Wins and losses come in many shapes and forms. Some losses are really ugly - with turnovers galore and mental and physical mistakes all over the field. Some losses are heartbreaking, as the team did all it could to win, but the other team just did a hair more. The same goes for wins. Some wins are pretty (well, maybe not here, but certainly up in Buffalo), and some are not-so-pretty. This was one of the latter...but all that really matters is we GOT the win! Sure, the Packers are not a good football team, and lack offensive playmakers, but I was very proud how this defense really stepped up and limited Aaron and company both against the run and through the air.
Our offense was a mess in the first half, but rebounded nicely in the second half, behind the legs of Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson and even Curtis Samuel (who combined for 158 rushing yards). Add in some huge catches by Terry McLaurin, and a nice 37 yard dime from Heinicke, to add to the clutch performances.
This is probably not a playoff team at the moment, but anything can happen down the stretch if we can string together a few more wins...and winning, and doing so consistently, is all I really care about for this team.
Below are my Studs and Duds, followed by some notes.
Terry McLaurin - Terry made some amazing catches and runs-after-the-catch against the Packers secondary (check out his 37 yard TD below). None, however, were bigger than his antics late in the game when he took a short Heinicke pass and broke tackles (while staying in bounds) to move the chains. Then, came back to a ball that Heinicke threw just as he was getting hit to snare the pass in front of Alexander on the sidelines. He finished with five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Good pocket, nice throw.! Great concentration catch from Terry! pic.twitter.com/rfl2vWScMK— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) October 23, 2022
Commanders Run Game - A good run game can help any offense. On the day, the trio of Gibson, Robinson and Samuel accounted for 158 yards on 35 carries. None of the three reached the endzone on the ground, however they helped to move the chains and control the tempo of the football game. This was the best the Commanders run game has looked collectively all season. I understand this was a weak, injury-riddled Packers front, but I’m giving credit where credit is due.
Commanders Fans - For starting the “Sell the Team” chant during the game! Some even brought signs (which stadium security confiscated) and wore bags over their heads (which security made them remove for “health concerns”).
...I really don’t have one. I’d be pressing if I tried to just throw one in there for the sake of having one! I’ll let you guys give me yours in the comments section.
Dan Snyder - The laundry-list is too long to write!
- This was indeed a tale of two halves for Taylor Heinicke. I don’t know if he could have played much worse in the first half - with a pick-six, three other passes that should have been picked and a fumble-six that got called back by a ticky-tac penalty, and a QB rating of zero midway through the second quarter. However, I LOVED the way he and Scott Turner regrouped at halftime and turned things around (both play-calling and decision making) in the second half. Scott seemed to call plays Taylor felt comfortable executing, and I think that took a ton of pressure off him and allowed him to just go out and have fun (the running game helped too). One thing you can’t take away from Taylor is that he’s a gamer and he plays with passion - and that I RESPECT! BTW - the 37 yard touchdown to Terry was REALLY PRETTY! I don’t care about the mistakes as long as it lands us in the W column - which it did yesterday.
- Shout-out to the coaching staff for re-grouping the team at halftime and executing a much smarter game plan in the 2nd half. No one on the group has earned stud status, but Scott Turner did put Heinicke into much more comfortable plays over the course of the game - and for that alone, he deserves a mention. Had we continued calling the game the way we did in the first half, Ron and company may have been run out of DC! Props to the men on the sideline...even Del Rio!
- Much like the coaching staff, this offensive line has been so poor that calling ANYONE a stud would be just foolish. However, the chemistry is starting to build (really since Larsen has come back at center), and the unit is looking at least “serviceable” - albeit not quite against two powerhouses in the Bears and Packers - but it’s an improvement, and I’ll take it!
- Percy Butler’s fumble recovery to give us a short field and first score of the game (although it was just a field goal) was huge. Butler was known in college to be a great special teamer, and he’s living up to that reputation so far as a pro.
- St-Juste can be a bit “handsy” at times...but the kid is playing pretty well! He locks down receivers and uses his length to bat the ball away.
- Cole Holcomb is improving at MIKE. His reads look better, and his first step looks much quicker. Believe it or not, his coverage looks much more fluid as well.
- Jamin Davis has been flashing more and more as the season has progressed. He’s not quite “there” yet, but he’s getting damn close! He had five tackles (two for a loss) on the afternoon.
This is how a LB is supposed to play the run.— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) October 23, 2022
Jamin Davis pic.twitter.com/LSwAxcY1Bo