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Washington @ Cardinals 2020 Preview

Setting the Stage
Word of caution for Cardinal fans - Before you pat yourselves on the back for the comeback win vs. the Niners, realize that the Cards aren't the only "comeback kids."

Washington shut out Philly in the 2H and won going away 27 -17. As the "Football Club" entered the locker room trailing 17-7, head coach Ron Rivera was not there to give the team a halftime speech. Rivera, who was diagnosed with cancer last month, was receiving an IV before coaching the final two quarters against the Eagles.

In his absence, quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. stepped up. He brought up that during last year's season opener, Washington jumped out to a 17-0 advantage before eventually suffering a 32-27 defeat. So, even though Washington spotted its division rivals 17 points this time around, there was no reason to believe they couldn't mount a similar comeback. "Pretty much the moral of the speech was, 'We're home, we're the home team. They're the visitors. There's no reason why we should be feeling like the little bro in a sense,'"

In San Francisco - with its air quality bordering on "toxic", the Cardinals spent most of Sunday PM shaking off the cobwebs and trying to figure out how to reclaim the lead. There were no locker room theatrics we're aware of - just 14 completions to DeAndre Hopkins, Kyler Murray's magical feet and Larry Fitzgerald's quick thinking that put the Cardinals ahead at the final whistle.


Most Recent Washington Game
Washington came back from a 17-7 halftime deficit to score 20 unanswered 2H points en route to a 27 - 17 "W" over the Iggles. The comeback was Washington's largest ever vs. Philly and was sparked just before halftime when Fabian Moreau intercepted a wobbly throw by Carson Wentz. Haskins then completed two passes and then hit TE Logan Thomas for a TD, After that, it was just a matter of the Washington O-linemen wearing down the Eagle defense,

Snap Count - Offense
T Morgan Moses 70 100%
G Brandon Scherff 70 100%
T Geron Christian Sr. 70 100%
G Wes Martin 70 100%
C Chase Roullier 70 100%
QB Dwayne Haskins 70 100%
WR Terry McLaurin 65 93%
WR Steven Sims Jr. 58 83%
TE Logan Thomas 52 74%
WR Dontrelle Inman 36 51%
RB J.D. McKissic 31 44%
RB Peyton Barber 29 41%
TE Jeremy Sprinkle 28 40%
TE Marcus Baugh 27 39%
RB Antonio Gibson 18 26%
C Wes Schweitzer 6 9%

Snap Count - Offense
F S Troy Apke 68 100%

CB Jimmy Moreland 68 100%
SS Landon Collins 68 100%
LB Jon Bostic 68 100%
CB Ronald Darby 68 100%
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis 67 99%
DE Chase Young 53 78%
DT Daron Payne 52 76%
DE Montez Sweat 48 71%
DT Jonathan Allen 36 53%
CB Fabian Moreau 31 46%
DT Matt Ioannidis 30 44%
DB Kamren Curl 22 32%
DE Ryan Kerrigan 22 32%
DT Tim Settle 16 24%
LB Shaun Dion Hamilton 15 22%
DE Ryan Anderson 12 18%
S Deshazor Everett 3 4%
DE James Smith-Williams 1 1%

Washington capped off the half with a last-minute touchdown. Just when it seemed like Washington would go into halftime trailing, 17-0, Fabian Moreau hauled in the team's first interception of the season on the Eagles' 45-yard line.

From there, Dwayne Haskins Jr. connected with Terry McLaurin for 21 yards and Dontrelle Inman for 11 more, setting up the offense inside the 15-yard line. A few plays later, on 3rd-and-3, Haskins hit a wide-open Logan Thomas on the left side of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown. The Eagles received the second-half kickoff, but that score provided some much-needed momentum for Washington.

GENERAL

The Washington Football Team defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-17, at FedExField on Sunday afternoon..

Washington trailed 17-0 and came back to win 27-17, marking the biggest comeback victory over Philadelphia in franchise history.

Washington registered eight total sacks, the most in a single game since recording 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 of the 2014 season.


Washington held Eagles QB Carson Wentz to a 72.5 passer rating, his ninth-worst rate in a single game.

Ryan Kerrigan Passed Dexter Manley As Washington's Official Sack Leader

Dwayne Haskins Delivered A Spirited Halftime Speech In Ron Rivera's Absence. Then Washington Scored 20 Unanswered Points.

OFFENSE:

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. finished the contest 17-for-31 for 178 yards and one touchdown pass for a passer rating of 82.5.

Haskins Jr. also had a 19-yard rush, which was the second-longest of his career.

Haskins Jr. did not throw an interception for the third-consecutive game dating back to last season.

Running back Antonio Gibson made his first career start and finished the game with nine rushes for 36 yards and hauled in two receptions for eight yards.

Running back Peyton Barber finished the game with 17 carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns.

It was the third time in Barber's career that he registered multiple rushing touchdowns in a single game.

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin led Washington with five receptions and 61 receiving yards.

Wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. registered three receptions for 50 yards.

Tight end Logan Thomas made his first career start at tight end for Washington and hauled in four receptions for 37 yards along with one touchdown reception.


DEFENSE:
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan notched two solo tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
Kerrigan (92.0) passed Dexter Manley (91.0) as the franchise leader in official sacks (since 1982).

Kerrigan now has 18 games with multiple sacks, currently No. 2 all-time in franchise history behind Dexter Manley (23 games).


Washington Offensive Starters

Quarterbacks
QB ...07 Haskins...08 K Allen....11 A Smith

Running Backs
RB....41 McKissic.....24 Gibson....34 .Barber.....35 Love

Wide Receivers
WR... 17 McLaurin.....10 Gandy-Golden
WR .. 15 Sims Jr.....83 I Wright

WR .. 80 Inman

Tight Ends
TE...82 L Thomas.....87 Sprinkle.....85 Baugh

Offensive Line
LT....74 Christian Sr.....77 Charles.....72 Sharpe
LG...67 Martin.....71 Schweitzer
OC...73 Rouller.....I60 smael
RG...75 Scherff
RT....76 Moses....78 Lucas

Other than Haskins, I don't see an overabundance of familiar names on the Washington offensiive depth chart.

Washington Defensive Starters

Defensive Line
DE
...99 Young.....91 Kerrigan
DT...94 Payne.....97 Settle
DT...93 J Allen.....98 Ionnadis
DE..90 Sweat.....52 R Anderson
.....96 Smith-Williams

Linebacker
OLB..51 SD Hamilton....58 .T Davis Jr
MLB...53 Bostic....55 .Holcomb
OLB...54 Pierre - Louis.....47 Hudson

Defensive Back
CB...29 Fuller.....20 Moreland.....32 D Johnson
CB...23 Darby.....25 Moreau.....37 Stroman
SS....26 L Collins......22 Everett
FS....30 Apke.....xx Curl
.....31 Kamren

Special Teams
P.....05 Way
K.....03 Hopkins
LS....57 Sundberg
PR....15 Sims Jr
KR....15 Sims Jr

Excerpts from Rick Snider's SI position by position report card:

QUARTERBACK: B
Dwayne Haskins improved as the game progressed...He threw a nice touchdown to Logan Thomas and committed no turnovers... His coolness was apparent...His 17 of 31 for 178 yards is probably his typical line this season, but the key was watching him calmly lead the Washington comeback.

RUNNING BACKS: B
Committee did a nice job. Peyton Barber looks the prime back moving forward over Antonio Gibson.ly.

RECEIVERS: C+
As expected, it was Terry McLaurin and the others. ...McLaurin caught a team-high five balls for 61 yards. Steven Sims added three, Dontrelle Inman two.

TIGHT ENDS: A
Logan Thomas ...has quickly become Dwayne Haskins’ go-to guy in short yardage. ...Thomas will get more work as Dwayne Haskins gets used to him.\

OFFENSIVE LINE: C
They griound out the win....Haskins was hit 10 times and left tackle Geron Christian and left guard Wes Martin looked bad in the first half. But they steadily improved and the run blocking was better late as the Eagles wore down. Christian’s biggest play was recovering an early third-quarter fumble that could have put the game away for the Eagles.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A+
It was exactly what has been expected since drafting Chase Young. Five linemen combined for seven sacks, including 1.5 by Young and two by Ryan Kerrigan. They weren’t bad against the run, either. ...This is the path Washington wins games.

LINEBACKERS: B
This team still can’t cover a tight end, but Jon Bostic made plays everywhere, including a key third-down sack on a blitz. Kevin Pierre-Louis’ play was uneven, but he’s still a plus.

SECONDARY: B
His eammates always talk about Jimmy Moreland’s football smarts - He jumped a route for a Pick 6 touchdown. Fabian Moreau’s pick also led to a TD. Sure, they were burned early (they should get better when cornerback Kendall Fuller returns), but it was a decent effort.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Not a good day for Stephen Sims on punt returns.... Dustin Hopkins missed a 48-yarder, but then nailed two FG's so it’s all good. Tress Way was great as always.

COACHING: A
“Riverboat” Ron Rivera came through by calling a fourth-down run ...that led to a touchdown and victory. Good halftime adjustments by coaches as Washington defense upped its tempo and dominated afterwards. That’s the go-go-go by defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Nice offensive game plan by offensive coordinator Scott Turner keeping the Eagles off balanced late.

(Ed Note: Kerrigan is their "pass rusher to be aware of")... Young - a top draft choice - is considered a generational defender..

Cardinals Offense

Quarterbacks
01 Murray, 07 Hundley

Running Back
41 Drake, 29 Edmonds, 26 Benjamin

Wide Receivers
WR - 11 Fitzgerald...17 Isabella
WR - 13 Kirk....19 KS Johnson
WR - 10 Hopkins 16 Sherfield

Tight Ends
TE - 87 M Williams 82 Arnold 81 Daniels


Offensive Line
LT- ...74 Humphries...66 Miles, 79 J Jones
LG - 67 Pugh 73 Garcia
OC- 52 Cole 65 Galliard
RG- 64 Sweezy. Murray
RT - 68 Beechum 71 J Murray

Defensive Interior Line
DT 94 Z Allen 95 Fotu
NT - 98 Peters, 92 Lawrence
DT RDE - 97 Phillips 92 Blackson

Linebackers
OLB - 55 C Jones 49 Fitts 45 Gardeck
ILB - ..59 Campbell 48 Simmons 47 Z Turner
ILB - 58 Hicks 51 Vallejo
OLB - 42 Kennard 43 Reddick

Defensive Backs
CB - 21 P Peterson...27 K Peterson
CB - 20 Kirkpatrick 33 Murphy Jr
S - 34 J Thompson 38 Banjo 28 C Washington
S - 32 Baker...35 D Thompson .
40 Tillman*

T


Matchup: Washington Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Haskins completed 17 of 31 passes for 178 yards (1 TD and no interceptions. . He was sackedthree times for 19 yards. . Leading receiver was McLaurin (5 recs for 7 targets), 61 yds and a TD. Thomas and Sims Jr followed with 4 and 3 catches each.

Key Matchups - McLaurin vs P Peterson; Thomas vs. Cardinal LBs. Washington OL vs C Jones


Matchup: Washington Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Washington rushers gained 80 yards on 36 carries and 2 TDs. Barber gained 29 yds on 17 carries. Gibson picked up 36 yards on 9 carries.

Key Matchups - Washington OL vs Cardinal D line


Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Washington Pass Defense
Washington held Wentz to 24 for 42, 270 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. They sacked the Philly QB 8 times. Sack leaders were Kerrigan (2), Young and Ionnidis (1.5 ea) and Sweat & Bostic (1 each).

Cardinal OL stood up to strong pressure from Niner pass rushers. Question will be how well Cards can to neutralize Wash pass rush with solid line play and Murray's atleticism and decision-making. We'll take Cardinal receivers Hopkins, Fitz and Kirk (& Arnold) over McLaurin, Thomas and Sims Jr any day.

Haskins and their TE Thomas are developing a good relationshpi and will be a challenge for Cardinal LBs. Second stringers Moreland and Moreau each had an interception vs Philly. (When healthy, starters at CB are Fuller and Darby.

Key Matchups:
Humphreys vs. Kerrigan and Young...Hopkins vs.

Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Washington Run Defense
Washington held Philly rushers to 57 ground yards on 17 carries. Leading tacklers were Bostic (8), Apke (8), Moreland (6) and L Collins (5)

Cardinals use their RBs in various ways (depending on matchup advantage). If they need short yardage, they can get it from Drake. If they need receptions, they can make Drake Edmonds their primary receivers.

Tacklers with Washington's best ttackling numbers resided in their secondary ((Apke, L Collins, Moreland). But the DL is considered to be the strength of the Wash defense,

Key Matchups
Drake vs. Young. Cardinals OL vs. Niner Front 7.

Special Teams

Washington Special Teams
K
     .03 Hopkins
P .....05 Way
LS    57 Sundberg
KR  .15 Sims Jr
PR   15 Sims Jr

Cardinals Special Teams
P - ...02 Lee
K- ....05 Gonzalez
H - ...02 Lee
LS - 46 Brewer
KR -17 Isabella
PR - 17 Isabella


Matchup Wash Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
You never know about Gonzalez, Lee is a solid punter. Isabella is unproven. Sims struggled last week as a returner. Hopkins resembles Gonzalez in that he can nail most FG attempts but will miss them at the worst times. Way and Lee cancel out one another

Key Matchups
Either kicker is capable of converting a long attempt or whiffing on a makable one. Punters are fairly equal. Respective return games remain unknown quantities.


Coaching / Intangibles
Rivera provides gritty leadership under tough circumstances. Kingsbury is known for his creative play calling but came under fan criticism for "being too conservative." (Not to worry - Do your thing, Kliff).

How to Beat Washington
On the basis of a ione-game sample size, it looks as if Ron RIvera will continue to rely on a close-to-the-vest offense and let his run-stingy/sack-happy defense wear out opponents and win games for him. Cards must keep mistakes at a minimum and utilize a steady-rotation keep its blockers fresh.

 
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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 03/25/2013