Did Lions stars take shots at Commanders after statement Week 2 win?
By Jerry Trotta
It pains us to say it, but the Washington Commanders deserve to be the brunt of your friend’s jokes following Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions. If you know a Lions fan, stay away from the water coolers at work Monday because Washington’s post-Week 1 hype train skidded to a halt after that performance.
Of course, if the offense catches some flak by all means defend them. While they managed two first downs in the entire first half, with their initial coming just under the six-minute mark of the second quarter, they came out roaring in the second half and finished the game with 27 points and 396 total yards.
The defense, on the other hand, was embarrassing throughout the 60 minute affair. Though they cobbled together some stops in the third quarter, the group couldn’t help but surrender big plays to take the wind out of Washington’s sails.
In sum, the Lions have every right to flex their muscles after the win, especially the defensive line, which sacked Carson Wentz five time, including a strip-sack for a safety, and had their way with the Commanders’ normally-stout offensive line.
Aidan Hutchinson alone compiled three takedowns of Wentz and he had some choice words for Washington’s quarterback after the game.
Did Lions stars Aidan Hutchinson and Amon-Ra St. Brown take subtle shots at the Commanders after their Week 2 win?
We don’t think Hutchinson has anything personal against Wentz. Perhaps he was simply comparing the 29-year-old to Jalen Hurts, who galloped for 90 rushing yards and eluded several surefire sacks with his legs in Week 1.
By no means is Wentz a stationary quarterback, but his pocket elusiveness pales in comparison to Hurts, who has legit running back speed. Seems like Hutchinson was confident going in that Detroit’s pass rush would cause problems for Washington.
That’s pretty damning for the Commanders, who had one of the best pass-protecting offensive lines in the game last campaign. Wentz has a propensity to dodge would-be sackers, but he can only do so much with his athleticism and he stood no chance with Lions hounding him every which direction Sunday.
The more direct shot came from Amon-Ra St.Brown, who terrorized the Commanders’ secondary all game long. The second-year receiver finished with nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, adding two rushes for 68 yards, which led the Lions with D’Andre Swift banged up and only taking five carries.
Speaking of St.Brown’s rushing contributions, 58 of his 68 yards came on an end-around that most of the D had no idea even happened.
"“This was a play that we added in this week, and we knew if we got it, we would hit big,” St. Brown said, via The Athletic. “(Running back) Craig (Reynolds) had a great fake. As I got it, I mean, no one even knew I had the ball. I don’t even think the safety that was looking at me knew I had the ball, and all hear from the defense is, ‘Oh, s—.’ And I knew. I knew at that point it was gonna be a big play.”"
Of course, this wasn’t St-Brown’s first explosive play in the game.
On his 49-yard catch and run, St-Brown was lined up on the right with another Lions receiver. William Jackson and Benjamin St-Juste had a miscommunication — both defenders broke towards the sideline — allowing St-Brown to break free in the middle of the field; something the Lions knew would happen reviewing film leading up to the game.
"“They just had a busted coverage,” St. Brown said. “All week, we kind of (knew) … they didn’t handle bunches really well. And we knew that going into the week. … I kind of was surprised. … I mean, no one was there, busted coverage. I think that it was a great play.”"
Good teams attack an opponent’s weakness so credit to the Lions’ coaching staff for dissecting Washington’s struggles with bunches.
From a Commanders’ perspective, this is flat-out embarrassing. If you have Lions players poking fun at you — Hutchinson’s quote wasn’t really a shot, but his confidence to exploit Washington’s offensive line is alarming — we’re terrified to think what some of the NFL’s upper-echelon teams think of Ron Rivera’s group.