5 winners and losers from the Commanders win at Patriots in Week 9

It was a much-needed road win for the Commanders...
Emmanuel Forbes
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Winner No. 4

Ron Rivera - Commanders HC

It was a tough week for Ron Rivera heading into their game at the New England Patriots. Another loss, trading two starting defensive ends, and questions about his power waning dictated as much, but the head coach responded by resolutely leading his team to their fourth victory of the campaign.

Rivera's growing influence on the defensive side of things was notable in this one. The Commanders ran a lot more Cover 1 than ever, relying on their gifted secondary to pick up the slack in the absence of two pass-rushers with a combined 11.5 sacks between them this season.

The former linebacker also handled in-game situations a lot better, particularly in clock management and challenging a big catch that went the Washington Commanders' way upon further review. Rivera's long-term aspirations remain in jeopardy, but credit, where it's due, for having his team prepared in the right way versus one of the greatest head coaches of all time.

Looking at the jubilant scenes after the win, the players are still fighting with everything they have for Rivera. That's always half the battle when a team is struggling, but there are plenty of challenging hurdles left to overcome before his future is determined one way or another.

Until then, all Rivera can do is take things from week to week and let the chips fall where they may.