an identity this season under new head Coach Ron Rivera The usual slow start and play on approach has had the team still believing in winning each game as they get better as the game goes along Unfortunately in the NFL you need four quarters most times to win the game. You cannot afford to play from behind week in and week out in the NFL. Sunday, they faced a rookie quarterback Joe Burrow who has that same never back down approach and has the Moxy of a veteran quarterback. The first 20 minutes consisted of Joe coming out on fire. Throwing the ball all over Washington’s defense. A touchdown pass to A.J. Green brought the Bengals back in it with a touchdown but the PAT was no good.
With another successful drive leading to points, the Bengals went into the half with a 9 to 7 lead. Unfortunately, after back to back punts by both teams coming out the half, Joe Burrow had a collapsing pocket and got hit in the leg and sustained a knee injury and the game completely flipped after this. Burrow who had great numbers threw for 203 and a touchdown before going down. With the air out of the Bengals, the Washington defense was in the backfield to welcome Ryan Finley in the game. With Smith continuing drives and defense getting punts now resulted in good complementary football.
Alex Smith in his second start is starting to look comfortable in the pocket although fans still cringe when he drops back. Although his awareness is leading to finding open receivers which makes the chains move. The array of weapons on offense is becoming clear, (A pro bowl caliber receiver in Terry McLaurin who had 5 grabs for 84 yards and a 2 man punch in the backfield with Gibson and McKissic who combined for 26 touches for 173 yards and a touchdown) will make Smith feel better week by week.
Washington would get the victory over Cincinnati 20 -9, with Smith showing signs of improvement, Washington looks to compete in a tight divisional race where it appears the division winner will be under .500. Regardless of a division crown this season or not, it is starting to appear that Rivera is looking to rebuild the foundation in the Nations Capital.