Washington vs. Cleveland: Haskins' 2 INTs, Young injured in first half originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Here are some observations from the first half...
1. For the first time all season, Washington's defense forced a punt on the opponent's opening drive.
Although the 2020 NFL season is just entering the toddler stage, much of Washington's campaign thus far has been defined by the team's slow starts. In Weeks 1 and 2, both the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals found the end zone on their opening drives, putting Washington in an early hole.
That wasn't the case in Week 3, as Washington halted the Cleveland attack, only allowing one first down before forcing a punt.
2. New faces were involved early on offense for Washington.
Outside of Terry McLaurin, Washington had found trouble finding production from any of its other wideouts thus far in 2020. So, the Burgundy and Gold made it a point to get the ball into some of its other offensive weapons early on in Sunday's contest.
On Washington's opening drive, undrafted rookie receiver Isaiah Wright hauled in his first career catch. Wright was targeted four times in the first half, hauling in three catches for 18 yards.
Later in the first quarter, rookie fourth-rounder Antonio Gandy-Golden was handed the ball on a jet sweep, and the Liberty product took the ball down the left sideline 21 yards before getting popped by Browns safety Karl Joseph.
Antonio Gandy Golden with the nice carry on the jet sweep. Took a big hit by Karl Joseph, but bounced back up. pic.twitter.com/yNR1w2bZie— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 27, 2020
Washington is going to need more production from its supporting cast if they want to be competitive in 2020. So far, so good in Week 3.
3. Dontrelle Inman scores his first touchdown since 2018.
Speaking of needing other contributors on offense, Washington found the end zone for the first time Sunday afternoon courtesy of Dontrelle Inman. The touchdown was Inman's first as a member of the Burgundy and Gold.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins fired a perfect missile to Inman in between two defenders from 17 yards out, giving Washington its first first-half lead of the season. The touchdown with Haskins' third of the season.
While Inman will get deservedly get credit for the score, the touchdown would not have been possible without a heads-up play from Wright a few snaps earlier.
With pressure in his face, Haskins lofted a pass intended for Inman, but it was severely underthrown. Browns cornerback Denzel Ward was in the perfect position to intercept the pass, but Wright played the football as if he were a defensive back and broke up the pass.
4. Bad news on the injury front.
Here's the injury to Chase Young.pic.twitter.com/nDnicQ9PEX— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 27, 2020
5. Haskins' first interception of the season was a bad one.
With a 7-3 lead in the second quarter, Washington's offense was on the move once again.
However, all momentum was lost when Haskins overthrew tight end Logan Thomas down the middle. Karl Joseph was in the right place at the right time to intercept the pass, and the safety returned the pick 49 yards all the way to the Washington 35 yard line.
6. Nick Chubb is very, very good.
Chubb, the NFL's second-leading rusher one year ago, found the end zone following Haskins' first interception on a beautiful 16-yard run.
Washington had done a good job keeping Chubb's impact to a minimum prior to his touchdown run. Not so much, anymore. On the day, Chubb has 53 yards on 12 carries.
7. Haskins' second interception came at an even worse time than the first.
On third-and-7 from Washington's own 19-yard line, Haskins was caught starring Inman down on a crossing route. Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith jumped right in front of the pass, giving the Browns one last chance to extend their lead before the half.
Three plays later, Browns QB Baker Mayfield would find running back Kareem Hunt from nine yards out for the touchdown.
Cleveland would enter the halftime break with a 10-point lead, scoring 17 unanswered points.