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Stock Report: Washington soars with Bucs beatdown, best win of season

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Expect the unexpected in the NFL and on Sunday, Washington delivered. 

Facing a lost season and turmoil on and off the field, Ron Rivera's team showed that it won't quit. In the process, the Burgundy and Gold delivered their best win of the season over the defending Super Bowl champion Buccanneers. 

It was improbable and exciting for Washington fans without much to root for so far this season. 

Stock up

  • Level of competition - Some things aren't about the final result, and on Sunday, Washington gave their best effort of the season. The team played complementary football and delivered an impressive game against the defending Super Bowl champions. Coming off a bye week and a 2-6 record, Washington still seems capable of playing together despite the record. 
  • Following a trend - Jonathan Allen has been Washington's best player this season and on Sunday he played one of his best games. He didn't pack the stat sheet but Allen persistently disrupted the Tampa offensive line and drilled Tom Brady a few times throughout the game. 
  • Boots on the ground - Washington made a big mistake by signing Chris Blewitt, but new kicker Joey Slye looks like the real deal. He made three field goals on Sunday and didn't miss any extra points. Perhaps most important, zero kicks got blocked. 
  • Been a while - Taylor Heinicke played his best game in a month, completing 81% percent of his passes with one touchdown and most importantly no turnovers. Heinicke isn't the long-term answer at QB in Washington, but he can be a long-term backup. 
  • Commit to the bit - For much of the second half Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner committed to the run game, and it paid off. Washington finished with 320 yards in the game, not earth-shattering but it allowed the Burgundy and Gold to dominate time of possession and keep Tom Brady off the field. Antonio Gibson showed some real grit and power, grinding out 63 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. 
  • Terry tough - What a bunch of tough plays from wide receiver Terry McLaurin, including a ridiculous catch on 3rd and 6 deep in the red zone that got Washington a first down. He got slammed by two Bucs defenders but held onto the ball and popped up to celebrate the first down. Receivers can impact the game without gaudy yardage totals, and McLaurin certainly did that on Sunday. 
  • Streak breakers - Credit the Washington secondary for grabbing two first-quarter interceptions off Tom Brady. The veteran QB hasn't thrown two first quarter picks since 2012. 

Stock down

 
  • Lost season - Chase Young injured his knee in the second quarter and is likely out for the season with an ACL tear. It's a sad end to a disappointing sophomore season. That means for at least the next few games Washington's defense will be without Young and Montez Sweat, as he's dealing with a broken jaw. 
  • Penal colony - Williams Jackson III had another dumb personal foul penalty, this time that directly lead to Tampa points. Just before halftime Jackson had pushed Tampa WR Mike Evans out of bounds and looked like the end of half, until the cornerback grabbed the wideout by the helmet and drew an obvious flag. Just a dumb move, and there have been a few of them this year. 
  • Butterfingers - Dax Milne had an untimely fumble and it looked like John Bates did too before he was bailed out on video replay.