Rivera said there'd be growing pains in Washington. Week 3 hurt a lot originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After Washington's Week 2 loss against the Cardinals, Ron Rivera made sure to remind reporters that there'd be plenty more "growing pains" coming for the Washington Football Team during their rebuild.
Rivera was dead on. Too dead on, actually. Because those growing pains were very evident in his squad's 34-20 defeat in Cleveland, and they made for an afternoon of agony.
No one was responsible for more suffering than Dwayne Haskins, who tossed three interceptions and also lost a fumble on a sack.
Haskins could've really used a consistent, four-quarter performance, and it looked like he was heading toward one after a first-quarter touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman. From then on, though, he floundered instead of flourished, making some very unforgivable mistakes in the process.
The signal caller was far from the only one to err at FirstEnergy Stadium, however.
Geron Christian lost time and time again to Myles Garrett (he wasn't the first and won't be the last, but still, it was a mismatch throughout). Both safeties, Troy Apke and Landon Collins, were chasing their assignments from start to finish. Antonio Gibson fumbled once, albeit while the first half was wrapping up, and whiffed on scooping up another loose ball that would've given his offense another possession.
There was literal pain in the disheartening result as well.
Matt Ioannidis and Chase Young were both ruled out with early injuries. Inman and Ryan Anderson later joined them. Brandon Scherff didn't suit up because he's on the IR for at least a few more contests.
When Washington took out the Eagles to open 2020, it felt like, perhaps, Washington was ahead of schedule in becoming relevant again. But their next two efforts have indicated they might be right where most expected.
Rivera certainly came into the year expecting these kinds of downfalls, at least. Yet that won't make them sting any less, for him or the fan base that's behind him.