2020 Washington Football Team Season
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2020 Washington Football Team Season

2020 Washington Football Team season
OwnerDaniel Snyder
PresidentJason Wright
Head coachRon Rivera
General managerRon Rivera (de facto)
Offensive coordinatorScott Turner
Defensive coordinatorJack Del Rio
Home fieldFedExField
Results
Record7-9
Division place1st NFC East
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (vs. Buccaneers) 23-31
Pro Bowlers
AP All-ProsG Brandon Scherff (1st team)
Uniform
Washington football team unif.png

The 2020 season was the Washington Football Team's 89th in the National Football League and their first under head coach Ron Rivera. The season also marked the first time since their inaugural season as the Braves in 1932 that the team was not known as the Redskins, as they retired the name and logo during the offseason in the wake of the George Floyd protests, resolving a long-time controversy.[1] They played the season as the Washington Football Team, with a permanent name expected to be announced in 2022.

The team improved upon its 3-13 record in 2019 by going 7-9 and winning the NFC East for the first time since 2015. In doing so they became only the third team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks and 2014 Carolina Panthers, the latter of which Rivera also coached. They also became the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs after a 2-7 start. Their season would end with a 23-31 loss to the eventual Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. The season also marked the return of quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a life-threatening leg injury late in the 2018 season and missed the entire 2019 season. Smith was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year, while defensive end Chase Young, the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

For the fourth time in five seasons Washington played on Thanksgiving, playing the Dallas Cowboys for the third time in that span. Also notable was their scheduled absence from Monday Night Football, their first time off the regular season schedule since 1999,[2] although the Week 13 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was later moved to a Monday due to COVID-19-related schedule changes affecting the Steelers' previous week but not broadcast on Monday Night Football. Washington ended up winning that game to hand the 11-0 Steelers their first loss of the season.

Draft

Chase Young, a defensive end out of Ohio State, was the team's first-round draft selection and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Notes

Staff

The season saw the hiring of head coach Ron Rivera (top) and team president Jason Wright (bottom)

Final roster

Schedule

Preseason

The team's preseason schedule was announced on May 7, but was later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

Week Date Opponent Venue Result
1 August 15 Tennessee Titans FedExField Canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2 August 24 at Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium
3 August 29 at Jacksonville Jaguars TIAA Bank Field
4 September 3 Baltimore Ravens FedExField

Regular season

Washington's 2020 schedule was announced on May 7.[3]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 13 Philadelphia Eagles W 27-17 1-0 FedExField Recap
2 September 20 at Arizona Cardinals L 15-30 1-1 State Farm Stadium Recap
3 September 27 at Cleveland Browns L 20-34 1-2 FirstEnergy Stadium Recap
4 October 4 Baltimore Ravens L 17-31 1-3 FedExField Recap
5 October 11 Los Angeles Rams L 10-30 1-4 FedExField Recap
6 October 18 at New York Giants L 19-20 1-5 MetLife Stadium Recap
7 October 25 Dallas Cowboys W 25-3 2-5 FedExField Recap
8 Bye
9 November 8 New York Giants L 20-23 2-6 FedExField Recap
10 November 15 at Detroit Lions L 27-30 2-7 Ford Field Recap
11 November 22 Cincinnati Bengals W 20-9 3-7 FedExField Recap
12 November 26 at Dallas Cowboys W 41-16 4-7 AT&T Stadium Recap
13 December 7[A] at Pittsburgh Steelers W 23-17 5-7 Heinz Field Recap
14 December 13 at San Francisco 49ers W 23-15 6-7 State Farm Stadium[B] Recap
15 December 20 Seattle Seahawks L 15-20 6-8 FedExField Recap
16 December 27 Carolina Panthers L 13-20 6-9 FedExField Recap
17 January 3 at Philadelphia Eagles W 20-14 7-9 Lincoln Financial Field Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Week 1: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Washington vs. the Philadelphia Eagles

Despite the Eagles going up 17-0, Washington shut out the Eagles in the second half by accumulating 8 sacks on defense and scoring 27 unanswered points for a 27-17 victory. This was Washington's first victory over the Eagles since Week 14 of the 2016 season, snapping a six-game losing streak against Philadelphia. The win was also the largest comeback against the Eagles in franchise history. With the win, Washington improved to 1-0 for the first time since 2018 (the first time winning a home opener since 2014).[6] Washington also snapped a ten-game division losing streak dating back to 2018.

Week 2: at Arizona Cardinals

Washington vs. the Arizona Cardinals

Washington was overmatched by Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, who had two rushing touchdowns, and could not overcome a 20-0 halftime deficit.

Week 3: at Cleveland Browns

Washington vs. the Cleveland Browns

Haskins threw for a career-high three interceptions and lost one fumble. With the loss, the all-time regular season record for the franchise fell to 604-605-28, making it the first time since 1975 that the record fell below a .500 winning percentage.[7]

Week 4: vs. Baltimore Ravens

Washington vs. the Baltimore Ravens

Dwayne Haskins set a career high in passing yards but was benched in favor of Kyle Allen the following week.

Week 5: vs. Los Angeles Rams

Washington vs. the Los Angeles Rams

In the second quarter Kyle Allen left the game with what was ruled as an arm injury, leaving Alex Smith to play the remainder of the game. This marked Smith's first NFL game appearance since suffering a severe leg fracture in 2018. Washington's offense was again hampered by quarterback play as they lost 30-10. Their 108 total yards of offense was the fewest by any team in any game all season.

Week 6: at New York Giants

Washington vs. the New York Giants

Giants linebacker Tae Crowder recovered a Kyle Allen fumble for the go-ahead score and Washington responded with a touchdown of their own with 36 seconds remaining. Coach Rivera opted to go for the game-winning two point conversion which fell incomplete. As a result, Washington lost their fifth straight game overall and their fourth consecutive against the Giants.

Week 7: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Washington vs. the Dallas Cowboys

Washington's defense had six sacks and only allowed 142 yards of offense. Heading into the bye, the team improved to 2-5, moved to 2-1 in the NFC East, and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys.

Week 9: vs. New York Giants

Washington vs. the New York Giants

Starting quarterback Kyle Allen suffered a gruesome injury early in the game and was subsequently replaced by Alex Smith. Washington failed to complete a 20-3 comeback and lost 23-20 when Smith threw two interceptions on the final two possessions. Washington was swept by the Giants for the second consecutive season and the seventh time dating back to the 2008 season.

Week 10: at Detroit Lions

Washington vs. the Detroit Lions

Alex Smith started his first game since Week 11 of the 2018 season. After falling behind 24-3, Smith and the offense rallied with three straight touchdowns by running backs Antonio Gibson and J. D. McKissic in the second half to tie the game at 24. The Lions responded with a field goal and Washington responded with one of their own to tie the game at 27 with 16 seconds to play. However, on the ensuing Detroit drive, kicker Matt Prater drilled a 59-yard field goal as the clock expired. Washington fell to 2-7 after the crushing loss.

Week 11: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Washington vs. the Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were playing a close game against Washington until the third quarter when Bengals rookie quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Bengals were unable to move the ball with backup Ryan Finley and Washington took control of the game. With the win on Homecoming Weekend, the team improved to 3-7, matching their win total from the previous season. This was Washington's first victory over Cincinnati since their 1991 Super Bowl-winning season and their first at home since 1985.

Week 12: at Dallas Cowboys

NFL on Thanksgiving Day

Washington and Dallas played on Thanksgiving afternoon for the 10th time in the rivalry's history. After a close first half, Washington went on a run of 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown by Montez Sweat, the first of his career. Antonio Gibson became the first rookie with three touchdowns on Thanksgiving since Randy Moss in 1998.[8] With the win, Washington improved to 4-7 and swept Dallas for the first time since 2012 and only the second time since 2005.[9][10] Washington also won in Dallas on Thanksgiving for the second time ever, the first since 2012, and won for the fourth time on the holiday all-time, their first since 2017.

Week 13: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers

The game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed to Monday due to scheduling changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While down 14-0 in the second quarter, Washington got a quick field goal before halftime and opened the second half with a Peyton Barber touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-10 before the Steelers offense regained possession. Their defense clamped down, only allowing 120 total yards in the second half. Logan Thomas tied the game mid-way through the fourth quarter while Jon Bostic intercepted a pass tipped by Montez Sweat with 1:59 to play. Kicker Dustin Hopkins made two field goals to put the game at 23-17, which the Steelers were not able to recover from. With the win, Washington improved to 5-7, having won three straight games for the first time since Weeks 6-8 of the 2018 season. This was also Washington's first win over Pittsburgh since their 1991 Super Bowl-winning season.

Week 14: at San Francisco 49ers

Washington vs. the San Francisco 49ers

With scores from rookie defenders Chase Young and Kamren Curl, Washington scored two defensive touchdowns in a game for the first time since Week 17 of the 1997 season, when Darryl Pounds and Hall of Famer Darrell Green accomplished this feat.[11] With the win, Washington improved their record to 6-7 and, with the Giants' loss to the Arizona Cardinals earlier that day, took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Washington also won four games in a row for the first time since 2016.

Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Washington vs. the Seattle Seahawks

With the loss, Washington fell to 6-8 and failed to clinch their first winning season since 2016.

Week 16: vs. Carolina Panthers

Washington vs. the Carolina Panthers

With a Giants loss to the Baltimore Ravens earlier that afternoon, Washington had an opportunity to clinch the division title against Carolina. The team instead put together a performance of errors, including a mishandled punt by Steven Sims that was recovered for a Panthers touchdown, a 10-play scoring drive of all run plays allowed by the defense and an additional three turnovers from Dwayne Haskins, who was eventually benched in the fourth quarter for Taylor Heinicke. With their second consecutive loss, the team dropped to 6-9 and clinched their fourth straight losing season. Haskins was released by the team the following day.

Week 17: at Philadelphia Eagles

Washington vs. the Philadelphia Eagles

In a matchup that was flexed to NBC Sunday Night Football, Washington defeated the Eagles 20-14 to clinch the NFC East for the first time since the 2015 season. This was Washington's first sweep of Philadelphia since the 2016 season. With a final record of 7-9, Washington became just the third team in league history to win their division with a losing record after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks and 2014 Carolina Panthers, the latter of whom were also coached by Rivera. They also became the first team in NFL history to clinch a playoff berth after starting the season 2-7.

Standings

Division

NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(4) Washington Football Team 7 9 0 .438 4-2 5-7 335 329 W1
New York Giants 6 10 0 .375 4-2 5-7 280 357 W1
Dallas Cowboys 6 10 0 .375 2-4 5-7 395 473 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 4 11 1 .281 2-4 4-8 334 418 L3

Conference

# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV STK
Division leaders
1 Green Bay Packers North 13 3 0 .813 5-1 10-2 .428 .387 W6
2[a] New Orleans Saints South 12 4 0 .750 6-0 10-2 .459 .406 W2
3[a] Seattle Seahawks West 12 4 0 .750 4-2 9-3 .447 .404 W4
4 Washington Football Team East 7 9 0 .438 4-2 5-7 .459 .388 W1
Wild cards
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 11 5 0 .688 4-2 8-4 .488 .392 W4
6 Los Angeles Rams West 10 6 0 .625 3-3 9-3 .494 .484 W1
7[b] Chicago Bears North 8 8 0 .500 2-4 6-6 .488 .336 L1
Did not qualify for the postseason
8[b] Arizona Cardinals West 8 8 0 .500 2-4 6-6 .475 .441 L2
9 Minnesota Vikings North 7 9 0 .438 4-2 5-7 .504 .366 W1
10[c] San Francisco 49ers West 6 10 0 .375 3-3 4-8 .549 .448 L1
11[c][d] New York Giants East 6 10 0 .375 4-2 5-7 .502 .427 W1
12[d] Dallas Cowboys East 6 10 0 .375 2-4 5-7 .471 .333 L1
13[e] Carolina Panthers South 5 11 0 .313 1-5 4-8 .531 .388 L1
14[e] Detroit Lions North 5 11 0 .313 1-5 4-8 .508 .350 L4
15 Philadelphia Eagles East 4 11 1 .281 2-4 4-8 .537 .469 L3
16 Atlanta Falcons South 4 12 0 .250 1-5 2-10 .551 .391 L5
Tiebreakers[f]
  1. ^ a b New Orleans finished ahead of Seattle based on conference record.
  2. ^ a b Chicago finished and clinched the 7th and final playoff spot ahead of Arizona based on better win percentage in common games (against Detroit, the NY Giants, Carolina, and the LA Rams, Chicago finished 3-2, while Arizona finished 1-4).
  3. ^ a b San Francisco finished ahead of the NY Giants based on head-to-head victory. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Dallas (see below).
  4. ^ a b NY Giants won tiebreaker over Dallas based on division record.
  5. ^ a b Carolina finished ahead of Detroit based on head-to-head victory.
  6. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

Postseason

Washington vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite a late comeback and a strong performance from quarterback Taylor Heinicke, Washington's season ended at the hands of Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 31-23 home loss. It was Washington's fifth straight playoff loss dating back to 2005 and their third consecutive home playoff loss dating back to 1999.

Notes

  1. ^ Washington's Week 13 game in Pittsburgh was originally scheduled for December 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST, before being moved to December 7 due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Baltimore Ravens' organization that forced the Ravens' Week 12 game at the Steelers, originally scheduled to be Thanksgiving, to be pushed back to December 1, 2020.[4]
  2. ^ a b Due to a ban on all contact sports imposed by Santa Clara County in California as a result of rising COVID-19 cases, the 49ers hosted all of their remaining home games at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.[5]

References

  1. ^ Keim, John (July 12, 2020). "Source: Redskins to announce nickname will be changed". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ Keim, John (May 7, 2020). "Washington Redskins' schedule 2020: Low expectations for Ron Rivera's crew". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b Shook, Nick (July 27, 2020). "Roger Goodell writes letter to NFL fans as training camps start across U.S." NFL. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Week 12 Ravens-Steelers game moved to Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET on NBC". NFL Communcations. November 30, 2020. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ Wagoner, Nick (November 30, 2020). "San Francisco 49ers to play Week 13-14 home games in Arizona". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Allen, Scott. "Takeaways from Washington's 27-17 comeback win over Philadelphia in season opener". Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 14, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Allen, Scott. "Hail or Fail: Washington slips below .500 all-time for first time since 1975 with loss to Browns". Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 29, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Football Team's Antonio Gibson: Smashes Cowboys for three TDs". CBSSports.com. November 26, 2020. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Washington blows out Dallas, 41-16, improves to first place in NFC East". Washington Post. November 26, 2020. Archived from the original on November 27, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "WFT can do something it hasn't in 8 years with win in Dallas". RSN. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Allen, Scott. "Hail or Fail: Chase Young asks 'What would Kobe do?' after Washington's fourth straight win". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 14, 2020. Retrieved 2020.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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