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Commanders Vs. Lions - Studs and Duds

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Like many Washington games, this one was truly a tale of two halves.

The offense came out sputtering in the first half, and didn’t register a first down until midway through the second quarter. The defense couldn’t stop Goff and the Lions passing attack, and the front seven allowed chunk plays on the ground.

A valiant comeback effort in the second half fell short as poor coaching decisions and a missed extra point doomed the Commanders on the road.

Below are my Studs and Duds, followed by some notes.


Jahan Dotson - This rookie just has that “it” factor about him. The acrobatic catches and body control he displays are reminiscent of Stefon Diggs. He caught four passes for 59 yards and a pretty touchdown where he shook the defender at the line.

Curtis Samuel - Curtis is VERY fun to watch with the ball in his hands! He’s absolutely electric in the open field. I give him a lot of credit on that touchdown he caught on a beautifully thrown ball from Wentz because he took a big shot from the defensive back and that ball never moved. He also had a 21 yard run on a reverse in the fourth quarter.


Ron Rivera - Coach Rivera sits at the top of this list for a reason. His team came out INCREDIBLY flat on the road and was trounced in the first half by a less talented Lions team. Sure, they turned it around at halftime and made it a game in the second half, but that was too little, too late! And that bone-headed decision to go for two instead of kicking the extra point to make it a seven point game... TERRIBLE!

The Offensive Line - This was a VERY bad day for the offensive line collectively. To put it frankly - THEY ALL STUNK! They stunk in run blocking. They stunk in pass protection (allowed 5 sacks). They did play better in the second half, but they still allowed pressure on Wentz and couldn’t open up many running lanes. They came in flat and got embarrassed on the road.

Cole Holcomb - I know it’s still very early, but it seems like Cole Holcomb is in WAY over his head playing the MIKE...and this is coming from someone who was one of his biggest fans.

The tackles can be VERY deceiving, as they are often happening six-plus yards down the field and in the passing game he RARELY does anything to prevent completions in his zone. If I had to see him dive at ankles one more time during this game, I was going to turn my TV off.

William Jackson - Jackson was responsible for a touchdown and multiple receptions on the day - none worse that the wobbler Goff threw to St. Brown in the back of the endzone where Jackson just lost his footing and stumbled as St. Brown stood flat-footed, reached his hands up above his head, and hauled in the ugly pass. It was a bad day for the veteran corner.

Kendall Fuller - Much like he started last year, Fuller has struggled during these first two games. Much like Jackson did yesterday, Fuller was allowing catches and touchdowns all over the field. He did make a few nice plays in coverage, but so far the bad has outweighed the good. The team NEEDS better from the veteran.

Bobby McCain - Poor angles and tackling were his Achilles heel Sunday.

Joey Slye - I guess we are YET AGAIN going to go through this kicking BS! Missing extra points on a perfect snap and hold is just inexcusable!

Jack Del Rio - I may have seen enough! His unit is yet again underperforming. I’m about ready to see Chris Harris take over...


  • The defensive line was pretty much non-existent against the Lions. Payne played pretty well, but that was about it. I’m not about to jump on Jon Allen as he was playing hurt. The unit as a whole underperformed.
  • In my opinion, Jamin Davis played much better against the Lions. He got his first sack of the season on a well-timed blitz up the A-gap, and held his own in both coverage and against the run. He looked MUCH better than Holcomb.
  • St-Juste flashed at times Sunday, and overall, I thought he played well. He did have a few coverage mistakes, but he nearly had a pick on a ball he broke on beautifully, and he showed his willingness to come up and hit guys.
  • Darrick Forrest came back down to earth against the Lions. He didn’t play poorly, as there were some good things he did, but he took a poor angle on Swift’s long run and missed some run fits when he was up in the box.
  • Wentz was under heavy pressure all first half, and really didn’t stand a chance. Still, I have this feeling with him at quarterback that I haven’t felt for a long time - and that is we are never out of a game with him under center. Despite the pressure getting home, he was able to put together one heck of a second half and nearly led us to an improbable comeback.
  • Logan Thomas is slowly rounding back into form. You can tell he doesn’t quite have the explosiveness in his routes, but he seems to be gaining more confidence in the surgically repaired knee.
  • McKissic played well in the second half when the Lions went into a Cover 2 shell - getting open underneath and helping Carson find him on some quick check-downs.
  • Terry was kept VERY quiet in the first half by his former Ohio St. teammate, but came on a bit in the second half to help the team make it a closer game. I’d still like to see some more deep shots to him one-on-one.
  • I’m not going to make Dax Milne a dud, but his kickoff return ability is severely lacking. I would like to Gibson back there when Brian Robinson returns.