The Washington Football Team started the season with a 27-17 win at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are five individuals who stood out during the Week 1 victory.
Game Ball No. 1: Head Coach Ron Rivera
There's no one who deserves the first game ball more than Rivera. After guiding the team through a crazy offseason, Rivera won his first game with Washington against the Eagles.
"As I told the players, this game is a very humbling experience. So, to get the opportunity to step up and play today and win a football game means a tremendous amount," Rivera said. "There are a bunch of young guys that really worked hard at it. We didn't have a lot to gauge on who we were or who we were going to become, but we had the opportunity to show it and the guys did. I am pretty proud of who they are as a football team."
All while leading this franchise to its largest-ever comeback against the Eagles, Rivera tended to his cancer treatment by getting an IV at halftime "just to be safe." His resilience and dedication seems to have trickled down to the players, who overcame a sluggish start to begin 2020 with a win.
Game Ball No. 2: Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan has been a constant, reliable player for Washington's defense for the past 10 years. Heading into the 2020 season, Kerrigan had 90 sacks, putting him one behind the all-time sack leader Dexter Manley, who had 91. Kerrigan led the defense and recorded two sacks, which pushed him to the top of the list. He now holds the franchise's official record for most sacks at 92.
After the game, Kerrigan said "being at the top Washington's official all-time sack list is pretty special to me. I don't know if I could have ever dreamed of anything like this."
Both of Kerrigan's sacks resulted in losses of 10 yards, completely shutting down Carson Wentz and his offense during the second half. If Kerrigan keeps this momentum up, he'll be well on his way to having another productive season.
Game Ball No. 3: Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.
During the first half of the game, Washington was disappointed with its performance and didn't think that it was playing up to its potential. At halftime, Haskins, a first-year captain, stepped up to the plate and gave a speech that lit a fire under his teammates and changed the tempo of the game.
During his halftime speech, Haskins brought up how Washington led 17-0 in last year's opener and ended up losing to Philadelphia. With Washington being at home, Haskins said there was no reason that it should feel like the "little bro" to Philadelphia.
Haskins' positive mindset motivated the team to find a way to win. Under Haskins, that's exactly what they did. Haskins finished the game with 17 completions for 178 yards and one touchdown. After the victory, he went on to say that Washington has a great future and that he's grateful to be a captain and to be looked up to by his teammates.
Game Ball No. 4: Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio
Washington's defense kept the team in the game with three turnovers and several standout players. Jon Bostic had eight combined tackles, one sack, and three quarterback hits; Chase Young had a 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble; and Fabian Moreau grabbed an interception before halftime.
After allowing 17 points in the first half, Del Rio's defense held the Eagles scoreless for the rest of the game. Del Rio's defensive line also forced eight sacks, including three in one drive. Sunday's game was a good start to the rest of the season.
Game Ball No. 5: Defensive Back Jimmy Moreland
Moreland was a standout player during training camp this season and grew to be one of Rivera's favorite players. As a seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft, Moreland has developed a knack for being around the ball, according to Rivera.
"The People's Corner" had his first-career interception and Washington's second interception of the season. With explosive speed, Moreland returned the interception to the Eagles' 20-yard line. Expect to see Moreland make more big plays throughout the season.