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

Sep 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: WFT QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to miss rest of season

Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to miss the remainder of the season as he continues his recovery from a hip subluxation, multiple media outlets reported.

Taylor Heinicke is pegged to be the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of 2021 season.

Fitzpatrick, 38, was injured against the Los Angeles Chargers in the season opener on Sept. 12 and placed on injured reserve the following day.

Per NFL Network, Fitzpatrick has been focused on receiving treatment for the pain and swelling of the injury and has yet to advance to the rehab stage of the process.

“They looked at it, and there is some progress,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said of Fitzpatrick’s recent MRI. “Unfortunately, it’s not way up, but it’s progress.”

Fitzpatrick has 34,990 passing yards and 223 touchdown passes with 169 interceptions in 166 career games.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2005, Fitzpatrick has played for the then-St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington.

–Field Level Media

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a memorial service for NFL legend Bart Starr at the Wright Center in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, June 9, 2019. 

Jc Starrmemorial 01

Roger Goodell: NFL won’t release WFT report

The NFL will not release the details of the investigation into workplace misconduct involving the Washington Football Team, commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.

Speaking after a meeting of the league’s owners in New York, Goodell cited the request for anonymity made by some of those who were interviewed by investigators.

Goodell said, “We’re very conscious of making sure we’re protecting those who came forward. They were incredibly brave, incredibly open, and we respect the pain that they probably went through all over again to come forward. That was a very high priority.”

However, one of the whistleblowers, ex-Washington Football Team employee Rachel Engleson, disputed Goodell’s assertion regarding the report and asked for it to be made public.

She tweeted, “This is false @nflcommish. We were told our identities would be kept confidential in a written report. Meaning, if I spoke about something that happened to me, there would be no way Dan (Snyder) or others could trace the info back to me. Not that there would be no written report. C’mon.”

Attorney Lisa Banks also tweeted, “I represent 40 former employees of the WFT who participated in the investigation. Goodell’s statement is false.”

Snyder, who owns the Washington Football Team, was replaced as head of the team’s day-to-day operations as a result of the report, with his wife, Tanya, taking over. The team also received a $10 million fine based on the investigation’s findings.

Goodell said Tuesday of Daniel Snyder, “I do think he’s been held accountable. More importantly, steps were put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Two members of Congress last week asked for the report to be made public. The five-page letter stated, in part, “We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL’s handling of this matter. …

“The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting troubling precedent for other workplaces.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Washington RB Antonio Gibson (shin) questionable vs. Packers

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson is listed as questionable to face the host Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Gibson was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice due to his shin injury. He received a questionable designation heading into a game for the fourth straight week.

Despite the injury, Gibson has played in all six games for Washington (2-4). He leads the team in carries (89), rushing yards (357) and rushing touchdowns (three) and also has 12 catches for 119 yards and a score.

Cornerback William Jackson (knee) and defensive end Shaka Toney (illness) were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Tackle Samuel Cosmi (ankle), guard Brandon Scherff (knee) and wide receivers Curtis Samuel (groin) and Cam Sims (hamstring) have been ruled out versus the Packers.

Washington will attempt to snap a two-game losing skid on Sunday against Green Bay (5-1).

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts to a call against the Buffalo Bills. during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last-place Chiefs wary of turnover woes at Washington

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking nothing like the top team in the AFC, a distinction they enjoyed winning conference titles each of the last two seasons.

One lethal combination the Chiefs are facing is an offense that committed turnovers on the highest percentage of possessions and a defense allowing scores on the highest percentage of opponents’ possessions.

The result is Kansas City (2-3) occupies last place in the AFC West entering a matchup Sunday against the Washington Football Team (2-3).

“The production is there. It’s the turnovers that we’ve got to take care of,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

That much is true about the offense. If Kansas City can execute in the efficient fashion exhibited the previous three seasons behind Patrick Mahomes, it can shred virtually any defense.

“We’re moving the ball down the field at a high rate,” Mahomes said. “Once you have turnovers happen it kind of ruins everything. It takes that great offense and just knocks it down to an average one.”

The Chiefs are tied with Jacksonville for a league-worst 11 giveaways, including Mahomes’ six interceptions. Only the Jaguars have a worse turnover differential than the Chiefs (minus-7).

Sloppy play has raised questions about whether Mahomes and the offense are pressing to score points because the defense allows 7.1 yards per play and 32.6 points per game, marks that rank last in the league.

“Not at all,” Mahomes said. “We try to score every time we touch the football. That’s the precedent before I even started here. That’s my mindset going into every single game … It has nothing to do with what’s happening on the other side of the ball.”

Without elaborating on any of the Chiefs’ weapons, or even their shortcomings, Washington coach Ron Rivera expressed confidence in his team’s competitiveness.

“If we play to our abilities, we have a chance to win,” Rivera said.

Still, Rivera watches game film just like any other coach, and he has noticed as defenses attempt to prevent big plays by forcing the Chiefs to use their run game and force Mahomes to throw underneath coverage.

“You see some of these things that you can take advantage of and that you can use,” Rivera said. “That’s one of the things that happens is (defenses) do catch up. I do know their still explosive. They live and die with plays downfield and we’ve got to keep that in front of us.”

Washington pins its hopes on offensive performers who do not generate the same buzz as the prolific playmakers driving the Chiefs’ offense.

Taylor Heinicke has passed for eight touchdowns, half of Mahomes’ output. Running back Antonio Gibson averages 62.6 yards per game. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin has caught six TDs. Meanwhile, Washington’s defense ranks 27th in yards per game (407.8) and 31st in scoring (31.0 points).

Injuries have riddled the offense in Washington. Offensive tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle), injured in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans, and guard Brandon Scherff (knee) are slowed along the Washington offensive line. Gibson (shin) did not practice Wednesday, while injuries continue to impact the team’s wideouts.

The Chiefs placed running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) on injured reserve and activated Derrick Gore. Joe Thuney (broken hand) and Tyreek Hill (quad) are coping with injuries suffered in last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo, while Chris Jones (wrist) is improving, Reid said. Jones missed last week’s loss to the Bills.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) catches a touchdown  pass against the Washington Football Team during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hail Mary helps Saints to 33-22 win over Washington

Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes as the visiting New Orleans Saints defeated the Washington Football Team 33-22 on Sunday afternoon.

Winston completed 15 of 30 passes for 279 yards and overcame an interception and a lost fumble to lead the Saints (3-2). Two of his touchdown passes went to Marquez Callaway and one each went to Alvin Kamara, who also rushed for a touchdown, and Deonte Harris.

Antonio Gibson ran for two touchdowns and Dustin Hopkins kicked three field goals for Washington (2-3). Taylor Heinicke completed 20 of 41 for 248 yards with two interceptions.

Hopkins’ 24-yard field goal produced the only points of the third quarter and pulled Washington within 20-16.

Just a minute into the fourth quarter, P.J. Williams intercepted Heinicke, leading to Winston’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Callaway, giving New Orleans a 27-16 lead with 12:16 remaining.

Heinicke converted a fourth and 14 on the way to Gibson’s 1-yard touchdown run that left the Saints with a 27-22 lead after a failed two-point conversion with 7:56 left.

Winston’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Kamara gave New Orleans a 33-22 lead with 3:21 left.

The first possession of the game ended with Winston being intercepted by Cole Holcomb, setting up Hopkins’ 45-yard field goal.

Winston bounced back on the next possession with a career-long 72-yard touchdown pass to Harris, giving New Orleans a 7-3 lead.

Washington drove 72 yards on the next drive to give Hopkins a chance at a 23-yard field goal, which he connected to get move the score to 7-6 with 4:58 left in the first quarter.

The Saints seemed to withstand Winston’s lost fumble at their 44, but roughing-the-punter and pass interference penalties kept alive a possession that ended with Gibson’s 5-yard touchdown run. That gave Washington a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Kamara ran 23 yards for a touchdown tie the score at 13. Cody Parkey had his first of two missed extra point attempts.

Washington punted from its end zone and New Orleans took over at its 49 with eight seconds left in the half. Winston launched a Hail Mary pass that a leaping Callaway caught in the end zone as time expired to give the Saints a 20-13 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

WFT’s Antonio Gibson (shin) limited in practice

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson practiced Thursday on a limited basis due to his shin injury.

Gibson sat out Wednesday’s practice due to the ailment.

Gibson missed practice time last week because of the injury and was listed as questionable for Washington’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. But he played in the 34-30 victory and rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and also caught two passes for 12 yards.

Overall, Gibson has rushed for 253 yards and one touchdown and has 11 receptions for 107 yards and one score this season.

The second-year pro rushed for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He also caught 36 passes for 247 yards.

Four Washington players missed practice and three were receivers — Curtis Samuel (groin), Dyami Brown (knee) and Cam Sims (hamstring). Guard Brandon Scherff (knee) also sat out.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes the ball against New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints visit Washington as both sides seek consistent play

The New Orleans Saints and the Washington Football Team have a lot in common going into their meeting Sunday afternoon in Landover, Md.

The four-time defending NFC South division champion Saints (2-2) and defending NFC East champion Washington (2-2) both have alternated wins and losses during the first month.

If both patterns hold, the Saints will win Sunday because they’re coming off a loss and Washington is coming off a win. Either way, both teams are looking to string together some victories.

Washington coach Ron Rivera called his team’s start a “disappointment.”

“I think if we lived up to or played up to our abilities, if we’d done some of the things I think we’re capable of defensively, I think we could be better than 2-2,” Rivera said. “But we’re not.”

Washington was second in the NFL in total defense and fourth in scoring defense last season. But so far this season, it is fourth to last in total defense and third to last in scoring.

“We don’t have expectations. We have standards,” defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said. “We haven’t been achieving our standards. We’ve been talking about this for four weeks.”

If the defense is going to get better, it will have to do so without two starters that suffered season-ending injuries in a 34-30 win at Atlanta last Sunday.

Linebacker Jon Bostic sustained a pectoral injury and cornerback Torry McTyer tore an ACL.

The offense also is banged up as tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring) went to IR this week, guard Brandon Scherff (knee) and wide receivers Dyami Brown (knee), Curtis Samuel (groin) and Cam Sims (hamstring) were among six Washington players that did not participate in practice Wednesday.

Washington’s offense has managed to come through at the very end of its two victories; otherwise, the record might be worse.

Taylor Heinicke, who has been starting since Ryan Fitzpatrick went on injured reserve, led back-to-back touchdown drives to salvage the win at Atlanta last week with a go-ahead touchdown pass with 33 seconds left.

The Saints led the Giants 21-10 midway through the fourth quarter last week, but gave up a touchdown, two-point conversion and field goal before allowing a touchdown on the first possession of overtime for a 27-21 loss.

“We have to finish,” quarterback Jameis Winston said. “You can’t practice that. It’s a mentality. We have a lot of guys who are finishers.”

New Orleans coach Sean Payton said his team has “a sense of urgency to improve and we’re in the midst of doing that.”

“I wouldn’t say in Week 4, I am seeing our team the way I see it (being later),” Payton said. “I see a lot of players coming back at some point and slowly being integrated back into the lineup. In the meantime, the guys that are currently playing, we’re counting on to do well and play well.”

The Saints agreed to terms with free-agent kicker Cody Parkey on Tuesday and released Aldrick Rosas as their replacement for Wil Lutz, who is recovering from groin muscle surgery in the summer.

Center Erik McCoy (calf) and tackle Terron Armstead (elbow) missed practice Wednesday and seem unlikely to return before New Orleans returns from its bye next week.

“This is an important game for us,” Payton said. “It’s an NFC opponent. It’s a road game. There are a number of things that I’m pleased with and there are a number of things that you’re looking at and wanting to see improvement from.”

–Field Level Media