3 intriguing Commanders storylines to watch in Week 13 vs. the Dolphins

Ron Rivera and Sam Howell
Ron Rivera and Sam Howell / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Ron Rivera controlling Commanders defense

After conceding 45 points on Thanksgiving afternoon at the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Ron Rivera finally bit the bullet and fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Most fans had been calling for change long before it eventually arrived, but whether the staffing alteration results in improved performance levels is another matter.

Rivera is taking over defensive play-calling - a task he's accomplished effectively in the past. Going up versus one of the league's most dynamic offenses right out of the gate isn't ideal, but something had to be done in the hope of salvaging positives from the 2023 campaign.

The former linebacker is looking for improved focus and higher energy from his players. Make no mistake, they should all be pulling for this move to go well with almost everyone across the franchise facing an uncertain future as Josh Harris' ownership group gets set to hit the reset button.

Thwarting the Miami Dolphins offense entirely is an impossible challenge. How to limit them will be the preferred strategy, which centers on double-teaming All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill and swarming the running back tandem of Raheem Mostert and stud rookie De'Von Achane.

This was Rivera's last card to play with his job prospects beyond 2023 hanging in the balance. But in all honesty, he couldn't have picked a worse game to take the defensive reins.