The Washington Commanders’ winning streak came to a screeching halt in Landover, Maryland as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Up 17-7 early in the fourth quarter, the Commanders were on the precipice of a four-game winning streak, and moving above .500 for the first time in Ron Rivera’s tenure.
It was not to be, however, as in excruciating fashion Washington made blunder after blunder en route to watching their double-digit lead vanish. Donning their sweet new black uniforms for the second time of the year, and the first time at home, Washington produced their most frustrating loss of the season.
The season isn’t lost by any means yet but it made the circumstances for the Burgundy & Gold (& black) much tougher. With Jahan Dotson and Chase Young expected back any week now, going into Philly 5-4 could have been huge. Most of all, though, it revealed a few things about the Commanders that are undeniable at this point, as the NFL season has officially passed the midway point.
3 telling revelations from Commanders crushing loss to Minnesota
1. The offense is bad
We can say this one now with no qualifiers, the offense is bad. For as stingy, disciplined, talented, and awesome the defense has been the offense has been equally poor. From the play-calling to the quarterback play to the offensive line play, the Commanders’ offense is leaving the defense out to dry.
Why on fourth & inches is the play call to roll Taylor Heinicke out to pass when he has struggled all day? Inches, legitimately inches are needed. Line Heinicke under center, put Brian Robinson behind him, and push Heinicke across the line. It can’t be this hard.
That doesn’t even mention the 3rd & 9 draw early in the game. After being unsuccessful, the Commanders would punt. That was a play being set up to make the fourth down more manageable but again the whole process is just flawed there.
That doesn’t make Taylor Heinicke infallible either though. He was inaccurate all day long, was frankly lucky on his touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel, and his interception came at the worst time. He certainly gives the team a bolt of confidence because of his charisma, leadership, and inspiring story but sometimes his lack of physical traits are too hard to overcome.
It also doesn’t help Heinicke, a quarterback that is smaller in stature, that has an offensive line that had the Minnesota front in the backfield all day long. The Vikings front totaled 3 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and 7 QB hits on the day. They completely lived in the backfield. Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner remain huge swings and miss from the Commanders 2022 free agency cycle.
So to recap, the offensive play-calling puts the Commanders at a disadvantage, the quarterback is severely physically limited, and the offensive line is well below average. That is not a winning recipe. In fact, that is a recipe for an offense that ranks bottom in the league. With no “well, but” statements needed, the Commanders offense is bad — really bad in fact — and its only saving grace is its strong supporting cast at the skill positions.