Commanders encountered new problems
Apart from the fumbles, the Washington Commanders lost because things that had been secure failed at key moments.
The pass protection has improved since Tyler Larsen and Chris Paul took over at center and guard several weeks ago. This was not because those two players are better than Nick Gates and Saahdiq Charles, but because the line simply seemed more cohesive.
Dexter Lawrence had his way in one-on-one matchups against both Larsen and Paul, which is nothing new. But the interior of the line seemed entirely incapable of handling the games the New York Giants ran up front.
Kayvon Thibodeaux had a monster game. Half the time, it was because he would run stunts and the Commanders were not organized enough to locate and block him.
The other half was because Washington’s left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who has been the Commanders' steadiest lineman for the past three years, seemed completely overmatched by Thibodeaux’s speed rush.
Finally, Sam Howell, who has come a long way this season, had his sloppiest game of the year.
He made several excellent throws, and his touchdown run would be legendary if it came in a big Commanders win. But his three interceptions were killers.
The first two came on deep shots. Howell overthrew the first one and was hit on the second, causing an underthrow. The third came at the very end, during desperation time.
Howell did something he has rarely done this season. He panicked and made both a bad decision and a bad throw which ended the game with a pick-six.