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Washington’s lack of offensive production finally caught up with them against a solid opponent

Consistently questionable coaching decisions and a lack of offensive execution finally caught up with the Commanders in a game that was in their grasp.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders defense needs help. They have needed help since week two against the Detroit Lions. After a terrible opening drive for the defense against the Minnesota Vikings yielded a seven-point deficit for the Commanders offense, Washington ultimately shut out the Vikings for the next two and a half quarters, holding a 17-7 lead with ten minutes left to go in the game. One would have thought that the Commanders would have come out with their fourth-straight win if you held the Vikings to 20 points in a game. However, due to various factors, Washington could not overcome the Vikings late-game surge.

John Ridgeway made a critical mistake at the end of the game, ultimately killing the last chance that Washington could have had to tie or take the lead over the Vikings. He is not the sole reason that the Commanders lost, though.

The Commanders went 3-10 on third downs Sunday and started the game punting the football on four of its five first-half possessions, scoring a field goal on its last possession. On designed handoffs to their running backs, the Commanders rush offense went for 24 carries for 80 yards (3.3 yards per carry). With the outlier of one third-quarter 10-play 78-yard touchdown drive, the offense could not establish any rhythm throughout the game. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw a backbreaking interception immediately following a Vikings scoring drive, which put Minnesota in position to tie the game at 17 with excellent field position.

Ron Rivera made costly decisions as well in the fourth quarter.

Washington used two of its timeouts heading into the Vikings last 15-play drive, resulting in a go-ahead field goal.

For Washington, it was a total collapse from several plays and decisions throughout the game. Coaching decisions and a lack of offensive execution have always existed during the three-game win streak; however, this time, it ultimately cost Washington a chance to win the game against a better team.