With Joe Burrow next, here's how Washington has fared against former Heisman-winners in 2020

Ethan Cadeaux
·5 min read

With Burrow next, here's how WFT has fared vs. former Heisman winners originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When the Washington Football Team takes the field on Sunday against the Bengals, the Burgundy and Gold will face their fourth -- and final -- former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback this season in Bengals signal-caller Joe Burrow.

Burrow won college football's most prestigious award in 2019 in a landslide after he turned in arguably the best single-season of any quarterback in college football history. The former LSU Tiger notched the highest percentage of first-place votes and the largest margin of victory in the award's 85-years.

The 2020 No.1 overall pick has shown plenty of promise in his first NFL season, but Burrow's Bengals sit with just a 2-5-1 record entering Week 10.

With Burrow's matchup against Washington looming, here's how the Burgundy and Gold have fared against previous Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks this season.

Week 2: Kyler Murray (2018 Heisman Trophy winner)

Arizona Cardinals defeat Washington, 30-15

Washington's first matchup against Kyler Murray went about is poorly as it could have gone for the Football Team.

Murray dominated Washington's defense - both with his arm and his legs -- as the Cardinals cruised to a 15-point victory, a margin that doesn't tell how lopsided the game truly was.

The former Oklahoma star finished the afternoon completing 26 of his 38 attempts, throwing for 268 yards and a touchdown. He did also throw a first-quarter interception, in which what seemed to be his lone mistake of the Week 2 clash. 

© Michael Chow via Imagn Content Services, LLC

While efficient through the air, where Murray really hurt Washington's defense was with his legs. Murray finished the contest with 67 rushing yards on just eight carries with two rushing touchdowns and would have notched a third had a holding penalty not had been called.

Murray's second rushing touchdown of the game came early in the third quarter, one that extended Arizona's lead to 24. The Cardinals went on cruise control for the rest of the afternoon, as two late Washington scores made the score look a tad more respectable.

Week 3: Baker Mayfield (2017 Heisman Trophy winner)

Cleveland Browns defeat Washington, 34-20

Although the final score looks as if this was a blowout, Washington's Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns was quite the back and forth contest.

After scoring first, Washington would allow 17 unanswered points, entering the halftime break down 17-7. A pair of third-quarter touchdowns would put the Burgundy and Gold back on top by three, but the Browns ended the game on another 17-0 run for a two-touchdown victory.

Baker Mayfield turned in a solid outing for Cleveland, but he alone was hardly the reason for the victory. Cleveland's defense forced five turnovers (Washington's forced none), and the two-headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt was responsible for three of the Browns four touchdowns.

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Mayfield was efficient, though, as he completed 16-of-23 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The 2017 Heisman winner also played turnover-free football, something that he's struggled to do over the past few seasons. 

Cleveland has taken the pressure off Mayfield this season, as they've ridden their stout defense and rushing attack all year. And at 6-3, the Browns are off to their best start in years.

Week 4: Lamar Jackson (2016 Heisman Trophy winner)

Baltimore Ravens defeat Washington, 31-17

The Ravens have not looked like the world-beaters that they were a year ago, but no one would have ever known watching Baltimore's Week 4 victory over Washington. Baltimore jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the first half and never looked back, cruising to a 14-point victory.

The turning point of the game came via the legs of Jackson. With the Ravens ahead 7-0 in the second quarter and the Washington defense needing a stop, the 2016 Heisman winner broke off a vintage 50-yard touchdown run, the longest rush of his career.

© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson didn't wow with his arm, but he didn't need to. The Ravens signal-caller threw for just 193 yards, but only needed to attempt 21 passes in the victory. Jackson also connected with his favorite target, tight end Mark Andrews, on two touchdowns, each coming from over 20 yards out.

The Ravens defense held Washington's offense scoreless in the second half until the final two minutes when quarterback Dwayne Haskins rushed for a garbage time one-yard score. It wasn't exactly the prettiest victory for the Purple and Black, but they took care of business against Washington, clearly a lesser opponent. That's what good teams do.

Next up: Joe Burrow (2019 Heisman Trophy Winner)

So, as Washington gets set to face their fourth former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback this season in Joe Burrow, the Burgundy and Gold are still looking for their first win this year against a previous award winner. 

To Washington's defense, the Cardinals, Browns and Ravens have a combined 18-9 record. While it's unknown whether all three of those clubs are postseason bound, each one of them is firmly in the playoff hunt. 

The Burgundy and Gold open as a one-point favorite over the Bengals, according to NBC Sports partner PointsBet USA. If Washington has any hope of playing playoff football this season, Sunday's matchup against Burrow and company is a must-win.