The Washington Football Team has a lot to be proud of after their season-opening upset of the Eagles, including, but not limited to: the resilience they showed to come back from a dreadful start and 17-0 deficit, Dwayne Haskins' ever-growing leadershipthe party their pass rushers threw in Carson Wentz's pocket and the attitude they appear to be developing.

But if Ron Rivera's squad is to continue to win in the coming weeks, they'll need to tighten up some areas that weren't as encouraging as the ones above. 

Here are three of the more pressing issues they'll need to address ahead of next weekend's trip to Arizona.

Starting faster

For once, Washington made adjustments after coming out flat. That shouldn't be overlooked and the staff overall should be recognized for their work in that aspect.

You know what would be nice, though? Not coming out flat in the first place. 

That initial exchange between the two sides — where Washington went three-and-out and the Eagles went six-for-an-easy-touchdown — was very dispiriting. Seeing that Philadelphia advantage grow to 17 was even more so.

The ensuing comeback was commendable, earned and, quite honestly, shocking. Of course, that kind of result after that kind of start is the exception, not the norm. More energy and execution in future first quarters has to be the goal.



Haskins hit the deck three times in the victory. That number doesn't mean all five offensive linemen need to be sent to the practice squad, but his protectors can do better.

And if you want to get picky, two of those five can (hopefully) do much better.

The left side of the line, which consists of Geron Christian at tackle and Wes Martin at guard, was a question entering the year, and their collective performance on Sunday did nothing to alleviate the skepticism. 

Look at Martin just get tossed back with ease here:

As for Christian, he was beaten badly on a sequence that ended with a Haskins sack and fumble. Christian, to his credit, recovered the fumble, but it was still a concerning rep for him.

Haskins can create and move the ball with guys like Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims, yet he won't get the chance to if he's having to unload it too quickly or can't distribute it at all. The O-line has to get more in sync.


In all, the home side finished with seven penalties, the majority of which were preventable.

The worst one came when Landon Collins picked up a personal foul for a late hit out of bounds on what was a really unforgivable mistake from the defensive captain. His partner at safety, Troy Apke, also finished with a 15-yarder to his name, though his was somewhat understandable. 

Up front, Chase Young and Montez Sweat each committed a neutral zone infraction, while Matt Ioannidis was whistled for an offsides. 

Then on specials, Danny Johnson was flagged for illegal touching that wiped out a gorgeous punt by the gorgeous punt-producer, Tress Way.

Rivera emphasizes a lot of keys with his players, but discipline is one of his key keys. Shoving an opponent well after he's off the field and jumping at dummy snap counts is not exactly disciplined behavior. He'll no doubt push to cut down on those mistakes, because they can be very costly.