Studs and duds from Commanders’ humiliating loss to the Lions
By Jerry Trotta
Stud: Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin
More often than not, Terry McLaurin is going to be a stud. it just depends on whether Washington gets him the football. That didn’t happen in the first half, but McLaurin gave Detroit’s defense all kinds of fits in the third and fourth quarters.
Dotson could soon find himself on similar ground, to be fair. The No. 16 overall pick followed his two-touchdown debut by catching all four of five targets for 59 yards and another fourth-quarter touchdown. He makes the difficult catches look so easy and his role in and importance to the offense will only grow as the season goes on.
Dotson is just an outstanding player. Plain and simple.
Dud: Coaching staff
For starters, the conservative play-calling in the first half was NOT ideal. Yes, the offensive line was a turnstile, but the give-up running plays and short, uncreative passes didn’t help the cause. Thankfully, Scott Turner broke out of his shell after halftime and it was actually enough to win the game. The defense just didn’t cooperate.
Time to rip Ron Rivera.
With the Commanders storming back in the second half, an Antonio Gibson touchdown run made things 29-21. Kick the extra point and go down a touchdown, right? Nope, Rivera made the completely boneheaded decision to go for two. It fittingly didn’t pay off and came home to roost later in the game when Joey Slye missed an extra-point that kept Washington in a nine-point hole with 1:56 remaining.
Between Turner’s first half, Rivera’s game management, Jack Del Rio’s defense getting carved open like a Thanksgiving turkey and Nate Kaczor’s special teams unit turning in an absolute clunker, Sunday was a day to forget for the Commanders’ coaching staff across the board.
Other than that, though …