Before every Washington Football Team game this year, Pete Hailey will identify one key number that you must know regarding that contest.
Here is his number for the Week 3 tilt with the Browns.
A main focus for the Washington Football Team this week is to find the portion of the playbook that Dwayne Haskins is most comfortable with, so that Haskins and the offense can start better, follow up that better start with more better play, and then finish off that better play with some more better play.
However, through two weeks of the season, that unit — and really any team's unit at any level of football — has shown that it prefers to operate on short fields when possible.
Fortunately, it may just get one or two of those this Sunday in Cleveland.
While Baker Mayfield was overall instrumental in the Browns' win over the Bengals a few Thursdays ago, he did toss an interception. That means Mayfield has now tossed a pick in eight consecutive appearances.
Perhaps even more encouraging is that the quarterback has been turned over through the air in both of his games in 2020 despite only being sacked a combined two times. He doesn't even necessarily need to be pressured in order to give the ball away.
The assumption is that Washington should be able to fluster Mayfield a decent amount, and maybe a heavy amount, at FirstEnergy Stadium, thanks to its potent defensive line. Combine that with a secondary that, while far from stellar, has generated three INTs already, and the odds that Mayfield will up his streak to nine begin to look promising for the visitors.
The Browns present numerous other things to be worried about, including a backfield that's home to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the always-frightening Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett's presence off the edge.
Still, if Mayfield continues in his careless ways, and Washington is able to convert those mistakes into points, that could be one simple way in which Ron Rivera's team can develop some momentum. Sometimes, all the underdogs need is a turnover to start feeling like they belong.