The Washington defense — the relentless, dominant and best-unit-on-the-field-in-any-given-game defense — finally showed up on Sunday against the Buccaneers. And while it sure would've been nice to have seen it long before their ninth outing, the group still deserves a pile of credit for what they did in the 29-19 win.
Aside from Chase Young's potentially season-ending injury — which was extremely tough to watch and will obviously alter the next handful of months of the pass rusher's career — Jack Del Rio's much-maligned bunch basically made Tom Brady look like a neophyte, especially in the first half.
Whatever Washington did over the bye and at practice ahead of this meeting with the Bucs, it needs to do it again this week and next week and the week after that, too. The issues that were so present throughout the first two months of 2021 were essentially absent in this one.
William Jackson III and Bobby McCain picked off Brady in the first quarter, and the future Hall of Famer's passer rating was a mere 30 after 30 minutes of action. Though he did find himself a bit in the third and fourth quarters, Brady finished 23-of-34 for 220 yards for two scores and two turnovers. He was under pressure consistently, especially from Jonathan Allen.
Let's remember that this is the same Washington that was tormented by the likes of Daniel Jones, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston earlier this year. The same Washington that has had consistent trouble with coverage breakdowns and generating third-down stops.
That Washington completely silenced Brady and the defending champions, who were coming off of a loss as well as a bye themselves.
The offense's contributions can't be overlooked; a double-digit upset like this requires help from both sides (and some luck, which the Burgundy and Gold also had). Their most notable effort was a 19-play, time-gobbling possession that consumed the majority of the fourth quarter and ended with an Antonio Gibson touchdown run to seal the deal.
That drive might still be going, actually.
With the victory, Washington halted a four-game losing streak and upped its record to 3-6. The health of the squad took a serious hit, largely thanks to the Young injury, and they must prove that they can build off of a performance like this beginning next Sunday in Carolina.
Before worrying too much about that, however, it's OK to bask in the glory of the Week 10 win. The guys under Del Rio's watch certainly earned the opportunity to do so.