Haileys Notebook: What Stood Out After Re Watching Washington Vs. Seattle

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Hailey's Notebook: What stood out re-watching WFT's meltdown originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Pete Hailey is not a current or former NFL player, nor is he a current or former NFL coach. He is a reporter. Therefore, this space won't be used to closely analyze schemes or assign blame on coverage breakdowns or anything like that related to the Washington Football Team, because those things are hard to discern without knowing the design of and plan for a given play.

That said, he does cover Washington on a day-to-day basis, meaning he can (hopefully) pass along helpful observations after re-watching each of the franchise's games. So, here's what stood out to him from the Week 16 loss at Dallas:

  • Do I get hazard pay for waking up early on a Monday morning to do this? Feel like I probably should. 

  • The 

    Taylor Heinicke interception on his first dropback of the evening was poorly executed and, perhaps, poorly called, too. Now, while I personally like the idea of trying to be aggressive early, especially as an underdog, going after the NFL's top thief in Trevon Diggs on the very first offensive snap was probably a bit much. Then there was Heinicke's throw, which was too far inside the numbers when it needed to be out toward the sideline. Afterward, Diggs explained that he was annoyed by Washington's shot at him: "I was in my feelings. I felt like, ‘Wow, they really just did that.’ So it gave me a little bit more to go out there and just put on my best."

  • When the Burgundy and Gold defensive line begins pressing, it begins falling apart. On Sunday, that pressing was evident early. While this particular example only resulted in a four-yard run from Dak Prescott, the lack of rush discipline is still unsightly — and it almost certainly contributed to the saltiness that led to the scuffle between >Jonathan Allen and

    Daron Payne

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  • Prescott took advantage of two offsides penalties — one on Payne and one on

    Casey Toohill — by connecting on a few lasers up the seams on Dallas' second and third possessions. He then capped off those marches with absurdly easy touchdown tosses to Ezekiel Elliott and Dalton Schultz. Everything, including Washington's coverage breakdowns, is bigger in Texas.

  • On the Demarcus Lawrence pick-six that made the score 21-0, Heinicke looked to be forcing a slant to reserve running back 

    Jonathan Williams, who wasn't exactly open and who would've been tackled short of the sticks on the third-down sequence. By this point, Heinicke had already been blasted repeatedly by Cowboys defenders, so it's understandable that he was hoping to get rid of the ball before that could occur again. Even so, turning it over when the throw was going to a little-used target hurts even more than if Heinicke was seeking out a more established receiver.

  • For one quick moment, let's highlight 

    Terry McLaurin. For a franchise where so much is so wrong, at least he's around and always performs with complete effort regardless of what's going on around him: 

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  • Soon after the Allen-Payne mess, Washington's defensive front brought their dysfunction back onto the field in the form of players running on late on consecutive second-quarter plays. Neither 

    James Smith-Williams nor Toohill came close to getting set before Prescott got the snap from center. That unit, in particular, was a disaster all night long: 

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  • To close out the first half, the Cowboys covered 90 yards in less than 100 seconds to score their sixth touchdown of the matchup. In doing so, they scored more points in two quarters than any other NFL team put up in their respective four quarters during Week 16. 

  • In the third quarter, Mike McCarthy sought out a challenge on a potential Heinicke fumble (he wasn't able to drop the red flag, though, because the play had already been whistled dead). Mind you, this was when Dallas was up by 35. Talk about sending a message to a division "rival."

  • Lastly, the blocked punt that produced the home side's seventh end zone visit was maddening because of how simple it was for Corey Clement to reject 

    Tress Way's kick. Wendell Smallwood — who was Clement's teammate in Philadelphia for a couple of years — was flat-footed as Clement charged at him, which allowed Clement to speed right by and arrive at Way as Way was punting. To call that "protection" from Smallwood would be one hell of an overstatement.  

    Source : https://sports.yahoo.com/haileys-notebook-stood-watching-washingtons-125356049.html

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