5 negatives for Commanders in season-ending loss vs Browns

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 01: Amari Cooper #2 of the Cleveland Browns runs for touchdown on a 46 yard catch against Kendall Fuller #29 of the Washington Commanders during the third quarter at FedExField on January 01, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 01: Amari Cooper #2 of the Cleveland Browns runs for touchdown on a 46 yard catch against Kendall Fuller #29 of the Washington Commanders during the third quarter at FedExField on January 01, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Happy New Year! It doesn’t seem so happy after the Browns thrashed the Washington Commanders on Sunday afternoon.

On a day when the Washington Commanders were celebrating a part of the team’s storied past and the excitement of introducing a new mascot, the players and coaches greatly underperformed against Cleveland. As a result, the Commanders were eliminated from the playoffs altogether after Green Bay destroyed Minnesota late Sunday afternoon. A miserable December and Sunday’s match against the Browns makes the season finale against Dallas a meaningless endeavor.

If you’re looking for the positives from Sunday’s contest against the Browns, this is not the place for you today.

Santa made sure that his delivery of switches and lumps of coal was in good supply into the new year. With the 24-10 loss to the Browns, the unofficial start to the 2023 offseason is clearly underway.

Welcome to this week’s negatives from the Browns game. We have five negatives, game grades, analysis, issues that need attention, and a prediction for the season’s final game against Dallas. Let’s plow right into the ugly details.

Five Negatives for the Commanders

  • The first negative from Sunday’s nightmare was the inefficiencies at quarterback. Since early December, Commanders quarterback are 0-3-1. The quarterbacks are mostly to blame for these losses and the Browns game was no exception.
  • The second negative is another easy one to make – the coaching staff. For the fourth straight game, Washington was out-coached and many mistakes such as being lined up off-sides, too many players on the field, and false starts plagued the Commanders. These are errors that must be corrected in the preseason.
  • The third negative centers on a team that decided to quit on Sunday. There is no other way to put it. It happened in the second half on the first series. You could see it on the players faces. There was no emotion. There was no sense of urgency. This was a team that wanted to leave the field and get on the bus back to Ashburn
  • The fourth negative is the inability to finish plays. Not registering a sack when the opposing quarterback is in the grasp of defenders. Not concentrating on easy passes that were dropped. Allowing opposing defensive linemen easy access to the offensive backfield. Taking poor angles in the defensive secondary. It all adds up.
  • The fifth negative is simple – “majoring in minors and minoring in majors.” Players winning contests is fine, but winning games is so much more important. Winning games is much more important than all the hype of a new team character. Winning games is much more important than winning “Miss Congeniality” contests during the season. Accolades will take care of themselves when winning games consistently.
  • Additional Negatives: This list is way too long to publish.

Grades for Commanders vs. Cleveland

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

Commanders Should Address These Issues

  • Give the reins to quarterback Sam Howell for the final game of the season. Have him get a head start on the 2023 offseason.
  • Extend Daron Payne this week. It will allow some of the salary cap hit to be on the 2022 books and lower his cap numbers for 2023 and beyond.
  • Move David Bada back to the practice squad. He is undersized for a defensive tackle and is not a realistic option going forward.
  • The Commanders should not have any other “celebrations” during any season. It’s a distraction. The focus should be on playing football and winning.

Commanders Next Game Prediction, Final Thoughts

The Commanders will close out the 2022 season against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday at FedEx Field.

Cowboys 38 Commanders 16

KJ Record: 7-9

  • The seats at FedEx Field are very likely to be all but empty against the Cowboys. The coaches and players should not be calling out the fans this week.
  • Against the Giants before the bye, the Commanders had a 10-0 lead and a ticket to the playoffs. The crash and collapse were epic.
  • The front office needs to release Carson Wentz immediately after the Super Bowl. The experiment failed.
  • Last week, yours truly said that there was little hope of the Commanders making the playoffs, but thought it would come at the hands of Dallas in the last game of the season.

After the Cowboys game, we will have another article similar to this one to close out the season. We will also have a similar article that will take a look at the entire season. The offseason is nearly here and we will shift our focus to a new owner, the college all-star games, mock drafts, The Combine, free agency, team meetings with prospects, OTAs, the draft, rookie camp, mini-camp, training camp, and the preseason. Be sure to stick around. See you as we go along.

Next. 1972: Washington's 1st playoff win in 30 years. dark