The Washington Football Team has lacked offensive production this season.
Who is to blame for the lack of plays being made on the offensive side of the football?
The team benched second year quarterback Dwayne Haskins in favor of third year quarterback Kyle Allen last week. The idea was that Allen would provide the best chance for Washington to win NOW while Haskins falls back to third string until he is ready. There were many speculations on what the reason for the change was, but no one can dispute Haskins did not play well.
Does that mean he was the sole reason for the teams’ ineptness offensively? Absolutely not.
The proof was in the pudding last week when the offense looked just as bad, or maybe worse, being led by Kyle Allen and eventually Alex Smith. Allen did show some flashes early, before having to exit the game do to an injury. The interesting thing was that once Alex Smith entered the game, Allen was eventually cleared to return, but the coaches held him out. Smith went on to net 37 yards passing and was sacked 6 times in the second half alone. A putrid offensive performance and one to be forgotten. It was great to see Alex Smith return triumphantly, but if he was going to go through that punishment, he should’ve stayed on the sidelines. I personally felt sorry for him.
So I ask again, who is to blame for the lack of plays being made on the offensive side of the football? At what point do we look at the person calling the plays and designing the schematics? At what point do we say “this product looks the same regardless of who is on the field”. If you eat a cake and say “this cake is nasty, I want somebody else to make it”, then somebody else makes it using the same recipe, it’s going to taste exactly the same. The only way it will change its consistency if you change up the way you mix in the ingredients. That is what offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s challenge will be going forward. Washington finished with 108 yards of total offense last week and in the second half seemed to be incapable completing a simple check-down pass. At 1-4, something has to change and it has to change now.
Washington will be starting rookie Saadiq Charles at left guard this week against the New York Giants, which will be his first action as an NFL player. He was drafted as a left tackle, but injuries and lack of production at left guard have caused this move. The team is also hoping to get right guard Brandon Scherff back as he returned to practice this week. This is all good news, but it won’t matter if Scott Turner doesn’t figure out how to maximize the little bit of offensive talent he does have. Rookie wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden has not been a part of the game-plan and Steven Sims Jr. has been unable to be that spark they thought he would be coming into the season. Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic have been a decent one-two punch out of the backfield, but they haven’t been consistent and explosive. Scott Turner needs to figure out how to extend defenses and make them honor the entire field. The offense has looked completely predictable and bland week after week. Where is the creativity? Where are the shots downfield off of play-action passing? There is nothing wrong with taking some chances especially when you haven’t been able to move the football. There has also been no sense of urgency, especially when the team has been down in the second half of these games by double digits. Run a reverse...a fake punt…a flea flicker…anything to make it appear like you are at the very least interested in making an attempt to put some points on the board.
This week is a winnable game against an 0-5 Giants. Scott Turner has absolutely no excuse this week not to put some points on the board. If they struggle against a Giants team with a suspect defense that plays hard, maybe the only changes that should be made aren’t necessarily on the field of play. Turner is on the clock in my opinion. There has to be some type of improvement this week to indicate there is hope that this offensive can get better as they continue throughout the season. They can’t keep switching bodies in and out of the rotation, and getting the same results. Washington is dead last in yards per game, and 28th in points per game. If there isn’t some form of improvement this week, and no major change(s) are made, I will be convinced Ron Rivera has absolutely no interest in winning football games this season. There is still hope with 3 straight division games coming up starting this week against the Giants, next week against the Cowboys, and then the Giants again. We will see what type of game plan Washington comes out with this week. Hopefully they will attack the Giants and not just be reactive the entire game. Hopefully they come out, and the first play on offense is a play-action pass downfield to Terry McLaurin to see if we can catch the Giant secondary sleeping for a big play. Right now, that’s all Washington fans have…hope. Hopefully, that narrative changes on Sunday. As you were…
Photo Credit: Elijah Walter Griffin Sr/The Washington Football Team