After miraculous Week 1 win, reality sets in for Washington originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The incredible comeback win over Philadelphia brought some much needed relief for Washington's players, coaches and fans.
The ugly loss for Washington in Arizona, however, brought a harsh dose of reality to the same group of players, coaches and fans.
Washington has some young talent with potential, but this team cannot afford to turn the ball over and get off to slow starts. They did both against the Cardinals.
- That's not the formula - Washington can win if the offense doesn't turn it over, like they did against the Eagles last week. On Sunday, however, Dwayne Haskins had a sack fumble in the first quarter and Steven Sims fumbled on a punt return. Arizona capitalized on both, and while the Washington comeback effort was commendable, it wasn't enough and it came after too big of a deficit.
- Real deal - Critics might call it garbage time stats but Terry McLaurin continues to shine for this Washington team. He's been the best player for this offense two weeks in a row and at times seems to be the only pass catcher that Haskins can count on. McLaurin finished the game with 7 catches for 125 yards and one touchdown.
- Run it back - Kyler Murray dominated this game, both with his arm and his feet. When the two-minute warning hit and the Cardinals held a 27-15 lead, Murray accounted for nearly 350 yards of total offense with three touchdowns. On the ground, Murray went for more than 60 yards and two scores. He was fantastic, and for the vaunted Washington pass rush, way too elusive.
- No gambling allowed - Ron Rivera is known for an aggressive, gambling approach, but that wasn't the scene on Sunday. In the third quarter, the Washington offense had the ball deep in Cardinals territory trailing 20-0. Rather than going for it on fourth down and trying to get a touchdown, Rivera elected to kick the field goal, making the score 20-3. Eventually, after a few scores and a quasi-comeback, that could have made a major difference.