The Washington Commanders’ winning streak is over after they squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead against the Minnesota Vikings. The Commanders were in the driver’s seat and even scored 17 unanswered points before a fourth quarter interception from Taylor Heinicke turned the game upside down.
With the loss, the Commanders fall to 4-5 and out of the playoffs. It’s not the end of the world, but fans could taste victory in the fourth quarter. The Vikings were begging to lose the game, only for Washington to commit its own barrage of mistakes en route to an ugly collapse in front of a raucous FedEx Field crowd.
Despite a wobbly performance and getting bruised and battered by the Commanders’ defensive line, Kirk Cousins gets a win in his return to Washington.
This was a measuring stick game for the Commanders and they passed the test until the final 10 minutes. It was those closing minutes proved this team has a lot to prove before it can be considered a playoff contender, however.
Let’s get into Washington’s studs and duds from the game.
Commanders studs and duds from Week 9
Stud: Jon Allen/Daron Payne
In need of a stop after Washington’s offense went three and out following Jefferson’s touchdown, Allen and Payne delivered, as they typically do. After Allen snuffed out a screen pass to Dalvin Cook, Payne executed a picture-perfect swim move to sack Kirk Cousins. Payne never played with Cousins in Washington — he was drafted the same offseason Cousins left — but this sack had to feel good.
Payne now leads the Commanders with 5.5 sacks and both he and Allen got multiple free shots at Cousins. Just utter domination from No. 93 and No. 94.
Dud: Rachad Wildgoose
Wildgoose enjoyed a strong hot start filling in for the benched William Jackson, but he’s crashed back down to earth in recent weeks. On Sunday, his struggles extended to special teams, where he was flagged for holding on a punt return that moved the ball from the Vikings’ 45-yard line to the Commanders’ 35. Trailing 7-0 at the time, this was a needless (and costly) penalty from the second-year defender.