After Washington’s comeback win over the Eagles on Sunday, the team quickly climbed the ranks and earned serious respect from some of the game’s top experts – especially for their defensive line’s effort.
On Monday’s episode of Good Morning Football, a number of NFL Network analysts broke down Washington’s overall performance on Sunday and how it suggests promise for the team moving forward.
“This Washington defense came out of the gates looking unbelievable yesterday,” Good Morning Football analyst Peter Schrager said. “They were down 17-0, which is easy to say, ‘Alright, let’s just pin our ears back and play prevent defense,’ or ‘Let’s just do whatever we can do to try to stay involved in this game.’ Instead they were in attack mode. I love this effort from this defense. Eight sacks – it’s not just Chase Young. It’s Ryan Kerrigan. It’s Montez Sweat. It’s Daron Payne. It’s Jonathan Allen. It’s Matt Ioannidis. They’re loading the talent up front.”
After the team fell behind 17-0 in the first half, Dwayne Haskins delivered an inspiring halftime speech to jumpstart his team in their impressive comeback. A large part of that momentum during the comeback came from the defensive line who combined for eight sacks on the day. Seven different players contributed to that total: Jon Bostic, Matt Ioannidis, Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan, who led the way with two sacks and passed Dexter Manley as the all-time franchise sack leader with 92.
Schrager also noted the persistence of Washington’s defensive line against Carson Wentz and the inability of Philadelphia’s offensive line to stop them.
“There are people being paid millions of dollars to protect Carson Wentz, and they were demoralized yesterday by that Washington front four,” he said. “[The defensive line] can carry them this year. I’ve been saying it all offseason. They might be the best defensive line in all of football.”
While Washington’s defense was able to help secure the win against Philadelphia, the Good Morning Football panel noted the importance of the team’s Week 2 matchup against the Cardinals to determine the fate of their season.
“Next week, Washington goes against Arizona on the road,” analyst Kyle Brandt said. “A suddenly scary Arizona team with Kyler [Murray] running around, Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins. If they take that team out, then we’ve got a sensation. Then we’ve got, ‘Oh my gosh, can Washington win the NFC East?’ Because I was not impressed by Dallas. I was not impressed by Philly. New York, who knows?”
Arizona took down the 49ers, last year’s Super Bowl runners-up, on Sunday and showed a strong start following an underwhelming 5-10-1 2019 campaign. Washington’s defense will be put to the test against their dynamic offense and will be given the chance early to prove if they are a dominant force in the NFC.