Washington is still in the hunt for the NFC Least but it seems like they are realistically out of the hunt. They lost two winnable games back to back coming out of the bye and are looking to bounce back against the Cincinnati Bengals. Vegas has Washington favored by 1 point at home on Sunday. The Football team has a shot to get back in the NFC Least hunt if they can beat the Bengals who are 2-6-1 and the Cowboys the week after who are 2 – 7. Washington has shot themselves in the foot the last two weeks and they have to complete some of my simple keys to victory to win on Sunday.
Washington has been down at halftime in every game this season but one. Even in their first win of the season the team started off down by 17 points against the Eagles. The team has not scored on an opening drive all season. Each game Washington has found ways to start off down by double digits. The third quarter has been the sweet spot for the team. If they can play like they do in the third quarter in the beginning of the game then Washington might’ve had a winning record at this point. Alex Smith has had to rally the team back in the last two weeks and if they can get off to a hot start Alex can do what he does best. Which is manage a ball game and not turn the ball over.
Every game Washington won they have won the turnover battle. Washington didn’t turn the ball over much in the Lions game but they had one turnover and it was costly. This team has little margin for error to win games. Missed field goals and turnovers have really hurt over the last two games and come back to haunt them. Jack Del Rio’s defense hasn’t really forced turnovers either. The defense is going to have to make the rookie QB Joe Burrow uncomfortable and force him to turn the ball over.
The Bengals offensive line has been banged up and struggled mightily so far this season. Joe Burrow has been sacked 31 times through 9 games which is second worst in the NFL for sacks allowed. Washington only sacked Matthew Stafford last week one time. The Football team has done a good job of taking over makeshift offensive lines for the most part this year. Chase Young and the rest of the defensive line have to dominate this game for the football team to have a chance to win.