By Lewis Gould
Rookie running back Jaret Patterson, an undrafted free agent from Buffalo, ran for 71 yards, caught three passes for 25 yards and had a 37-yard kickoff return in WFT’s 17-13 exo win over the Bengals.
His 1-yard scoring plunge was Washington’s only touchdown. Dustin Hopkins had three field goals for Washington (1-1).
Patterson, who is listed at 5-9, says:
“I feel like my size is an advantage,” Patterson said. “I can hide behind the big offensive linemen. Just hiding behind those guys and having a low center of gravity. … I want to keep improving and show that I belong here.”
Coach Ron Rivera gave Patterson time early and often and liked what he saw.
“He’s an explosive, dynamic young back,” Rivera said.
“We gave him some opportunities with the first bunch and he did a nice job with that and then when the second bunch was in there he really showed his ability.”
Cincinnati (1-1) held out quarterback Joe Burrow for the second week in a row and the offense struggled. Burrow, the first selection in the 2020 draft, started 10 games last season before a season-ending left knee injury at Washington in Week 11.
Brandon Allen started in his place and played through the first drive of the second half, finishing 8 of 17 for 70 yards. The Bengals were 0 for 6 on third downs in the first half and finished 4 of 13.
Ryan Fitzpatrick played the first four series for Washington before making way for Taylor Heinicke. Fitzpatrick was 7 of 13 for 96 yards with most of that coming on two big plays. The veteran connected with Logan Thomas on the first play of the game for 28 yards and found rookie Dyami Brown for a 29-yarder just before the end of the first quarter. Brown’s catch set up Hopkins’ 34-yard field goal. It was the first points for Washington’s first-team offense through two preseason games. Heinicke finished 11 of 13 for 80 yards, and Kyle Allen wrapped up for Washington.
Allen capped off an eight-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard run to give Cincinnati (1-1) a 10-6 lead just after halftime. Washington looked as it recovered a fumble on the 1 but safety Darrick Forrest was called for unnecessary roughness hit when he knocked the ball loose on Allen’s 19-yard completion to Trenton Irwin. The Bengals kept possession and scored on the next play.
Kyle Shurmur and Eric Dungey both got second-half time under center for the Bengals.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson connected from 37 and 50 yards.