And just like that, the Washington Commanders are 1-1.
It was a tale of two halves for the Commanders against the Detroit Lions. Actually, we take that back. It was a tale of two halves for the Commanders’ offense on Sunday. The defense, meanwhile, looked much of the same over the final 30 minutes as it did in the first two quarters: dazed and confused.
Our biggest takeaway? The offense’s first half performance was an outlier. The offensive line couldn’t figure out the Lions’ pass rush. To their credit, they regrouped and gave Carson Wentz enough time in the pocket to mount a comeback.
The defense just refused to jump on the bandwagon. It’s now surrendered 58 points through two games and looks an awful lot like the unit that was arguably the worst in the league out of the gates last season.
While the overall feeling surrounding Washington is negative, that doesn’t mean we should punish the team’s top performers from the game. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Commanders’ studs and duds from Sunday’s loss.
Commanders studs and duds from Week 2 loss to the Lions.
Stud: Jamin Davis
Davis was clearly out to prove something Sunday after Jack Del Rio crucified his Week 1 performance. It’s not often you see a defensive coordinator be so openly critical of a player, but Davis seemed to use it as motivation because he came out scalding hot on the Lions’ first two offensive possessions.
Davis didn’t start the game, but he subbed in on third down and sacked Jared Goff to force a punt. The second-year linebacker also applied sticky coverage on D’Andre Swift on a pass to the end zone and made a big stop on second and goal with the Lions knocking on the door in the second quarter.
Davis wasn’t perfect, but he was definitely a positive.
Dud: Dax Milne
I’m not gonna pretend like I know better than NFL players, but when a kickoff lands in the end zone, just take a knee or don’t even catch it. I’ll take a surefire start at the 25-yard line over the small chance that a returner breaks off a big run.
Bottom line? If you return a kickoff from the end zone you better make it past the 20. Each of Milne’s first two returns went to the 16-yard line; tacking on extra yards for the offense to get in scoring range. Wouldn’t hate to see Antonio Gibson (or someone else) mixed in from time to time after this performance.
Milne has looked solid as a punt returner, but he looks out of his element as a kick returner. Changes should be made.