The Washington Commanders have been playing must-win games for what seems like half the season, but today’s was the first that could actually eliminate them from the playoffs with a loss. Ron Rivera made the switch to Carson Wentz in the 4th quarter last week in a loss to the 49ers. He led the team on a TD drive in that, but had a very bad start in his first start since Week 6. Wentz threw two interceptions in the 1st quarter, but was able to lead the team on a 21-play drive to give the Commanders the lead at halftime.
The second half was another nothingburger for Washington’s offense. They only scored once, a 43-yard Joey Slye field goal. Wentz was inaccurate, and struggled to get anything going in the air. A third interception, this one in the end zone to a double-covered Jahan Dotson, put the game out of reach for Washington.
This double digit loss to a team already eliminated from the playoffs, at home, is another embarrassing loss in a stretch that has seen the Commanders go 0-3-1 over the last 5 weeks. If the Packers defeat the Vikings tonight, Washington will be officially eliminated from the playoffs, and we may finally see Sam Howell get a start next week against a Cowboys team that will be playing for the NFC East division after the Eagles loss today.
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Jonathan Allen ruled out with knee injury:
Jon Allen has been downgraded to out https://t.co/8WCPWCxstN— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) January 1, 2023
3 and out:
Commanders started the second half by going three and out. Hated the call to run the ball on 2nd-and-12 after a loss of two. Set up a 3rd and 11.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) January 1, 2023
Tress Way's first punt of the day soon followed.
Amari Cooper TD:
#Commanders lose the lead after a 46-yard TD to Amari Cooper. Was a simple route, Kendall Fuller missed the tackle and David Mayo couldn't catch up to Cooper, who sprinted down the sideline into the end zone pic.twitter.com/cAqKRBsnTP— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Terry McLaurin's second touch today comes on an 11-yard sweep 5+ minutes into the third quarter.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) January 1, 2023
Brian Robinson big play:
Great job by Brian Robinson working off script to find the space and pick up a 1st down pic.twitter.com/9jRj7qcikH— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Carson Wentz sacked:
3rd & 8, Browns bring pressure. Garrett lines up over the middle and attacks C Wes Schweitzer. All things considered, Schweitzer does a relatively good job on Garrett, but the other rushers following Garrett inside don't get picked up and bring down Wentz for the sack pic.twitter.com/ngeJmaF3ki— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Another big pass to Amari Cooper:
Sail concept for the Browns on 3rd and long. Washington brings pressure but Browns pick it up well. Cooper ends up working against Forrest and breaks open for a big conversion pic.twitter.com/gFRkxDE17w— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Big play to Njoku:
Watson to Njoku for 21.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) January 1, 2023
It was 2nd and 19.
Danny Johnson INT:
Danny Johnson with a nice play again here. Got his hands in at the catch point to break up the pass pic.twitter.com/ImRskj6hd3— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Gonna be interesting to see the All-22 of this play because nobody runs with Peoples-Jones and there's no defender in the middle of the field ready to make the stop. Browns pick up an easy TD to extend their lead to 10 pic.twitter.com/mQsVDlK8Tp— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Touchdown Cleveland. On third down, Watson finds Donovan Peoples-Jones. Washington now down two scores with 36 seconds left in the third quarter— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) January 1, 2023
Wentz to McLaurin:
Wentz finds McLaurin for a chunk gain. Washington on the move— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) January 1, 2023
17-10. Slye with 43-yarder, but the Commanders really needed a TD there.— Rick Snider's Washington (@Snide_Remarks) January 1, 2023
Daron Payne with a great rush to win quickly and close on Watson. Watson does a great job avoiding the sack but Casey Toohill chases him down and trips him up to save the play pic.twitter.com/jcqEQnTaRL— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
3rd down penalty:
3rd and 8 and desperate for a stop and get flagged for 12 men on the field. That's on coaching.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) January 1, 2023
Amari Cooper TD:
Is this the touchdown that knocked Washington out of the playoffs?— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) January 1, 2023
Cooper crosses the field and the Commanders fail to pick him up. Darrick Forrest ends up trying to drive down on his route, but misses the tackle and Cooper gets his second TD of the game pic.twitter.com/aRBfkAI99Y— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Cam Sims sighting:
Great catch in a key spot on 4th down by Cam Sims pic.twitter.com/isziWw7hRK— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Carson Wentz INT #3:
From this angle, this looks like a terrible decision by Wentz to throw to Dotson. 3rd INT of the game pic.twitter.com/3nMnRaYLPF— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 1, 2023
Wentz threw his third interception. Toss to a double-covered Jahan Dotson in the end zone.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) January 1, 2023
Play under review.
Ugly last drive for Wentz:
Washington's final drive (probably) has been an embarrassment. An overthrow, a drop, two false start penalties, a turnover on downs.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) January 1, 2023
Carson Wentz booed off the field:
Fans line the tunnel to boo Carson Wentz as he walks off. Tough end to his DC tenure.— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) January 1, 2023