The Washington Commanders suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Detroit Lions, 27-36.
The team dug an early hole, as they struggled out the gate and found themselves down 22-0 after the first half. Detroit applied ample pressure, and dominated the line of scrimmage, forcing errant throws and big losses for the Commanders offense. In fact, Washington allowed three first-half sacks to second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson. They also gave up a safety late in the first quarter. It was a disastrous effort in the first half, and the Commanders seemed outmatched.
However, Washington made a valiant effort in the second half to make it close. But ultimately, they were undone by the myriad of mistakes that plagued them all game.
Truly, Detroit beat Washington in all three phases of the game, and it proved to be too much.
Take a look at my initial thoughts from the Commanders’ Week 2 loss against Detroit.
A Game of Two Halves
The game couldn’t have started worse for the Commanders. Washington’s first seven possessions resulted in a punt, punt, safety, and then four additional punts. The team did not cross their own 40-yard line, or get a first down, until two minutes remaining in the first half. It was an abysmal performance, and the Commanders went to the locker room stunned.
The second half posed a different story however, as they deferred the initial coin toss, and elected to receive in the second half.
In Washington’s first possession, quarterback Carson Wentz engineered an effective five-play, 64 yard drive that culminated with a Curtis Samuel touchdown. Throughout this series, Wentz opened up the playbook and succeeded on big chunk plays. The team moved into scoring position with a 40-yard strike to Jahan Dotson, who made an impressive contested catch. Three plays later, the Commanders scored. Washington was now down 7-22 with 12:58 remaining in the third quarter.
With the defense finally applying pressure, the Lions struggled to move the ball early in the third quarter. Washington capitalized off this, and added an additional touchdown pass from Wentz to Logan Thomas. The Commanders were now within seven, with a score of 15-22 with 18 minutes remaining in the game.
Defense Continues to Struggle
With momentum on their side, Washington simply needed a defensive stop to tie the game. Unfortunately, they folded. On the ensuing possession, the Detroit Lions signaled Amon-ra St. Brown in jet motion, and the athletic slot receiver scampered down the field for 58 yards. Three plays later, the Commanders surrendered a 22-yard touchdown pass to D’Andre Swift on third-and-15. A seven point lead was erased within one minute and thirty seconds.
Washington answered with a nine-play, four minute drive to start the fourth quarter. Antonio Gibson capped this drive with a one-yard touchdown run. But it wasn’t enough.
The defense surrendered another touchdown six plays later. Jared Goff threw his fourth touchdown of the game to St. Brown, and the game was now out of reach.
Altogether, Washington allowed 29 first downs and 425 yards on the day, including 191 yards rushing. Individually, St. Brown eclipsed 180 total yards on his own.
The team falls to 1-1, and will host the Philadelphia Eagles in week three at FedEx Field.
Quick Takes and Notes
- Washington’s offensive line was under siege all game, surrendering five sacks
- The Commanders defensive line didn’t fare much better, allowing eight yards per carry to rushers
- For the second straight game, Curtis Samuel was the highest targeted WR for the Commanders. He had seven catches this game.
- Carson Wentz now has consecutive games in which he has passed for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. In both games, he threw touchdowns to at least three different receivers
- Darrick Forrest led the Commanders defense with 10 tackles, with 8 being solo
- The Commanders had three sacks of their own, with Jamin Davis, Daron Payne, and James Smith-Williams getting on the stat sheet.