Washington has been espousing a deep belief in the run game ever since Bill Callahan took over as the interim head coach in the wake of Jay Gruden’s firing and Sunday’s game against the 49ers provided an opportunity to fully embrace that approach.
It was pouring rain and sloppy on the field, which resulted in a game plan that saw them run the ball 11 straight times to open the game and throw just 12 times. Adrian Peterson did most of the running, but left the 9-0 loss responsible for leaving his team on the wrong end of the final score.
After the 49ers kicked a third quarter field goal to open the scoring, Peterson lost a fumble in San Francisco territory. Peterson’s right ankle got rolled up by a 49ers defender and Peterson said the jolt of pain led to him losing the ball.
“The fumble, for me personally, I feel like that’s what lost us the game,” Peterson said, via the Washington Post. “I always look at going on to the next play, next play, but that was a critical point in the game. We were in position to put points on the board. . . . We can’t have a turnover. Especially playing against this defense. It hurts even more because it wasn’t like the guy punched the ball out. It came from pain. That little moment of ‘ugh’ allowed the ball to come out, and for me that’s just not acceptable. I’ll be beating myself up about this one all night.”
Washington had three drives longer than three plays all afternoon and their defense never forced a three and out, so it’s hard to heap all the blame on any one plate even if Peterson feels his fumble stood out.