3 causes for concern from Commanders’ Week 1 win over Jaguars
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders are 1-0, folks. That’s all that matters. Like Carson Wentz eluded to in his postgame speech after Ron Rivera handed him the game ball, it’s not always going to be pretty in this league. What matters is how you respond to getting punched in the mouth and Washington fought back in the fourth quarter after they lost their stranglehold of the game coming out of halftime.
Like we said, you have to win ugly in the NFL sometimes and that’s what the Commanders did Sunday against Jacksonville. While a victory is ultimately all that matters, there were some alarming developments throughout the game that should give fans a little pause heading into Week 2 against the Lions.
3 biggest concerns for the Commanders against the Jaguars
We’re not going to spend too much time on this, because it’s obvious. Turnovers and penalties aren’t conducive to winning football games and the Commanders had plenty of both against the Jaguars. Some rust is to be expected in Week 1 after starters play very little in preseason, but this game was tough to watch at times.
We recall two flags on the first three snaps, Kendall Fuller getting victimized at least twice, and two hands to the face penalties on Andrew Norwell. In total, the Commanders finished with six penalties that amount to 63 yards.
That needs to be cleaned up moving forward. As do the turnovers. Curtis Samuel was great, but his fumble took a lot of wind out of Washington’s sails before halftime and gave the Jaguars something to hold onto heading into the break.
It’d be easy for me to chastise Carson Wentz for his two interceptions, but he responded like a professional and led his team to a victory. That said, his first pick was telegraphed, late and underthrown near the sideline. Might as well have walked the ball over to the Jaguars DB and handed it to him.
Wentz’s second INT was on a designed screen the entire Jacksonville defensive line snuffed out. Travon Walker got the pick, but at least three Jags defenders could’ve got their hands on it. In his seventh season, Wentz should know better than to blindly attempt a pass into a swarm of defenders.
The screen had no chance of panning out. That’s going to happen. Throw the ball away and live to fight another down. It was literally first and 10.
Feel like we might be saying that a lot this year.