Sports

Washington Prepares for Pivotal Divisional Matchup Against Giants

The Washington Football Team is coming off a massive 25-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25 and enjoying the bye week as they prepare for the New York Giants on Sunday at home.

The masterful performance was also historically impressive as Washington held Dallas to three points, the fewest ever for the franchise. Washington previously held Dallas only to five points on Oct. 2, 1978.

Though Washington has only won two games so far this season, the Burgundy and Gold have won consecutive contests at home against NFC East opponents for the first time since defeating the Philadelphia Eagles and Giants at home in 2015.

Since second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins has exited the lineup, starter Kyle Allen has completed 68.8 percent of his passes and boasts a 99.4 quarterback rating. He threw for 194 yards and two big touchdowns against Dallas, and the offense was clicking on all cylinders.

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson rushed for a season-high 128 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson rushed for a season-high 128 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)

Rookie running back Antonio Gibson aided their cause and had a career day, rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, the heaviest workload he has received thus far.

Gibson is currently averaging more than four yards per carry and being utilized as a pass-catching threat (19 receptions, 147 yards) out of the backfield that Allen has relied on this season.

One cannot help but mention the sustained success of second-year wide receiver Terry McLaurin. He is ranked eighth in the league for offensive production at his position heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Giants. So far, McLaurin has hauled in 43 receptions for 577 yards and two touchdowns.

“This was a great week of practice,” said McLaurin. “But today was the first time that I feel like we have played complementary four-quarter football.

“If you want to win in this league, that’s what you need to do consistently, and it starts with the way you execute in practice. That’s what propelled us this week, and it’s what we have to do that moving forward…we set the bar really high.”

Washington’s defense has been the driving force of their recent success with the contributions of cornerback Kendall Fuller, linebacker Jon Bostic and rookie defensive lineman Chase Young.

Fuller has accounted for four interceptions, Bostic leads the team in tackles with 52 (2 sacks) and Young is completely disruptive at the point of attack with 2.5 sacks so far.

Washington is ranked No. 1 against the pass and is No. 4 in total defense. However, the Burgundy and Gold also lost standout safety Landon Collins for the year against the Cowboys after he suffered a torn Achilles.

“It’s always tough when you lose a good football player,” Washington Football Team Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said about the loss of Collins. “Anytime that happens, you have to work to overcome. We’re going to carry on and move on and continue to expect to play well. We all admire his toughness and we all feel for him…we pray for him a lot.”

Nevertheless, Washington is still in the thick of the NFC East Division race and could make up some ground winning Sunday.

“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, and we’ll see what happens next week, well after the bye, excuse me.”

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