DENVER -- For the second straight week, Washington lost a game that it could have won largely due to ineptitude in the red zone. The Washington offense can move the ball well until it gets to about the opposing team's 25-yard line, and then things blow up.
In this case, against a bad Broncos team, the kicking game ruined scoring chances. That's right - the new kicker brought in to replace the old kicker, like that was going to get the Titanic off the course with the iceberg.
Washington goes into the bye week at 2-6. That's a disaster for a team coming off a playoff spot and alleged to have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
It's most likely a lost season. Be real. But alas, here's a stock report.
- Playing to your strengths - Much noise has been made about where Landon Collins lines up for Washington, but on Sunday the safety-turned-linebacker played his best game of the season. He finished with eight tackles and had a big sack in the second quarter. Collins was flying to the ball and impressive.
- Opportunity knocks - Second-year pro Saahdiq Charles got his first-ever start at tackle against the Broncos and mostly held his own. There was a bad red zone false start penalty and a late sack when Heinicke held onto the ball a long time, but by and large Charles played well in relief of Cornelius Lucas, who was on the field because Sam Cosmi got hurt. It's not hard to envision a 2022 Washington offensive line with Charles and Cosmi starting on the edges, and based on Sunday, that could work out well.
- Hometown kid - When the fourth quarter began undrafted rookie Jaret Patterson led Washington with 10 carries. He got more work than Antonio Gibson and produced given the chance, Patterson finished with 11 carries for 46 yards. It will be interesting if Ron Rivera provides insight into the decision to get Patterson more involved in the run game. Gibson is dealing with a stress fracture in his shin, and there's some thought for additional substitution when playing in the Colorado altitude. Still, it's an interesting development.
- Drop it likes it's hot - Bobby McCain dropped one of the easiest interceptions that will happen all season. Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater basically threw it right to Washington's safety, and he dropped it. It was remarkable for how easy the pick seemed, and that it wasn't caught.
- Block party - In more than 90 games as Washington's kicker, Dustin Hopkins had just two field goal attempts blocked. In two games as Washington's kicker Chris Blewitt has had three field goals blocked. When kicks don't get blocked, Blewitt has been good, but the low kicks are a major problem. Just two weeks after cutting Hopkins Washington might again need to look for a new kicker.
- Continuity - Washington's offensive line took a major blow when Chase Roullier left the field with an air cast on his leg and an injury that looked severe. He marks the third starting offensive lineman to go down for Washington and eventually the Burgundy and Gold will run out of legit NFL-caliber players on the line. A sliver of good news - expect right guard Brandon Scherff to return against the Bucs after the bye week.
- Burn the edges - Washington's defense generated consistent pressure against Bridgewater but it wasn't from the pair of "elite" pass rushers of Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Those two just didn't perform well enough on Sunday, and haven't for most of the season. It's worth pointing out that Young forced a late fumble to give Washington one final chance for the win, but it didn't work out that way. Expectations are high because they're supposed to be Washington's best, and through eight games, they haven't been.