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Commanders Vs. Colts - Studs and Duds

NFL: Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

For as UGLY an offensive performance as this game was, three wins in a row sure feels GREAT! Now listen - I get it; we weren’t exactly playing any stellar offenses in the last three contests, but this is the NFL and like the old saying goes - “any given Sunday”.

Now, if you are a fan of the modern NFL with lots of points and downfield balls (there were just three by Washington), this game may not have been for you... however, if you appreciate good defense and big stops in key situations, then this game was right up your alley.

Washington, without leading tackler Cole Holcomb, played a bend-but-don’t-break style defense, allowing the Colts to move the ball, but recorded some keys stops inside the red zone. The front seven, led by superb efforts from Jon Allen and Jamin Davis, held a hobbling Jonathan Taylor to 76 total yards. The secondary, which wasn’t as sharp as they were against Green Bay, didn’t allow a Colts’ receiver to eclipse the 100 yard mark through the air.

The next two games pose a much more difficult challenge as the Vikings travel to FedEx next Sunday, followed by a trip to Philly to take on the undefeated Eagles. If we are hoping to split these games, we are going to need much more offense to even attempt to compete.

It will be a great week to enjoy another win, and hopefully get some injured guys back (Young, Holcomb and Dotson), before Minnesota arrives in town.

Below you will find my Studs and Duds of the game, followed by some Notes and a new SPECIAL section - Player(s) of the game.


Terry McLaurin - My goodness! What more can I say about this man! He’s EVERYTHING you want in a person, player and team captain. He (and Jamin Davis) won us this football game. Man, do I LOVE me some TERRY! Words really can’t describe his contribution, so I’ll just let the play below do the talking.

Jon Allen - Allen tied for the team lead with eight tackles (six solo), two for a loss and three pressures. He was also involved in this play that resulted in a fumble that Payne recovered.

Jamin Davis - Davis has been playing a LOT better lately, and today was one of his best when it came to big plays. He wasn’t perfect, as he did get beat by Hines down the left sideline for a 22 yard reception, however he stepped up big at the half yard line, firing through and tackling Taylor for a big loss - which forced a Colts field goal.

Daron Payne - Payne does not flash quite like Jon Allen, but make no mistake, he’s a key cog in that interior front four. He had five tackles, a sack, three pressures and a fumble recovery.

Taylor Heinicke - Please don’t give me any flack about this one. I get it - Taylor wasn’t great, but I tweeted when we got the ball back with a bit over two minutes to play that if Heinicke led us to a come-from-behind touchdown and win, I promised I’d give him STUD I’m keeping that promise. We can debate his play at another time. I’m just going to enjoy the win!


Cornelius Lucas - Although not as bad as Cosmi was early in the season, Lucas was beaten a few times off the edge and did not look well run blocking - my guess is PFF will agree.

Efe Obada - Despite playing a significant number of snaps, Obada failed to record any stats. What made me take notice is how many times he failed to set the edge in the run game.

Scott Turner - Against a team with limited offensive firepower and a quarterback who never threw a pass in an NFL game prior to today, Turner decided to call a VERY conservative game, and almost gave this one to the opponent because of it. We threw three passes over 20 yards and the staff seemed content to check it down and hit the RBs in the flat. I get being conservative and all, but this took conservative to another level!

Turner’s failure to use his athletic tight ends is driving Commanders fans nuts! Now maybe the quarterback is just not seeing these 6’6”+ monsters running open down the field, but whatever the case, you’d at least THINK Scott would try and get the ball in their hands yesterday - especially with Leonard playing on a pitch-count.

Players of the Game:

Offense: Terry McLaurin (surprise, surprise)

Defense: Jamin Davis


- Darrick Forrest had a huge hit that caused a fumble on Taylor. This was exactly how you teach it!

- Bobby McCain played one of his best games of the season. He wasn’t without some gaffes, but overall, he tackled well and was good in coverage.

- Gibson was the ultimate security blanket for Taylor Heinicke. The versatile back only managed 19 yards on seven carries, however he caught seven passes in the flat (taking one in for a short touchdown) for 58 yards.

- Benjamin St-Juste was not a Dud, but he wasn’t his reliable self in coverage against the Colts. He got burnt deep by rookie WR Alec Pierce for 47 yards and gave up a few others.

- Kendall Fuller had been playing much better the last few weeks, but he came back down to earth yesterday against the Colts. His coverage was loose, and his tackling was suspect. Not dud worthy, however it did raise some eyebrows as better offensive teams are on the schedule.

- I saw a few really good plays from John Ridgeway throughout the game. He looks to be a solid waiver claim for this staff.