The Washington Football Team was just one play away from taking the lead against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter last week for a go-ahead score that could have secured their second win of the season.
Though Washington failed on that opportunity, the Burgundy and Gold took out their anger and frustration against the NFC East Division rival Dallas Cowboys by scoring 22 unanswered points en route to a 25-3 blowout win at home on Oct. 25.
Washington led an 11-play, 70-yard drive on their opening possession seemingly destined to finish in the end zone, until the Dallas defense stopped quarterback Kyle Allen at the 1-yard line as he tried to sneak into the painted area on fourth down.
Nevertheless, Washington’s defense answered the bell five plays later when safety Landon Collins sacked Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton for a nine-yard loss into the end zone, and lineman Dalton Schultz fell on the ball resulting in a safety.
It only took seven plays for Washington to travel 63 yards for the first touchdown of the game when rookie running back Antonio Gibson ran in from 12-yards out to go up by nine.
“I definitely feel like our energy from [the] last game carried over to this week through our practice,” Gibson said about how failing on the two-point conversion last week fueled the team. I thought we had a great practice, and we showed it on the field today.”
Dallas went on to score their only points of the content during their next possession when running back Tony Pollard set up the Cowboys in excellent field position after a 67-yard kickoff return down to the Washington 34-yard line in the first quarter.
The Washington defense stood firm again, limiting Dallas to three points four plays later when Greg Zuerlein booted a 45-yard field goal.
Allen exacted an offensive rout in the second quarter when he threw a bomb to wide receiver Terry McLaurin for a 52-yard touchdown and then hit tight end Logan Thomas for a 15-yard score. Allen finished the game throwing for 194 yards and no interceptions.
“I think people are sleeping on Logan,” Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera said. “He’s done a heck of a job, so Logan is a guy that can continue to grow in his role with us, so I’m really excited about that.”
A defense battle ensued in the third quarter, with bitter rivals jostling for field position. However, tragedy struck Dallas late in the third quarter. Dalton tried to slide after scrambling for 21 yards when Washington Football Team Jon Bostic laid an illegal hit on the quarterback, forcing an ejection. Dalton suffered a concussion.
Washington Football Team kicker Dustin Hopkins added insurance points on the next drive on a 30-yard field goal. The Washington defense preyed on rookie backup quarterback Ben DiNucci who finished the game going 2-of-3 for 39 yards.
The Burgundy and Gold held perennial pro bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott to only 45 yards on the ground and limited Dallas to only 142 net yards. The Washington offense, on the other hand, finally exploded, accounting for 397 total yards and improved to 60 percent efficiency on third down.
Gibson had the best game of his young career rushing for 128 yards on 20 carries for a touchdown, and McLaurin led Washington in receiving once again by hauling in seven receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets.
The Washington defense was impressive, posting six sacks, an interception by linebacker Cole Holcomb before halftime when Dallas was threatening to score and two forced fumbles.
However, the defense lost a veteran that they truly depend on when Collins exited the game with an Achilles injury in the first half that will end his season.
Washington now improves to 2-5, mirroring the Cowboy’s current record while the Burgundy and Gold will head into the bye week looking ahead to the New York Giants, who will come to Landover on Nov. 8.
“If those three guys (running back committee) play the way they do and progress and we get the offensive line play that we’ve had, we have a chance…we’re starting to learn, the last couple of games have been good for us,” WFT Coach Ron Rivera said Sunday. “We’ll see what happens next week, well, after the bye, excuse me.”