All the elements were there for the Washington Commanders to earn a resounding, critic-silencing victory over the Detroit Lions.
Detroit was favored for the first time in 24 games, providing bulletin board material for the Commanders’ locker room. The Lions had a hobbled offensive line and D’Andre Swift was banged up so Washington’s defense should have feasted. But then, the game happened. The offense came out flat and Washington’s defense made the Lions look like the Chiefs, with Detroit taking a 22-0 lead going into halftime.
In the Captain Obvious comment of the year, Ron Rivera said, “We didn’t play very well, that’s probably the biggest thing…If you look at this in every phase of the game, we got beat in the first half, that’s the truth of the matter.”
Yes, when you get down 22-0 in a half, you definitely got beat. The lack of urgency from the defense. The lack of adjustments made on offense. That speaks volume to how this team is being coached.
The offense did have a turnaround in the second half, making it a competitive game, but as is common with this franchise, it was too little, too late. The defense stifled Detroit’s offense for a small period, but not when it mattered most.
The bend-but-don’t break defense that would allow teams to pick up large amounts of yardage before providing key stops in the red zone BROKE. I mean, how do you allow a player to catch a pass, fall down, get back up, and still score a touchdown?
The lack of effort and awareness is a problem. Rivera has blamed injuries for some of the issues but at a certain point, the excuses need to stop, and change needs to be seen.
The Commanders’ offense has the potential to be great, but the defensive lapses, questionable coaching decisions, and slow starts that have plagued this franchise throughout Ron Rivera’s tenure need to be fixed.
Let’s take a look at some of the key numbers from the Commanders’ 36-27 loss to the Lions in the Motor City.