WASHINGTON — Washington’s rookies played a big role in helping the team “save its season” in Sunday’s 47-14 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints.
In fact, they’ve helped Washington do so on multiple occasions.
At 0-1, Washington “saved its season” with a big win over the St. Louis Rams.
At 1-2, Washington “saved its season” with a thrilling last-second touchdown to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
At 2-4, Washington “saved its season” with a CODE-RED style 24-0 comeback against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Most of the attention surrounding Sunday’s offensive explosion has been focused on Kirk Cousins, and rightfully so. Cousins threw for a season-high four touchdowns while compiling a perfect passer rating of 158.3, making him only the third NFL quarterback this season to accomplish the feat.
However, in addition to Captain Kirk, Washington’s crop of rookies deserves a little bit of the spotlight.
Running back Matt Jones, the team’s third-round draft pick out of Florida, led the team with 131 receiving yards on Sunday. Jones is averaging almost 70 combined yards per game.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder, a fourth-round draft pick from Duke, led the team in catches against New Orleans, hauling in four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Crowder is second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards, and his four catches on Sunday were his lowest total since Week 2.
Brandon Scherff, Washington’s first-round draft pick out of Iowa and the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft, has helped anchor the right side of Washington’s offensive line. Scherff switched from his college position of right tackle to his current position of right guard, and in nine games has yet to be penalized.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kyshoen Jarrett and Preston Smith have both made significant impacts this year as well.
Jarrett, a sixth-round draft pick from Virginia Tech, is sixth on the team in total tackles, and has excelled since injuries to Washington’s secondary forced him into a starting role. Like Scherff, Jarrett was also asked to change his position, and has become the team’s starting nickel back.
Smith, Washington’s second round pick out of Mississippi State, has proved effective, albeit in limited snaps. Although 6-foot-5-inch linebacker has played on fewer than 40 percent of Washington’s defensive plays, he is tied for the team lead in forced fumbles and is third on the team in sacks.
Washington’s rookies will look to keep the momentum going on Sunday when the team travels to Charlotte to take on Cam Newton and the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on FOX.