Stud: Terry McLaurin
McLaurin typically makes a catch every week that makes your jaw drop. While Sunday left a little to be desired in that regard, he made a sneakily impressive grab in the first quarter on a tipped pass over the middle. The ball was tipped no more than five yards in front of Terry and he had no trouble adjusting.
Dud: Cornelius Lucas
Sam Cosmi was wildly inconsistent in pass pro before his injury, but the Commanders sorely missed Cosmi’s presence at right tackle Sunday. While Cornelius Lucas is an elite swing tackle, there’s a reason he’s only started 35 games in nine seasons before Week 9: his skillset isn’t conducive to three-down football.
Not only has Lucas been beat for sack in consecutive weeks, but both reps were laughable. Just poor footwork allowed Danielle Hunter to bend around him with a simple stutter step. You won’t see an easier sack for an edge rusher.
Later in the first half, Za’Darius Smith navigated around Lucas like he was a practice sled. Fast forward to the fourth quarter, and Lucas was beat for a sack on a crucial third down with the score tied 17-17. Need Cosmi back ASAP.
Stud: Kam Curl
Like McLaurin, Allen and Payne, you can pencil in Curl as a stud almost every week. Remember against the Eagles in Week 3 when Curl turned in a forgettable performance? The third-year safety’s been outstanding in the six games since and entered Week 9 as Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded safety.
With how much the NFL emphasizes player safety, thumping hits have become a rarity in the league. Curl is an exception to that regression, as he’s delivered hit sticks in consecutive weeks after his pile-driving tackle on Vikings running back Alexander Mattison.
It’s a matter of when, not if, Curl makes a Pro Bowl, though he did get beat on the Dalvin Cook touchdown that allowed Minny to tie the game at 17. That will take away from what was an otherwise solid game from Curl.