Commanders' failure to capitalize on turnovers
The Los Angeles Rams would have had the game well in hand early had they not shot themselves in the foot. On their first drive, for the second straight week, Sean McVay inexplicably abandoned the highly effective running plays that had shredded the defense once he got into the red zone. And for the second straight week, he had to settle for a field goal.
Then, Kyren Williams, who had his way with the Washington Commanders defense all game, served up two gift fumbles that kept hope alive for the visitors.
You know how good teams seize momentum after a turnover. Aaron Rodgers always did this. Patrick Mahomes does it. They know the defense is a little discombobulated after a sudden turnover. They go for the throat.
The Commanders don’t go for the throat. Maybe the pinkie toe. But not the throat.
After Williams’ first fumble, Antonio Gibson ran twice for two yards. Then Aaron Donald pushed a blocker into a running back to blow up the jailbreak screen. Before Washington’s defense was enjoying their first cup of Gatorade, they were trotting back onto the field.
The second post-turnover drive was even worse.
Maybe the Commanders had to be conservative after the first fumble because they were deep in their territory. But after the second one, they were close to midfield. The whole playbook was open.
They threw a short out to Gibson that went nowhere. Then Sam Howell was scrambling for his life on an incompletion. And then he was sacked. That’s right. After the big turnover, they went backward.
Oh, and then soon-to-be-former long snapper Camaron Cheeseman bounced his snap to Tress Way, giving the Rams the ball on Washington’s 15-yard line. It’s as if Williams’ fumble never happened.
To make things extra special, Way got hurt on the play. Which brings us to…