Kyle Allen's much-anticipated debut for the Washington Football Team lasted less than two quarters before the quarterback was forced to leave the game with an arm injury.
Although Allen attempted just 13 passes on Sunday in Washington's 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, head coach Ron Rivera said postgame he liked what he saw from the third-year quarterback and plans to stick with him as the starter as long as he's healthy.
One day later and after digesting the game tape, Rivera reiterated to reporters on Monday that he liked what he saw from Allen.
"I thought I saw it," Rivera said, asked if he saw the jump in the offense needed by making the QB switch.
"I thought the scoring drive that Kyle led us on was good. I thought he made good decisions," Rivera said. "He delivered a good ball for the most part. Unfortunately, the next time we got another drive going he got knocked out of the game."
Before the injury, Allen had completed 9-of-13 passes for 74 yards and had rushed for a seven-yard TD. The scoring drive was an impressive one and something that stuck out to Rivera.
"That’s what you’re looking for. That’s what you want," Rivera said. "He did a good job with that. Again, to me, you could say the scramble for the touchdown because he saw man coverage, he saw the defenders had their backs turned, and he knew it was an opportunity to tuck the ball and run. That was a good decision on his part."
Rivera had been the subject of plenty of criticism over the past week after he made the decision to name Allen the starter, relegating 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins to the bench. Rivera cited the team's favorable schedule and Allen's knowledge of the system as the two main reasons for the switch.
On Monday, the head coach also said he was pleased with Allen's decision-making. Last Wednesday, both Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner admitted situational decision-making was something Haskins struggled with.
However, three of Washington's four drives with Allen at QB on Sunday resulted in punts. By the time the quarterback was forced to leave the game, the Burgundy and Gold were already trailing by 13 points.
Allen's injury paved the way for Alex Smith to make his improbable return to action, playing in an NFL game just 23 months after suffering a gruesome leg injury than was almost life-threatening.
Smith's feat is nothing short of remarkable, but it also overshadowed what was an otherwise dismal performance from the Washington offense.
The 36-year-old quarterback's return to action did not necessarily net positive results, as Washington was held scoreless in the second half with -6 total yards of offense. Smith finished 9-of-17 for 37 yards and was sacked six times.
Washington's offense struggled for much of the afternoon, regardless of who was in at quarterback. The offensive line and icky weather conditions didn't play in their favor, either, but it's still no excuse for the lack of success.
Come next week when Washington faces a winless New York Giants team, the offense must put up points. Or, Rivera's decision to move on from Haskins -- who the head coach said doesn't envision getting his job back anytime soon -- will be questioned even more.