Jan 9, 2022; East Rutherford, N.J., USA; 
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs for a 1st down against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gibson helps Washington hand Giants sixth straight loss

Antonio Gibson rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown as the Washington Football Team closed the season with a 22-7 win over the New York Giants on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.

In a defensive struggle, Washington’s Bobby McCain scored the game’s first touchdown late in the third quarter, returning an interception 30 yards as his team (7-10) snapped a four-game losing streak. McCain added another interception on the game’s final play.

It was the sixth straight loss for New York (4-13), each by double-digit margins. The Giants had hope when Jake Fromm threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton, cutting Washington’s lead to 12-7 with 11:24 left.

But Washington responded on the ensuing possession. Gibson accounted for 57 of the drive’s 78 yards, the final 18 coming on his touchdown run with 6:28 left.

Gibson averaged nearly 7.0 yards on his 21 carries as he became Washington’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Adrian Peterson in 2018. Gibson’s 21 touchdowns in his first two seasons are a franchise record, as he topped Albert Morris’ mark of 20.

Washington controlled possession much of the afternoon as it outgained New York 325-177. WFT quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 9 of 18 passes for 120 yards. Terry McLaurin caught four passes for 93 yards.

Washington limited Fromm to 15 completions on 31 attempts for 103 yards and held Saquon Barkley to 11 yards on 30 rushes. New York’s most effective weapon was Fromm’s legs as he scrambled five times for 53 yards.

In a static first half, Washington scored field goals on its first and final possessions to take a 6-0 lead. Heinicke scrambled away from pressure and threw a 30-yard pass to McLaurin to set up the first score, a 23-yard field goal by Joey Slye.

Late in the half, McLaurin made an over-the-shoulder catch near the sideline for 40 yards to set up a 43-yard field goal by Slye.

Late in the game, after Tim Settle recovered a fumble by Fromm, Slye made another field goal — from 23 yards — as he finished 12-for-12 on 3-pointers after he was picked up by Washington in November.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) passes the ball against the New York Giants at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Giants, Washington wrestle to end with a W

When the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants meet on Sunday to close their disappointing seasons, the stakes are decidedly miniscule.

But Giants coach Joe Judge upped the ante on Monday when he fired a potshot at the team that leads the Giants in the NFC East standings.

“This ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines,” Judge said in describing his Giants (4-12). “This isn’t some clown show organization.”

Judge’s not-so-veiled reference to Washington (6-10) pointed to last month, when the Football Team became the subject of widespread derision in a humiliating 56-14 national TV loss at Dallas. That’s when Pro Bowler Jonathan Allen threw a punch at fellow defensive tackle Daron Payne.

The incident fueled discussion about the dysfunction that crippled Washington under the watch of owner Dan Snyder for more than two decades.

For context, in two seasons under Judge, the Giants are 10-22. But Washington coach Ron Rivera refused to fire back.

“No, I’m not gonna take the bait. The thing that’s important is what happens on the football field,” Rivera said. “We’ll worry about it on Sunday.”

Washington has lost four straight, including two each to division rivals Dallas and Philadelphia, while New York has dropped five straight, all by double-digit margins.

In their 29-3 loss Sunday at Chicago, the Giants’ play-calling was widely questioned. Trailing by two touchdowns less than seven minutes into the contest with the Bears, the Giants still threw only 11 passes.

The lone positive was the performance of Saquon Barkley, posting a 100-yard rushing game for the first time in more than two years, carrying 21 times for 102 yards.

Quarterback Mike Glennon completed 4 of 11 passes for 24 yards, throwing two interceptions and getting sacked four times for losses totaling 34 yards. The -10 passing yards was the lowest figure in the NFL since 1998.

Jake Fromm enters at quarterback against Washington. Glennon will undergo surgery on his left (non-throwing) wrist and Daniel Jones (neck) was shut down in December.

In two appearances this season Fromm, who will be backed up by practice squad quarterback Brian Lewerke, has completed 12 of 29 passes for 107 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Washington had a chance to keep its faint playoff hopes alive last Sunday but dropped a 20-16 decision to Philadelphia. Washington was outscored 13-0 in the second half.

Washington’s offense could get a boost in Week 18 with the return of tackle Sam Cosmi and running back Antonio Gibson from hip injuries. Both were limited participants in practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scrambles as Washington Football Team defensive end Casey Toohill (95) defends during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles rally in second half to complete sweep of Washington

Jalen Hurts led a second-half rally and Rodney McLeod made the game-clinching interception with 24 seconds left as the visiting Philadelphia Eagles came from behind for a 20-16 win over the Washington Football Team Sunday afternoon in in Landover, Md.

Hurts completed 17 of 26 passes for 214 yards as Philadelphia (9-7) kept its hold on a wild-card spot in the NFC. The Eagles can capture a playoff berth with a win Sunday at home against Dallas. Washington was eliminated from postseason contention.

Taylor Heinicke completed 27 of 36 passes for 247 yards to lead Washington (6-10). Heinicke led a drive in the closing minutes that reached the Philadelphia 30. But on a first-down play, McLeod made a diving catch in the end zone of a Heinicke pass intended for John Bates.

After trailing 16-7 at the half, Philadelphia shut Washington out the rest of the way. Midway through the fourth quarter, Avonte Maddox made a stop against Washington receiver Terry McLaurin (seven receptions, 61 yards) on third down and followed that with a pass breakup on fourth down to give Philadelphia possession at the Eagles 49.

Ten plays later, Jake Elliott’s second field goal of the game, a 41-yarder, gave the Eagles a 20-16 lead with 2:21 left.

Philadelphia drew close in the third quarter as Hurts made a scrambling completion on third-and-14, finding Greg Ward Jr. for 27 yards. Four plays later, on fourth and goal, Boston Scott vaulted over a Washington defender near the goal line pylon to make it 16-14.

Early in the fourth quarter, Elliott made a 42-yard field goal to give the Eagles the lead.

Washington got on the scoreboard first, driving 67 yards on just six plays. Heinicke’s 24-yard pass to Bates set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Jaret Patterson.

As Heinicke completed 14 of his first 15 passes, Washington controlled the ball for much of the first half and Joey Slye converted three field goals, including a 55-yarder that closed the first half with a 16-7 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Washington Football Team at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott highlights Cowboys’ onslaught vs. Washington

Dak Prescott threw for 330 yards and four touchdown passes to lead the host Dallas Cowboys past the Washington Football Team, 56-14, Sunday night in Arlington, Texas.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns, one on a run and the other on a reception. DeMarcus Lawrence added a deft interception and nimble 40-yard return for another score as Dallas (11-4) beat Washington (6-9) for the second time in 15 days, pushing its NFC East rival to the brink of elimination from the postseason.

After clinching the division title earlier in the day, there was no letup in the Cowboys as they scored touchdowns on five straight possessions in the first half. Those scores, combined with Lawrence’s pick-six on a pass that he tipped and hauled in at the line of scrimmage, gave Dallas a 42-7 lead at the break. The output tied a team record for the most points scored in a half.

In the third quarter, Dallas increased its lead as Corey Clement blocked a punt and Chauncey Golston gathered the ball on a waist-high bounce in the end zone. Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush added a 9-yard touchdown pass to Malik Turner.

The Cowboys finished with 497 yards, with 389 coming in the first half. Five days earlier, Washington’s defense surrendered 519 yards in a 27-17 loss at Philadelphia. On Sunday, the frustration boiled over on the Washington sideline as Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Allen threw a punch at fellow lineman Daron Payne.

Prescott completed all but one of his first 21 passes and finished 28 of 39 before retiring to the sideline in the third quarter. Amari Cooper had seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 13-yard reception with five seconds left in the first half. Dalton Schultz caught eight balls for 82 yards and a score. Even lineman Terence Steele got into the act, catching a 1-yard touchdown pass on a tackle-eligible play.

Meanwhile, Washington’s Tyler Heinicke faced a swarming Cowboys defense that sacked him four times and limited Washington to 257 yards. Heinicke completed 7 of 22 passes for 121 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Trevon Diggs picked off Heinicke’s first pass of the night for his league-leading 11th interception this year.

–Field Level Media

May 14, 2021; Ashburn, Virginia, USA; Washington Football Team running back Jaret Patterson (35) receives instruction from running backs coach Randy Jordan during rookie minicamp at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Seven Washington assistant coaches out with COVID-19

Seven assistant coaches for the Washington Football Team will miss Tuesday night’s game against the host Philadelphia Eagles because of COVID-19 protocols.

Wide receivers coach Drew Terrell and running backs coach Randy Jordan will be replaced by senior offensive assistant Jim Hostler and assistant running backs coach Jennifer King, respectively.

Defensive line coach Sam Mills, defensive backs coach Chris Harris, assistant defensive backs/nickel coach Brent Vieselmeyer, defensive quality control coach Vincent Rivera and defensive coaching intern Christian Garcia also will miss Tuesday’s game.

Mills will be replaced by assistant defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, while Harris will be replaced by assistant defensive backs coach Richard Rodgers.

The NFL rescheduled this NFC East showdown from Sunday in the wake of Washington placing more than 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week.

Washington and Philadelphia enter the game with 6-7 records and are in must-win situations to remain in the playoff hunt. Washington is just outside the playoff picture at No. 8 while the Eagles are 10th.

–Field Level Media

Jun 10, 2021; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Montez Sweat (90) jokes with Washington Football Team defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (93) on the field prior to drills as part of minicamp at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington activates 4 players from reserve/COVID-19 list

The Washington Football Team activated defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and defensive end Montez Sweat from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

Defensive ends Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams also were activated for Washington (6-7), which had its scheduled road game against the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) on Sunday moved to Tuesday due to the team’s complications with COVID-19.

Allen, 25, has recorded 45 tackles and a team-leading 7.5 sacks in 13 games this season.

He has 247 tackles, 24.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 65 career games since being selected by Washington with the 17th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Sweat, 25, initially was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 8 after missing four games with a fractured jaw.

He has collected 19 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in eight games this season.

Sweat has 20 sacks, 114 tackles (23 for loss) and 45 quarterback hits in 40 career games (all starts) with Washington.

Toohill, 25, has 15 tackles and one sack in 12 games (three starts) this season.

Smith-Williams, 24, has 25 tackles and two sacks in 12 games (four starts) in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy argues a blocked punt call in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy declares Dallas ‘will win’ in Washington

While guaranteeing road wins in the division is a rare position for Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, he appeared to loft such a pledge Thursday in his return from COVID-19 quarantine.

“We’re going to win this game. I’m confident in that,” McCarthy said as Dallas prepares to play at Washington (6-6) on Sunday.

The Cowboys (8-4) face the Washington Football Team twice in the next three weeks. To bring some of his younger players up to speed on what’s at stake and the history behind the hatred of Washington’s franchise, McCarthy said he showed the full squad a compilation video that spells out very clearly the importance of winning in Week 14.

Dallas cannot clinch the division title on Sunday. But a win, going to 9-4 and dropping Washington to 6-7 in the standings, would grant the Cowboys breathing room in a tightly packed playoff chase where home-field advantage remains a possibility.

When asked if he was guaranteeing the NFC East road victory over the Cowboys’ rival, McCarthy said winning is the franchise expectation.

“What am I supposed to say? I fully expect to win every game I’ve ever competed in,” McCarthy said. “They’re working hard, we’re working hard. But we’re clearly planning on going to Washington and winning the game. There’s no doubt about that.”

Washington won both games in the series last season, outscoring Dallas by a combined 66-19 margin.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) celebrates with Washington Football Team tight end John Bates (87) after scoring a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Johnson’s boot allows Washington to beat Las Vegas

Brian Johnson kicked a 48-yard field goal with 37 seconds left and the Washington Football Team escaped with a 17-15 victory against the host Las Vegas Raiders, winning their fourth game in a row Sunday.

Washington (6-6) led most of the game but needed a final scoring drive to pull off its third road win of the season. The Raiders never reached Washington territory on their last chance.

Daniel Carlson’s 37-yard field goal with 2:22 left gave the Raiders (6-6) the lead for the first time in the game.

Taylor Heinicke was 23-for-30 passing for 196 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Washington. He completed four of five attempts for 37 yards on the final drive.

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr threw for 249 yards by completing 28 of 38 passes.

The Raiders struggled most of the game to move the ball, but ended up with 310 yards of total offense compared to Washington’s 298.

Nate Hobbs intercepted Heinicke to set up the Raiders for their go-ahead field goal. Hobbs’ pick was the game’s lone turnover and it set up Las Vegas at its own 39-yard line with 6:49 remaining.

The Raiders moved 43 yards in eight plays before their last field goal. Earlier, Carlson was good from 52 and 38 yards. His first boot came with nine seconds left in the first half.

Leading 7-6, Washington extended its margin with a nine-play drive covering 75 yards lasting almost 6 1/2 minutes. Antonio Gibson scored on a 4-yard pass from Heinicke.

The Raiders responded less than three minutes later when Josh Jacobs ran in from 1 yard out. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Washington with a 14-12 lead.

Washington led early by scoring on the game’s opening possession. That was capped by Heinicke’s 7-yard pass to Logan Thomas.

But Washington punted to end its three other possessions of the first half. The Raiders also punted three times in the half.

Gibson finished with 88 rushing yards on 23 carries.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) drops the ball as he is tackled by Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders TE Darren Waller deemed doubtful vs. Washington

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s home game against the Washington Football Team.

Waller sustained knee and back injuries during Las Vegas’ 36-33 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. He didn’t practice at all this week.

Waller has caught 53 passes for 643 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games this season. Last year, he was a Pro Bowler when he established career bests of 107 receptions, 1,196 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Running back Josh Jacobs is listed as questionable after injuring an ankle during practice on Thursday. He was limited the past two days.

Also listed as questionable is recent addition DeSean Jackson. The receiver is dealing with a calf injury and was limited Friday after missing Thursday’s practice altogether.

The Raiders ruled out defensive end Carl Nassib (knee) and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor (hamstring). Also listed as questionable are linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (ankle) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (ankle).

Washington ruled out four players: safety Landon Collins (foot), running back J.D. McKissic (concussion), guard Wes Schweitzer (ankle) and defensive back Benjamin St-Juste (concussion). St-Juste was placed on injured reserve on Thursday.

Wideout Curtis Samuel (groin) is questionable, as are center Tyler Larsen (knee), tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (hip) and offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (foot).

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) stands on the sideline during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks reeling, but heavily backed at WFT

The Seattle Seahawks sure could use some of that Monday night magic.

The Seahawks, who have won 11 of their past 14 Monday night appearances and whose .711 winning percentage on Monday night is tops among all teams, are practically in must-win territory heading into their road matchup against the Washington Football Team.

The defending NFC West champion Seahawks (3-7) have lost two consecutive games and five of six overall, leaving them ahead of only winless Detroit in the conference standings. Seattle took a 23-13 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals last week, despite the Cardinals being without quarterback Kyler Murray and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

“I feel like when you watch these games and you watch some of the games that we let slip away, a lot of it has come down to us getting in our way,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “Whether it has been dumb penalties, whether it’s been mistakes that we’ve made, I feel like there is time to right those wrongs.”

The Seahawks are a 1-point road favorite and are being backed by lopsided action. Seattle has been supported by 58 percent of the bets and 63 percent of the spread-line handle at DraftKings and 63 and 78 percent, respectively, at PointsBet.

However, AI-driven analytics company Quarter4 is forecasting Washington with a 63 percent probability of winning.

Other than a 17-0 loss two weeks ago at Green Bay — a game in which the score was 3-0 heading into the fourth quarter — the Seahawks have been in nearly every game at the end. They were 8-3 in contests decided by eight points or less last season and are 1-3 in such games this year.

Injuries have played a part.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, who had never missed a game in his 10-game career, sat out three contests after finger surgery and has struggled with his passing accuracy since returning.

Starting running back Chris Carson needs neck surgery and is out for the year, as is starting cornerback Tre Brown, who sustained a knee injury last weekend. Wide receiver DK Metcalf (foot), running back Rashaad Penny (hamstring) and offensive linemen Damien Lewis (elbow) and Jamarco Jones (back) have missed practice time this week, as has defensive lineman Benson Mayowa (knee).

When asked how this season might affect how Wilson views his future in Seattle, coach Pete Carroll said, “I’m really looking at how a 7-0 finish is going to affect all of us, more so.”

Washington (4-6) has won two in a row, beating defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay 29-19 at home and then posting a 27-21 victory at Carolina last week.

Taylor Heinicke had the highest passer rating (141.9) of his career against the Panthers, completing 16 of 22 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Terry McLaurin caught five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and Antonio Gibson rushed for 95 yards on 19 carries.

“I think they’re starting to play together,” coach Ron Rivera said. “They’ve become resilient. They do the things they need to. They rely on each other.”

Heinicke took over in Week 2 after Ryan Fitzpatrick, signed in the offseason to be the starter, sustained a hip injury in the opener.

“I’m not saying this guy is going to be a Hall of Famer, but again, if this guy continues to manage and direct and then make plays when we need them, that’s what I’ve always said we’re hoping to get out of this — a guy that can do that,” Rivera said of Heinicke. “We were fortunate where we got a lot of that last year, and we’re hoping to build off of what we got right now, and we’ll see what happens.”

Washington offensive linemen Sam Cosmi (hip) and Tyler Larsen (knee) have missed practice this week, as has tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (hip). Gibson (shin) and fellow running back J.D. McKissic (ankle) have been limited, as have wide receivers Adam Humphries (hip) and Curtis Samuel (groin), offensive guard Brandon Scherff (knee) and linebacker Cole Holcomb (shoulder).

Cosmi was placed on injured reserve Monday and replaced by Jon Toth from the practice squad, while tight end Logan Thomas was activated from IR.

–Field Level Media