Game #10 The Washington Football Team takes on the Bengals

We seem to be stuck in the movie Groundhog Day. That is the one where every day has the same ending when the main character falls asleep and wakes up to the same spot until he finally changes his fate with his love interest in the movie. The Washington Football Team has to find a direction and fall in love with winning. The last three losses were by 3 points or less and just seven points in total. Basically the difference of a missed Dustin Hopkins field goal or one fewer turnover seemed to be the difference. Maybe it was just one big play. One player needing to step up in one big point. This team is loaded with first round picks. Where are the playmakers?

After Kyle Allen suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago, head coach  Ron Rivera is sticking with Alex Smith as his starting quarterback again this week. He could have gone back to Dwayne Haskins as his starter, but chose not to after Smith’s big week last week in the loss to the Detroit Lions. Well, the Lions are not a good team or a good defense, so are we getting a false positive where the stats aren’t worth much — especially in a game that finished in another loss.

In a strange twist of fate that intertwines Chase Young of Washington who was the № 2 pick overall in the 2020 draft while the starting quarterback for the Bengals today, Joe Burrow, was the № 1, we learned on Friday that Washington would have picked Burrow if Cincinnati did not. Also in the intertwined parts at play here, Burrow transferred from Ohio State to LSU because Haskins was going to be Urban Meyer’s starter at Ohio State for the 2018 season.

“We feel like championships are won by playing good defense,” Rivera said. “We felt pretty strongly about [Chase Young]. The only other option we felt was a viable one for us was Burrow and obviously he was taken by Cincinnati. We think Joe is the full package. We really do. We think Chase is the full package. Depending on what Cincinnati did, that’s what we were going to do. The opposite.”

That is a lot there to ponder when you think if Burrow was drafted first by Washington then Haskins essentially would have been a throwaway. Urban Meyer in 2018 chose Haskins as his starter over Burrow in college which certainly is not the same game as the NFL. Burrow is now the starter for the Bengals and Haskins has been relegated to a bench role.

To further add to the mix of this Burrow, Young and Haskins triangle, they were all together at Ohio State. Haskins was Washington’s top pick in the first round in 2019. To add to the drama, this week Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell questioned Young’s impact so far. It is a tough call as some point out that he has been double-teamed and triple-teamed his supporters say. But Boswell writes this:

“I’m still waiting for the real Chase Young to show up.”

“Young is a good pro, a high-energy player, but not an impact star so far — or close to it. You don’t feel his presence. He doesn’t distort opposing offenses and is often handled, even schooled, one-on-one, by tackles who outweigh him by 60 pounds. Even though Young is 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds, they blunt his bull rushes, often easily, and with their NFL-level balance and footwork, they stay engaged and redirect his speed rushes far past the quarterback.”

Thomas Boswell, Washington Post

Today would be a fine day for Young to step up and add to his 3.5 sacks, four hits, one knockdown, nine pressures and four QB hurries, as well as 5.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

For Smith’s miracle comeback, it still has not produced a win yet, but then again this game is only his second start technically this season. Maybe it never will produce a win. But we learned not to count him out. You have to hope that Haskins can learn as the backup QB. Stand on the sideline and be ready to go in if needed. To add to Haskins as an observer, he will get to watch Burrow under center for the Bengals who is the guy that Urban Meyer let walk to choose Haskins as his 2018 starter. As we know, football is so unpredictable.

Cincinnati enters this game at a woeful 2-6-1 and Washington is even worse at 2-7. For Washington, they do not have much of a homefield advantage as fans are once again not allowed in to watch after COVID numbers spiked this past week. Not that it matters much, but the last time these two franchises faced each other was a pre-season game in 2019.

With all of that said, Washington is favored in this game by 1 1/2 points on the FanDuel sportsbook. Moneyline: CIN: (+114) | WAS: (-134) Spread: CIN: +1.5 (-106) | WAS: -1.5 (-114) Total: 46.5 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

This game is televised on CBS at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland at 1 pm.

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