Look, at 2-5 through seven games nobody is throwing a parade for the Washington Football Team.
This was a rebuilding year after a 3-13 calamity in 2019, but along the way, the NFC East is so horrid that rebuilding also means competing. And that's a good thing. For the fans that scream about draft position, know that there are zero football players that won't try to win once they actually step on the field.
So for Ron Rivera, in his first year as the coach in Washington with his eyes on the long-term prize, what have we learned?
- Follow the gut - Rivera is building his team and he doesn't care what anybody thinks of how he goes about it. Obviously benching Dwayne Haskins was the biggest bump in the road for Rivera thus far, but the move to Kyle Allen has somewhat paid off. Washington's offense looks to be clearly on the upswing after solid efforts against the Giants and Cowboys in Week 6 and Week 7. Rivera also made other, less controversial changes, by benching Troy Apke for Deshazor Everett and getting Cole Holcomb on the field more. Injuries forced some shuffling on the offensive line, but on the defensive line, it's also clear Rivera isn't beholden to franchise legends like Ryan Kerrigan.
- Still not good - Listen to Washington's coaches and it's clear that the team isn't pleased with their performance. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner might have explained Washington's improvement during the first half of the season best when he said: "It's better, not to be confused with good." Washington's offense ranks 30th in both points scored and yards gained, and the team is yet to score 30 points this season.
- Sneaky improvement - While Washington's offense is struggling with signs of growth, the defense has quietly been climbing up the league ranks.
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In their last two division games Washington has given up an average of 11 points-per-game and about 160 yards-per-game. That's solid, and remember Washington has another two games against the Giants and Cowboys following the bye week too. Washington also ranks fifth in the league with 22 sacks, a total that could jump now that the team is done playing Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. That number could pop, and that will help the entire Washington defense.