5 negative takeaways from Commanders’ loss to the Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders walks off the field after his team's 25-10 loss against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders walks off the field after his team's 25-10 loss against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Washington Commanders went down to defeat for the third week in a row and the team is suddenly behind by two games or more to each of their NFC East rivals.

The Commanders reached a new low on Sunday with the loss to division rival Dallas and a season that once looked promising is now teetering on the brink and spiraling out of control.  The defense put forth a spirited effort, but it was also its own worst enemy at very inopportune times.  The offense struggled once again for long stretches and the “culprits” make an appearance in two of our five negatives.

The winning formula for the Commanders is non-existent and we will highlight a potential reason for why it is occurring.  Welcome to our five negatives for this week.  We’ll offer an analysis of the game and the grades that you will see are going to be harsh.  The gloves need to come off and a fair, but firm assessment is truly needed.  There will also be a prediction for the next game and it may surprise you.  Let’s jump on in!

5 negatives for the Commanders in Week 4

1. For our first negative this week, we are turning the focus on head coach Ron Rivera.  His football coaching style is outdated and his leadership is hurting the Commanders in what should be a time when the organization is highly competitive.  He was given full control of the football operations and the scrutiny falls squarely on his shoulders.

2. The offensive line (including the tight end blockers) was simply not up to the task on Sunday.  On the very first series for the Commanders, right guard Trai Turner had a penalty and an untimely missed blocking assignment.  Right tackle Sam Cosmi arguably had his worst game since being drafted in 2021.  Newly acquired center Nick Martin was overwhelmed at times, but he did have a decent effort.  Pass protection from the line was severely lacking.

3. Quarterback Carson Wentz is our third negative of the week.  While the offensive line did him no favors, it is his job to limit the mistakes and manage the game as effectively as he is able to do so.  Wentz did neither on Sunday.  Grounding penalties need to be eliminated.  His progression since Week 1 has been in decline and Wentz’s propensity to stare down his primary targets on each pass needs attention as well.  He was rarely in sync against the Cowboys and looked shell-shocked for much of the game.

4. Penalties.  More penalties.  Too many penalties.  Obviously, the numerous penalties are easily our fourth negative of the week.  Penalties came from the following players/units:  Quarterback, offensive line, linebackers, and defensive secondary.  Eleven penalties for 136 yards are difficult to overcome and the Commanders simply can’t afford to have so many mental mistakes in any game.  Penalties took away two interceptions and that kind of ineptitude is simply frustrating for the players who gave their team a chance.

5. The defensive secondary is the fifth negative from Sunday’s game.  Their performance (or lack thereof) against the Cowboys made a backup quarterback look like a seasoned All-Pro.  Pass interference infractions and mental lapses in coverage combined to make for a very long afternoon.  Kendall Fuller and William Jackson were major liabilities in this game.

Additional Negatives:  Red zone offense.  Red zone decisions.  Lack of urgency late in the first half.  Linebackers.  James Smith-Williams.  Tight ends.  Scott Turner.  Defensive secondary coaching.

Grades for Commanders vs. Dallas

  • Quarterbacks – Grade: F
  • Running Backs – Grade: B-
  • Tight Ends – Grade: F
  • Wide Receivers – Grade: C+
  • Offensive Line – Grade: F
  • Defensive Line – Grade: C+
  • Linebackers – Grade: F
  • Cornerbacks – Grade: F
  • Safeties – Grade: D
  • Special Teams – Grade: B-
  • Coaches – Grade: F

Commanders Should Address These Issues

  • Enough said.

Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts

The Commanders return home to FedEx on Sunday to host the Tennessee Titans.  The losing streak is likely to continue.

Titans 28 Commanders 13

KJ Record: 2-2

Kermit the Frog from Disney’s “The Muppets” once said that it is not easy being green.  These days, he might say that it is not easy being Burgundy and Gold.  The Commanders need to put the hype of fancy uniforms, various gimmicks, and slick marketing on the back burner and should focus on what is truly important – football.  There are times when change doesn’t necessarily equate to improvement.

At 1-3, the season is definitely not over by any measure, but Washington needs to treat this as an urgent matter.  Just as winning produces more winning, losing can also produce more losses.  One victory is not enough.  Consistency and perseverance are needed from the coaches and every player.

Unless a sudden turnaround happens, the Commanders will need two new cornerbacks and a free safety in 2023.  Can Darrick Forrest and/or Percy Butler be that free safety of the future?

Will we be talking about another loss next week or a victory?  See you as we go along.

Next. Commanders activate Brian Robinson off NFI list. dark