With its matchup against the Broncos now over, the Washington Football Team is heading into its bye week. Many who follow the Burgundy and Gold probably aren't looking forward to the team's return.
For the second half of the club’s season to matter, beating the Broncos in Denver was a must. A non-negotiable must.
Instead, Washington’s visit to Colorado was a bust. A 17-10 bust.
Ron Rivera and his key assistants spent the last couple of weeks explaining how their players had made incremental progress against the Chiefs and the Packers, two squads that entered 2021 with Super Bowl expectations.
So, going by that logic, that subtle growth should’ve been a lot more obvious versus the Broncos, a much lesser opponent.
"Washington” and “logic" rarely exist in the same sentence, though.
For a third-consecutive contest, Taylor Heinicke and the offense failed to exceed 14 points.
For a second-consecutive contest, Chris Blewitt had a field goal blocked (he really botched two attempts on Sunday, but one hit his own lineman, so is that really a block? These are the types of questions one has to ponder at the end of a difficult first half of the season).
And for a who-knows-how-many-times-its-been contest, the Washington defense let a quarterback have a very relaxing outing.
Both sides entered Empower Field at Mile High on losing skids. The hosts ended theirs, however, by being more efficient on third down, better in the red zone and notching a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Much of the game could be summed up by that famous Spiderman meme, until Denver pulled ahead in the final frame (before nearly fumbling it all away with some shocking last drive shenanigans).
That means Rivera's group — which could be due for a QB change, lost two more starters on the offensive line to injury and continues to falter when it comes to getting stops — enters the mid-season break with a 2-6 record. It feels more like 2-66.
What will November and December bring? It's difficult to tell but not difficult to imagine the worst. A rebuild that looked fairly promising after one season now appears to be crumbling in Rivera's second season.