The Washington Commanders were determined to leave Chicago with a victory and a valiant effort from the defense made it possible. Their faint playoff hopes are barely alive, but improvements are still needed.
On a chilly night in the Windy City, the Commanders marched into Soldier Field and came away with the win in a fierce defensive battle. After four straight losses, the Burgundy and Gold were able to return to the winning column on Thursday night. It wasn’t a beautiful sight to behold, but fans will gladly take an ugly win over a pretty loss.
On a day when a damning report painted owner Dan Snyder in the worst way imaginable, Washington was able to put the negative vibes aside and focus on the game. The offense had plenty of struggles once again, but did just enough to prevail. The defense had the “bend, but don’t break” mojo throughout the entire game and it was clearly the key to winning. Their reward is ten days off until the next game and it is well-deserved.
Welcome to our weekly look at the latest game. We are very happy to have five positives to talk about from Thursday night’s contest. The grades will certainly reflect what transpired against the Bears and we’ll award four game balls to deserving players. Also, there is a prediction for the next game. It’s victory weekend, so let’s jump right in!
5 positives for the Commanders vs the Bears
1. The defense is our first positive and this unit stepped up when needed. The Bears were able to mount scoring drives that took them inside of Washington’s five yard line three times and came up empty – including an impressive stop to close out the game. That is the difference between winning and losing. The line, linebackers, and secondary had a solid night.
2. Brian Robinson is our second positive. Seventeen rushes for sixty yards may not look impressive, but think about where he was just a few weeks ago. The former Crimson Tide standout also had the game-winning touchdown on Thursday night. Commanders fans have a new hero and he brought a lot of smiles to their faces against the Bears.
3. Tress Way was doing Tress Way things against the Bears. Yes, he was forced to punt quite a bit in the game, but his booming punts helped to change the poor field position Washington had in much of the first half. He is our third positive from the Thursday night battle.
4. Carson Wentz is our fourth positive and while that may seem rather surprising, we can’t deny his dedication to the team. Is he unfairly ridiculed? Absolutely. Can he improve? Yes. He provided a monstrous block in the second half and it blasted Bears superstar linebacker Roquan Smith all the way to Lake Michigan. That block allowed Brian Robinson to bulldoze his way to just outside the one yard line and he scored on the next play.
5. The fifth positive is head coach Ron Rivera. He has been harshly criticized in recent weeks, but most of it is certainly deserved. He receives this recognition from us with his passionate support of Wentz immediately after the game. Wentz is Rivera’s quarterback and this kind of support could pay huge dividends. Warning – rough language.
Grades for Commanders vs. Jacksonville
- Quarterbacks – Grade: C+
- Running Backs – Grade: B+
- Tight Ends – Grade: C+
- Wide Receivers – Grade: C
- Offensive Line – Grade: B-
- Defensive Line – Grade: A
- Linebackers – Grade: B
- Cornerbacks – Grade: B-
- Safeties – Grade: B
- Special Teams – Grade: B-
- Coaches – Grade: B-
Awarding four game balls to deserving Commanders
- Brian Robinson is awarded our first game ball. Six weeks ago, we didn’t know if he would ever play football again. This was an easy choice to make.
- Montez Sweat has been a beast on the field the last two weeks and he is awarded the second game ball. He had a sack and harassed Bears quarterback Justin Fields for most of the game. Sweat also had a pass deflection and a pair of tackles for lost yardage.
- Cole Holcomb is the third player to receive one of our game balls. With twelve tackles (seven solo) on the night, the former Tar Heel star provided solid defense in the red zone and helped to limit Chicago’s passing and rushing attacks.
- Safety Darrick Forrest and Benjamin St-Juste share our fourth game ball. On Chicago’s final drive, Forrest deflected a pass end the end zone on what could’ve been the game winner. With about thirty seconds to go, BSJ prevented another potential game winner with a spectacular tackle very close to the end zone.
- Honorable Mention – Tress Way, Daron Payne, Antonio Gibson, Carson Wentz, Jon Allen, Kamren Curl and Efe Obada.
Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts
The Commanders return to FedEx Field on the 23rd to take on the Green Bay Packers. Having some extra days off will help Washington, but the Packers are potential Super Bowl contenders.
Packers 34 Commanders 24
Can Washington win two in a row? It will be a tall task against one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
We’ll return following the Packers game. Enjoy the brief break – it gives us more time to savor the Thursday night triumph. See you as we go along.