“It saved our season:” Washington’s victory over the Panthers prompted people to compare it to last year’s surge

Charlotte, North Carolina-Ron Rivera can only watch quarterback Taylor Heinicke dragging from the sidelines, a defender flies in and another jumps up to make a shovel ball. If he turns his head to look away, no one will blame him.

But if he had it, he would miss it: Despite the pressure, Hynek found rookie close end John Bates in time to take first place in the fourth and third place games.

“Yes, it frightened me,” Rivera said, “but this is him.”

Rivera attributed Hynek’s “innate feeling”-an ability to see games that others can’t see-to the fourth down conversion, which helped Washington to 27 on Sunday. -21 beat the Carolina Panthers to take the lead and scored in the fourth quarter.

This weekend as the return of former Panthers coach Rivera was sold, he met quarterback Cam Newton in a special turning point. But it turns out that Washington’s recent victory was not just a duel between Rivera and Newton. On the contrary, this victory shows that Burgundy and Gold may not have lost this season.

Don’t look at it now, but Washington’s record is 4-6-and the team with the last two wild card positions in the NFC (Minnesota and New Orleans) has a record of 5-5.

After Washington’s second consecutive victory, Rivera and the players said they were beginning to see similarities to last year when the team had four consecutive victories in the second half of the season and reached the playoffs all the way.

By the way, the beginning of a four-game winning streak? Week 11. For those who did not pay close attention to the NFL schedule, Sunday’s victory over the Panthers occurred in Week 11.

“I think it’s very similar,” said defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. “I don’t like comparing seasons because there are many changes between seasons, but two consecutive victories are huge. As far as we know, you can say that it saved our season.”

There is no doubt that defeating Carolina will not be easy for Washington.

Newton started for the Panthers for the first time after rejoining the team last week. He made a variety of exciting games-including a 24-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter, which resulted in a quarterback on the midfield mark. Dance to celebrate.

Star running back Christian McCaffrey is more than 100 yards from the melee line (59 rushes, 60 catches).

With 1 minute and 50 seconds left in the game, trailing by 6 points, Newton has a chance to lead the Panthers to a potential game victory-even into Washington territory.

But Rivera said his Washington players are beginning to “become resilient.”

He said that the players have stopped trying to create splash games, but rely on each other as a whole.

He cited Carolina’s final fourth and third, when defensive tackle Daron Payne and defensive end James Smith Williams fired Newton. The pass rushers filled their fairways, and the second place insisted on their task of forcing Newton to hold the ball and causing the game to seal the bag.

During the winning streak, Washington showed flexibility in other areas.

Running back Antonio Gibson fumbled within the 10-yard line and was substituted for a long time in the first half. This was his third turnover this season. But he got another chance in the second half. He ran desperately and saved the ball-95 yards in 19 attacks. Gibson’s contribution is the key to Washington’s dominance on the ground (40 offenses for 190 yards).

Rivera said Washington’s progress can be traced to the physical fitness of the frontcourt on both sides of the ball.

The offensive and defensive lines have been controlled in the past two games, even if they were injured. On Sunday, the defense did not have wing chasers Chase Young (ACL) and Montez Sweat (chin), while the offense saw center Tyler Larsen (knee) and right tackle Sam Cosmi (hip) fall. They did not come back.

The players said that physical fitness helped Burgundy and gold to form an identity. The team is executing the game in a way that it did not have earlier this season. This acumen is particularly evident in Hynek-he completed 72.2% of his passes for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Dating back to the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, Hynek only lost 12 games. During that time, he was 42 out of 54 people.

“The more you play, the more comfortable you are there,” Hynek said.

“He started to see things clearly,” Rivera said.

Washington will now have time to rest and then host the Seattle Seahawks in “Monday Night Football” on November 29.

As he did last week, Rivera gave his team a break the next day as part of “Victory Monday.” The real test for Washington will be whether these players can piece together the kind of rally that can take them to the playoffs in the playoffs like last year.

At the same time, players and coaches will enjoy Sunday’s emotional victory. Rivera tried to downplay his return to Bank of America Stadium, but the players said they knew the game meant a lot to him. Later in the locker room, Allen presented Rivera with a game ball-usually distributed to the players.

“I feel good,” Rivera said. “I did it. It’s fun.”

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