Ron Rivera felt his team looked tired in the first half of Washington's loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, as they fell behind 24-0 and were unable to complete a miracle comeback in the game's final frame.
"I thought in the first half we were a little tired," Rivera told reporters Monday. "We kind of got it going in the second half and as things started to progress, you saw [we] start to win the blocks, start to move the ball. So there are some things that we most certainly will shore up and work on. And hopefully in the meantime, we'll get a few more guys back on the football field and we'll see what happens."
When you look at how the team's schedule was constructed for this portion of the season, their sluggishness starts to make a bit more sense. Washington's Week 15 matchup with the Eagles will be the third straight game in which the Football Team's opponent has a rest advantage.
Entering Washington's Week 13 win over Las Vegas, the Raiders had nine days of rest between games while Washington only had five.
The Cowboys, having played on Thursday night in Week 13, got nine days of rest before playing a Washington team with six days rest. Rivera and co. also had to fly home from the west coast before playing Dallas, cutting into their downtime even further.
For the cherry on top, the Eagles are coming off a bye, so Philly will have an extra week to rest and prepare.
Rivera and his team knew this was coming, and the head coach pointed to it as a source of motivation to help Washington through a challenging stretch. It turns out playing well with less rest against consecutive opponents is a lot easier said than done.
"Well, I think the nice thing about is we played at home this week and we didn't have to travel cross-country," Rivera said. "So I think our guys, for the most part, got some rest last night, they'll get rest tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get a little bit fresher this week."
If there's a silver lining here, it's that the Eagles aren't nearly as good as the Cowboys, and this is the first time head coach Nick Sirianni has had extra time to prepare. While the conditions aren't great for Washington in this particular matchup, they could be doing much worse.