The Washington Commanders suffered an agonizing and heartbreaking loss on Sunday to the Tennessee Titans. It likely ends any playoff hopes for this season.
It was painful. Oh so painful. It’s incredibly painful to see such a loss for any fan of this team. To lose in such a way, especially after how the three previous games unfolded, is just difficult to understand and digest. The Commanders wanted so desperately to win this game and the opportunity to seize the moment was all but guaranteed. Give the Titans credit – they prevented the Burgundy and Gold from snapping a back-breaking losing streak.
Three plays from the two-yard line will haunt the Commanders for the rest of this season and it is now a four-game losing streak. How does anyone grade this game or analyze all that happened on Sunday afternoon? We can talk about it all week, but the result will still be the same. With a short football week, we need to take a look at this game and move on quickly to the Thursday night game against Chicago.
Once again, it is time to take a look at our five negatives for this week. The analysis must be done. The grades will be fair. We’ll also provide you with a prediction for the Bears game. There is no need to put this off any longer.
5 negatives for the Commanders vs Titans
1. The offensive line is our first negative. Left guard Andrew Norwell was simply ineffective on Sunday. Center Nick Martin made far too many mistakes. To be fair, these are the two players that bring the group down as a whole this week.
2. The second negative from Sunday’s game is the defensive secondary – most notably, William Jackson (benched in the first half due to poor play), Kendall Fuller, and Bobby McCain. There is no way to medically clone Kamren Curl for the four other secondary positions, but it sure would be nice. Right? RIGHT?
3. Coaching. The head coach was hired at the end of 2019 with the understanding that he would have full control of the football operations. Ron Rivera completely owns these failures and he can’t blame anyone else but himself. The time management troubles, unsuccessful red flag challenges, and red zone failures are squarely on him.
4. Penalties. The lack of discipline from players on both sides of the ball is simply unacceptable. These unforced mental errors are costing the team dearly. Missed tackles. Holding penalties. False starts. Roughing the passer. Taking off a helmet while on the playing field. Overthrowing wide-open receivers. Blown coverage schemes. We could go on and on, but of all of these mistakes need to be corrected.
5. Dax Milne is not an effective punt/kickoff returner. Several fans have suggested that his nickname should be “Stutter-Step Milne” and, quite frankly, it fits. On kickoff returns, he almost never reaches the 20-yard line. On punt returns, Milne is rarely a threat to take the football downfield more than five yards. It’s time to give other players a chance to be the primary returner.
Additional Negatives: Scott Turner. Red zone offense. The tight ends. Defensive secondary coaches. Tress Way. Red zone decisions. Offseason decisions. Team ownership.
Grades for Commanders vs. Tennessee
- Quarterbacks – Grade: A-
- Running Backs – Grade: D+
- Tight Ends – Grade: D
- Wide Receivers – Grade: A-
- Offensive Line – Grade: F
- Defensive Line – Grade: A-
- Linebackers – Grade: B+
- Cornerbacks – Grade: F
- Safeties – Grade: F
- Special Teams – Grade: C
- Coaches – Grade: F
Commanders Should Address These Issues
- We’ll explore this in detail shortly after the Bears game, but the fans and analysts certainly have many issues to talk about following another loss.
Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts
The Commanders travel to Chicago on Thursday to face the Bears in a primetime matchup. Will the losing streak stretch to five games?
Bears 23 Commanders 20
KJ Record: 3-2
Rebuilding can take time, but the results should be obvious within the third year. There is no more time for excuses. This rebuild is on the brink of failure.
It will take a few games for running back Brian Robinson to regain his football shape, but it was great to see him back on the football field.
It seems odd to say it after just five games, but the playoffs are out of reach for 2022. It is time to evaluate younger players on the roster and that includes the quarterback position in the coming weeks.
To be honest, one play at the end of the game would’ve changed everything. Five negatives would be five positives. The 2022 playoffs would still be on the table. You can’t argue that Carson Wentz is the problem – even with the game-ending interception. Going 25-38 for 359 yards with two touchdowns and a 102.9 rating is solid indeed.
Win or lose, we’ll return after the Bears game for analysis and grades. See you as we go along.