Tight end Logan Thomas, running back J.D. McKissic and defensive tackle Daron Payne were all crucial to the Washington Football Team staying in the fight during an eventual 20-15 loss. Here's how they performed during the Week 15 matchup:
Game Ball No. 1: Tight End Logan Thomas
Thomas had a career day against the Seahawks, as he led the team with 13 receptions for 101 yards. Not only was this the first 100-yard game of his career, but Thomas' 13 receptions were the most in a single game by a Washington tied end and tied for the second-most in franchise history.
Thomas' longest reception of the day came in the second quarter. As Washington entered into Seahawks' territory for the first time, quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. launched a laser down the field. On the other end of the ball was Thomas for a 20-yard pickup to place Washington on Seattle's 29-yard line.
After the game, the former quarterback spoke on where he believes he's taken the biggest strides at this "new" position. "Just playing, being able to play the game and just getting a full understanding of what defenses do and how to attack them because everybody does something a little bit different. Getting an opportunity to play is special, and that's when you really learn the most."
Check out photos of the Washington Football Team during its Week 15 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. (Photos courtesy of Amanda Bowen/NFL, Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team and Elijah Griffin Sr./Washington Football)
Game Ball No. 2: Running Back J.D. McKissic
McKissic led Washington with 51 rushing yards on 13 carries and finished third in receiving with nine receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.
McKissic, who played for the Seahawks from 2016-18, scored against his former team in the fourth quarter. Lined up at Seattle's six-yard line, Haskins took the snap and quickly got off a short pass to McKissic. Once the ball was in the running back's hands, he comfortably crossed the goal line to pull Washington within 20-15.
After the game, head coach Ron Rivera said that McKissic, along with Thomas, are players the coaching staff felt were ready to take the next step. "They most certainly showed it and have played like it. They really are a part of what we're trying to do as we go forward as a football team. It just shows you that their value is important."
Game Ball No. 3: Defensive Tackle Daron Payne
Payne is best known for clogging running lanes and batting down passes, but he corralled his first career interception Sunday afternoon.
After Washington scored its first touchdown early in the fourth quarter, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was able to move his offense down to Washington's 39-yard line. On 1st-and-10, Wilson threw a pass intended for running back Chris Carson, but defensive end Montez Sweat made yet another deflection. As the ball hung in the air, Payne tracked it before hauling it in at the 36-yard line. Washington was able to build on its lone turnover by immediately scoring a touchdown
After the game, Payne reflected on his first career interception, saying, "I was just excited. I was just retracing the ball. I could see it in the air and so I had to go get it."
While the defensive tackle was ecstatic about his big play, he knows that the defense needs to start faster in the final two contests. "I feel like it may have been us coming out and feeling things out instead of just playing fast and hard like we usually do in the second half. Once we do that, I feel like we will be better off as a team."