Fail: Bengals’ road woes
Cincinnati fell to 0-18-1 in its past 19 road games, with the tie coming this year at Philadelphia. Washington earned its first win over Cincinnati at home since 1985, when Jay Schroeder helped overcome a 17-point deficit in a 27-24 win over the Boomer Esiason-led Bengals at RFK Stadium.
Hail: Dallas week
Despite the fact that both teams are 3-7, Washington and Dallas will somehow be playing for first place in the NFC East when they renew their Turkey Day rivalry Thursday in Texas.
“There’s been a great history between the Cowboys and the Football Team over the years,” Fox analyst Troy Aikman said toward the end of Sunday’s Packers-Colts broadcast. He then chuckled, probably about Washington’s lack of a team name but perhaps also about the rivals’ records.
Washington won this season’s first meeting with the Cowboys, 25-3, in Week 7 at FedEx Field, during which Gibson caught the attention of Cowboys fan LeBron James. Dallas quarterback Andy Dalton was knocked out in that game, but he has returned and threw three touchdown passes in an impressive 31-28 win Sunday at Minnesota.
“Thanksgiving,” Chase Young said Sunday after Washington snapped its two-game losing streak. “You know LeBron’s going to be watching, everybody’s going to be watching. You know, it’s that time to get that money for sure.”
Fail: The NFC East
With the Giants on their bye, NFC East teams won more games than they lost (2-1) for the first time all season, but let’s not give the division too much credit. While Washington’s win spoiled the AFC North’s perfect record against the NFC East, the Cleveland Browns took care of division-leading Philadelphia, 22-17, increasing the likelihood that the East’s playoff-bound champion will finish with five or six wins. Washington has the division’s best point differential — at minus-27.
Hail: No. 1 vs. No. 2
Before Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the second half, the anticipated showdown between the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and Young, the No. 2 pick, lived up to the hype. The rookies collided on one pivotal play in the second quarter, when Young prevented a touchdown with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Burrow as he scrambled toward the end zone on fourth and goal. Burrow fumbled, and Ronald Darby recovered in the end zone for Washington, resulting in a touchback. Burrow was otherwise solid in his abbreviated start, completing 22 of 34 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown pass to A.J. Green.
Fail: Ryan Finley
Burrow’s replacement was brutal, completing 3 of 10 passes for 30 yards and an interception. The second-year pro, who started three games last season but had taken only one snap this year, was sacked four times.
“We definitely took over after” Burrow was injured, said Young, who told his former Ohio State teammate that he loved him and to “get well” before he was carted off the field. “The sacks started coming, and everything just started falling into place.”
Hail: Steven Sims Jr.
Sims, who has missed time this year with a toe injury, only had three catches, but one of them was a three-yard touchdown grab that gave Washington the lead for good in the third quarter. Sims arrived for his postgame Zoom session with reporters wearing a Cincinnati Reds cap. Was it an intentional bit of trolling by the second-year wide receiver?
“This just for the swag,” said Sims, who wore a matching red and black T-shirt. “I got on red; this is just a red hat. That’s crazy, though. Cincinnati Reds? I didn’t even realize that.”
Fail: Washington DBs’ hands
Fabian Moreau sealed Washington’s win with an interception in the final minutes, but his fellow defensive backs let a couple of golden opportunities for turnovers slip through their hands earlier. On the play before Burrow’s fumble into the end zone, Darby dropped what should have been an interception at the goal line. On Cincinnati’s first possession of the second half, safety Troy Apke, who was starting in place of the injured Deshazor Everett, couldn’t corral an errant pass by Burrow that hit him directly in the hands.
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