Stock Report: Forget inflation, Washington's stock is playoff high originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
It wasn't pretty but it didn't need to be. Washington handled the Seahawks at home and moved into playoff position in the NFC.
Ron Rivera's squad broke a few streaks along the way, winning on Monday Night Football for the first time since 2014 and winning while wearing all-burgundy uniforms for the first time in a long time.
Here's the truth - Washington is riding a three-game win streak and is now locked into the 7th spot in the NFC. That means playoff talk is very real.
- Remember the name - Landon Collins was a monster in this game, perhaps his best of the season and he finished with a team-high 7 tackles. Whatever his position is, it's working. Collins has been strong at the line of scrimmage and showed his instinct and intelligence on repeated plays helping Washington limit the Seahawks' offense throughout the game.
- JDTD - Antonio Gibson got the bulk of the carries for Washington but J.D. McKissic provided the electric playmaking that Washington needed in the red zone. McKissic scored two touchdowns for Washington, one through the air and one on the ground, and continued to show that he deserves plenty of snaps in Washington's offense. A fourth-quarter injury looked scary for the versatile back, and expect more information on that developing story.
- Make it a buck - Gibson has become a true workhorse running back for Washington's offensive coordinator Scott Turner. A second-straight game with at least 24 carries, Gibson carried the load throughout the second half and gained more than 100 yards on the ground for the first time this year. Also, importantly, he didn't fumble.
- Dominant D - In its last four games Washington's defense has held each opponent below 20 total first downs, and that trend continued against the Seahawks in a major way. With less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Seattle had just five first downs. Seriously. Five first downs in 50 minutes of football. For the third straight game, and the third straight win, Washington dominated time of possession, and this time it was driven by the defense.
- Good enough - Part of being a good NFL quarterback is winning games when things aren't perfect. Taylor Heinicke threw a first-half interception in this game, ending his two-game run without a turnover, but made enough plays to guide Washington to the victory. Seemingly every game Heinicke makes surprise plays, and he kept that trend rolling Monday night.
- Dominant end zone D - Shout out to this dude.
- Slow it down - Washington's had some serious kicker troubles this season but Monday night's action might have been the weirdest. Joey Slye had a second-quarter extra point blocked, and admirably tried to run down the Seahawks player that recovered the ball. The only problem was Slye visibly popped his hamstring as he ran and was unable to kick the rest of the game. Tress Way had to handle kickoffs and Washington had to go for two after touchdowns.
- Flying high - Remember when Seattle was a perennial Super Bowl threat? Not this bunch. They cannot run the ball and got embarrassed by Washington in time of possession. The Seahawks offense looks less effective than Congress. Russell Wilson has played at an incredibly high level in his NFL career, but he didn't on Monday.
- No swirl - In the second half Washington took an early lead and then seemed content to milk it until the game finished. The play-calling in the third quarter seemed particularly conservative, some might even say vanilla. It was a fair strategy as Seattle's offense looked completely incapable of anything but the occasional home run ball, but still, it was boring to watch.
- Get a bucket and a mop - How does this happen twice in one season in an NFL stadium?