5 negatives for the Commanders in season-changing loss vs NY Giants

Dec 18, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) takes Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) short of the endzon during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) takes Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) short of the endzon during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Commanders suffered their most difficult loss of the year on Sunday night to the New York Giants, and it likely cost the team a chance at making the playoffs this season.

This one hurt.  It hurts a lot.  You were taken to the brink of the playoff dreams as fans and the team tossed you aside in an instant – much like a lion pride that casts aside a severely wounded member.  However, it’s your fandom that is severely wounded and the recovery process could take an entire offseason.  There is a glimmer of hope that a playoff run could still materialize for the Commanders, but the chances are very slim indeed.

On Sunday night, the Washington Commanders had one of their greatest opportunities to take control of a playoff run that could’ve paid huge dividends in January.  Instead, the team and fans are looking at another offseason of “what ifs”, “maybes”, and “would’ve, could’ve, and should’ve” once again.  It’s frustrating on every level.  The fans have every right to be angry and point fingers in multiple directions.  Don’t blame the referees, the NFL, or even the Giants fans that were present at FedEx Field on Sunday night.  The Burgundy and Gold failed to get the job done and the loss should be rightfully blamed on the players and coaches.

Welcome to our latest look at the previous game and, for the first time in many weeks, we have nothing but negatives to talk about and analyze.  We will grade the coaches and players – it will be harsh, but fair.  Too, we will focus on some issues that need attention and we’ll have a prediction for Saturday’s game against the 49ers.  Here we go, ugh!

5 negatives for the Commanders

1. The first negative from Sunday’s game is the play calling on offense.  There were too many jet sweeps that were called for Curtis Samuel at critical moments of the game and it was costly for the Commanders.  Each one failed.  Offensive coordinator Scott Turner made too many mistakes throughout the game.

2. The second negative for the Commanders centers on the defensive line.  They picked the worst time to have their poorest game of the season.  This unit had zero sacks and was gouged for major yardage in the rushing game when it counted the most.

3. How about the coaching?  Yes, that is our third negative of the week.  The organization had an entire bye week to wash away the taste of a bitter tie in the previous game, but the team was simply not prepared on Sunday night.  Too many mistakes.  Too many mental errors.  No sense of urgency.  Poor play calling.  It all adds up and coaching is the main culprit.

4. The offensive line was, well, offensive – as in, very offensive.  The quarterback was harassed all night long.  There were blown assignments and it allowed several Giants defenders to set up a tent in the Commanders backfield.  Untimely penalties killed several drives.

5.  Whining and complaining is our fifth negative of the week.  Look, the referees had some very questionable calls on Sunday night, but it can never, ever be an excuse for losing one of the most important games in years.  The coaches and players need to look in the mirror and point their fingers at that moment.  This is football – whining and crying is for preschoolers.

Additional Negatives:  Curtis Samuel, the tight ends, Taylor Heinicke, Charles Leno, defensive secondary, Cornelius Lucas, Dax Milne, Joey Slye, and red zone offense.

Grades for Commanders vs. New York

  • Quarterbacks – Grade: D+
  • Running Backs – Grade: B
  • Tight Ends – Grade: D-
  • Wide Receivers – Grade: C
  • Offensive Line – Grade: D-
  • Defensive Line – Grade: D-
  • Linebackers – Grade: D
  • Cornerbacks – Grade: D-
  • Safeties – Grade: C-
  • Special Teams – Grade: B
  • Coaches – Grade: F

Commanders Should Address These Issues

  • The Commanders should seriously consider playing Carson Wentz in the coming games.  It’s time to see what he can do with an improved rushing offense.
  • Punting on the Giants’ 34-yard line on the first series was a huge mistake.  Joey Slye has proven that he can hit well beyond the 50-yard mark.  Make the calls to score points and win the game.
  • The Commanders need to see what they have in Chase Young in these closing weeks.  If he can’t play, put him on injured reserve.  If he can play, it is time to activate the former Ohio State star and see what they have for 2023.
  • It’s time to shut down the jet sweeps.  It is a play that you run four or five times during a season, not four or five times during a game.

Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts

The Commanders travel to San Francisco on Saturday to face the 49ers in a must-win game.  The task will be a very difficult one indeed.

49ers 27 Commanders 10

KJ Record: 6-8

  • Being a fan is challenging at times and criticizing the referees is a tradition – it’s part of the game experience.  Making it a hobby each week is not being a fan.  Sunday night was a time to criticize the referees.  It’s understandable.
  • Brian Robinson, Darrick Forrest, and Jahan Dotson are three additional players that you can build a team around.

Have a great Christmas.  See you as we go along.

dark. Next. Takeaways from heartbreaking loss to the Giants