The Washington Commanders lost to the Seattle Seahawks 29-26. Washington tied the game, but left enough time on the clock for Seattle to drive it down and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Ron Rivera faces a lot of questions again about clock management. Sam Howell had another good game, but did allow the ball to get stripped as he was fighting for more yards. Emmanuel Forbes Jr. Washington ejected from the game, and he still doesn't understand why it happened.
Hear from Coach Rivera, QB Sam Howell and more after the loss https://t.co/ltmbwLjO25— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) November 13, 2023
(Rivera speaks at 5:20)
Offense scoring and the defense giving it right back:
Probably the biggest disappointment is we had to be better there. Got to take advantage of that opportunity. It was unfortunate. It was set up in a good situation and we didn’t get it done.
Seattle moving the ball on the defense:
I think a couple things that were inconsistent as far as opportunities to stop the run. You know, we’ve got to be better and put ourselves in better situations as far as second down situations, second and short, you know, second and six, seconds and four, that’s tough to defend there.
2-point conversion after their last TD:
Rivera says Washington didn’t go for 2 bc there was too much time left for Seattle to score pic.twitter.com/GgyYXmJNJk— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 13, 2023
Ron Rivera said he did not want to go for 2 because of how much time was left. Felt too much time for Seattle to be aggressive.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 13, 2023
You know, in talking and trying to get a feel for it, the biggest thing that you get concerned with is how much time was left. Because, again, they don’t have consequences, now the opportunity to move the call down comes into play, you know what I’m saying? They had two timeouts left. So, again it was one of those things I liked our chances going into overtime. I liked the way we moved the ball. We found a couple things we felt we could exploit, and we did. We did it twice the last couple drives. Felt good going into overtime.
The importance of the philosophy of going for two on the road in particular, was it the time thing specifically here or is that more of a philosophical shift?
Well, it’s in the numbers, okay? How much time was left. That’s the biggest thing.
Everything I thought he did, he gave us an opportunity to win. That’s the biggest thing you can ask from the quarterback, put you in position to win. He did that. Now, there were a couple things that you would like to have back obviously. Couple decisions that could have been better and those are things that I’m nitpicking but things he’s going to learn and he’ll get better with.
Only real big flop that you saw was the fumble and that was it. Young man played hard, played well. Again, as I said, just gave us the opportunity at the end.
I think it evolved a little bit that way, but we were having success attacking them through the air. As I said, later on in the game we found a couple things that we liked and we stuck to it, and put us right back in the game.
Running more later in the game:
Yeah, something that EB saw and brought up and put into action.
Emmanuel Forbes penalty/ejection:
Ron Rivera said he agreed with the helmet to helmet call on Forbes but “I struggle with the ejection.”— John Keim (@john_keim) November 13, 2023
Well, it was a helmet-to-helmet. I just don’t think it was a vicious one. The guy bounced up and went right back into the huddle, so just looked like was — really most certainly wasn’t an intentional one, because he was lowering his target and the receiver went down to protect himself at the same time; that created the helmet to helmet. I know the onus is on the defensive player to miss that, but sometimes it’s an incidental one. I get that helmet-to-helmet call, but I struggle with the ejection.
Seattle's two-minute offense:
We stopped them on the two minute just before the half. We stopped them. So sometimes you stop them; sometimes you don’t, okay?
Camaron Cheeseman's high snaps:
Ron Rivera stood by his long-snapper after a day that saw three high snaps. I was surprised by his answer.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 13, 2023
"I'm not concerned. We got it straightened out at the end, when it counted..."
I’m not concerned. We got it straightened out in the end when it mattered, when it counted. They all matter, they all count. Again, Tress got it down and unfortunately we didn’t get the first one.
We had the 12 man (penalty). That was mistake. There was a little confusion trying to get set with the referees, get the call straight, and then a guy didn’t hear the personnel call and he stayed on unfortunately and got us with it.
Defensive line's performance without Montez Sweat:
Well, there were some good things and some things we’re going to absolutely work on and try and get corrected. Some things they did that were pretty good. Unfortunately just wasn’t good enough.
Hear from Coach Rivera, QB Sam Howell and more after the loss https://t.co/ltmbwLjO25— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) November 13, 2023
(Howell speaks at 44:55)
Yeah, it’s tough. Obviously we did some good things there at the end, but I thought for the most part our defense played a good game and we had plenty of opportunities for us to take control of that football game; didn’t make the plays that were needed.
I think the game was kind of tied there for a little while and we were just kind of waiting. It just seemed like we were waiting, someone was going to take control of the game, and they kind of took control of it. I thought our defense kept us in the game, and we just got to find ways, when the game is tied, to go out there and make the plays and take control of the football game. You don’t want to be in position where you got to go down. Make a drive late to tie the game.
We would like to be on the other side. Credit to our defense for most of the game, just keeping us in it. We made some plays down the stretch, but got to be better throughout the game to beat good teams like that.
Stepping up as a playmaker:
Yeah, I mean, I just try to get even better each and every week. I think our skill players and B-Rob did a good job today of just keeping the play going on. When the play breaks down, they did a good job extending the play and trying to get open when things weren’t there early on, and B-Rob did a good job of that. He tells me all the time, if plays break down, just find me. He made some good plays today. We just for to continue to try to get everybody involved. When we got everybody involved, that’s when we are hard to stop.
Targeting Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson in the passing game:
Yeah, I mean, going in, you know, our game plan is to try to get everybody involved. We want to establish the run game pretty early, and they did a good job stopping the run the first half. It made it tough. They did some good stuff in coverage as well. We just got to continue to find ways to get people involved.
Coming in we weren’t trying to throw the ball to B-Rob and AG a lot, but just kind of how the game goes sometimes. They brought a good amount of pressure there in the first half, too. I think when we have pressure, those guys on the check downs are some good options, so that was part of it as well.
But they did a good job. There was that one drive in the second half where they ran the ball well, and we had struggled to run the ball the whole game. But that drive, they just kept going and O-line did a good job moving those guys. They gave us a chance today.
Establishing the run:
Sam Howell on the late success and how the offense improved - says establishing the run definitely helps pic.twitter.com/obUkW7PRoq— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 13, 2023
Yeah, it’s huge. When you establish the running game in a football game you have a good chance to win the game. Obviously we struggled to do that early on. On that drive we just kept calling the same run concept, you know, left and right out of three by one and two by two, and the O-line was doing a good job; B-Rob and AG were hitting the holes. It was fun to watch. When we can run the balll ike that and run it effectively it opens stuff up in the pass game as well and makes the offense harder to stop.
Finding Terry McLaurin on 4th down:
Yeah, some of those plays, you know I can go to either side and stuff like that, but if the game is on the line and it’s one-on-one, Terry is a guy I trust in that moment. We kind of struggled to get all the receivers in involved in today’s games, but I know in those situations Terry is going to do everything he can to win and give me a little space to get the ball in there, and he came up big.
I think there was two fourth down on that last drive, so he’s great player. I got to do a better job trying to get him the football and get him more involved in the game. Definitely in those situations he’s a guy I’m going to go to.
Going two at the end:
Yeah, I mean, it’s tough. I thought we kind of had all the momentum, so it’s like, let’s play for overtime. I think we can carry this momentum into overtime and win the game. I thought our defense, for the most part, was playing well. Got some good stops and they were forcing a lot of field goals.
I think there in the end we had a lot of momentum. There was still a lot of time left. Game wasn’t over. So I think kicking an extra point was Coach’s decision, and I think there were a lot people on board with his decision, but us not going for two is not why we lost that football game.
Being more consistent:
Yeah, it’s tough. You got to go back and watch the film and look at the reasons that we had those few three-and-outs — I don’t know how many three-and-outs we had. Seems like a lot. You got to go back and look at why those things were happening.
Obviously establishing the run helps, but I got to do a better job making quicker decisions, getting the ball out faster. Had a couple sacks. We just got avoid the negative plays and do a good job on first and second down so that way we have — we’re in third and manageable situations.
Honestly, I don’t really look at standings as far as who’s ahead of us and who is not. I know this is an NFC opponent and they’re having a god year, winning football games, so they’re obviously in the playoff conversation. But every game we play we want to win. No matter if they’re ahead of us, behind us, no matter what it is, every single loss hurts, and we try to treat every single game like it’s the most important game of the season. When we come up short, definitely hurts.
Momentum in the 2nd half:
Yeah, for sure. I think that drive we had, I think that was the drive to go down and tie the game when it was 19-12. That was a big drive for us. When we came out there for that drive they were probably expecting us to try to throw the ball down the field. We came out and ran the ball on first down and got a good gain and just stuck with it.
Credit it EB for sticking to the running game. We had some good runs on that drive and that’s the reason we were able to move the ball and score on that drive. Obviously the last drive, I think we tried to run the ball a little bit, but just kind of fell short of time. We had to start throwing it, and luckily we had some receivers make some plays.
Pre-snap reads/feeling pressure:
Yeah, I think I’m doing better job seeing things pre-snap and they try to mix up the looks. They brought a lot of pressure early on in the football game, which was not something we’ve seen a lot from these guys on tape. It’s something we were prepared for. They like to blitz different guys, bring Bobby, bring 33, bring 21. You know, they did a pretty good job disguising some of those pressures. For the most part, feel like I had answers as far as where to go with the ball when we were pressured. Just one of those things that I’m constantly trying to improve on.
Yeah, it’s tough. Obviously I was kind of trying to go down. They were kind of trying to hold me up and get at the ball. Fumbling the football is unacceptable. I got to do better job taking care of the football. I think I’ve done a pretty good job in the passing game taking care of it, but got to do it in the running game as well, especially if I am going to be aggressive like that as a runner. I got to make sure I do my part and take care of the football.
Turnovers and close games in this league, turnovers lose football games. Luckily our defense made a big stop after the turnover and got us the football back so didn’t hurt us as bad. Definitely we were moving the ball. That was a big gain for us, so I killed the momentum on that drive. Could have went down and got some points there. Yeah, fumbling the football is unacceptable.
Benjamin St. Juste
I can give you the politically right answer, this and that and whatever. I’m going to take the burn on this one, honestly. I feel like I cost my team this win. I’ve been on the positive side of making some clutch plays at the end. And it happened on this one that I wasn’t. It just speaks to the fact that I need to put more work in and understand where I’m at. I’m trying to make the plays that I need to be there. It’s just life.
I can’t make every single play, but I feel like on that fourth and five, that was tough. That kind of changed the game a bit. Towards the end, I could’ve made a better judgment call [with] him running the slant [and] thinking it was going to be something else. That’s on me and that’s life. I need to get back up and work better because I cost my team a possible win.
Avoiding frustration with close losses:
Because we have another opportunity next week. That’s what’s keeping me going. There’s always one more opportunity for me to get better, to fix what I need to fix and end up on that positive side instead of the negative side like today.
Anticipating something else on the fourth and five play?:
Well they don’t have that much time and I think they had like one timeout or no timeouts left so I was thinking they were going to go out towards the sideline and try to get out to save the fact that they don’t need to use a timeout. So I was expecting something else and he ended up running inside. That was enough for that field goal. But they always say it’s never one single play that loses you a game, but I take the blame on that, honestly.
Seattle's last drive:
We’ve just got to stop them. Can’t let them complete passes. We knew they were trying to win and go for the field goal, so we just had to be more stout on defense.
Focusing on details in close games:
We focus on little details every day, that’s the emphasis. In the game, somebody wins, and somebody loses. Every play, someone is going to win, that’s what happened.
Emmanuel Forbes Jr.
Conversation with the referee upon ejection:
They just told me I was ejected from the game. I didn’t know why.
Reaction after watching the replay:
Emmanuel Forbes was “shocked” by the ejection. Said he wasn’t being vicious. Was just trying to make a play. pic.twitter.com/FiRjGp60o0— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 13, 2023
Yes, I was shocked. It wasn’t like ‘I was trying to kill him’ play. I was just trying to make a play on the ball.
Could he have done something different?:
That’s the only way I could have hit him to try to dislodge the ball. I don’t think it was a terrible hit.
Our plan is just to execute our game plan. Whatever play is called, we’ve just got to go execute. We ain’t banking on passing more or running more. Whatever is called, we’ve got to go execute, so I feel like I was able to amass the yards I was able to amass because executing the plan, finishing the plan, playing through the whistle, just being available to my quarterback through the whole play.
Sam Howell’s throw on big pass plays, throwing passes with different arm angles:
That’s him. That’s something he works on every day. We know what type of player he is, we know what type of plays he can make. When a play breaks down and he breaks the pocket, we know what kind of potential he has with this arm. That’s something we have to stay big on, just finishing plays to the whistle. When a pocket breaks down and Sam scrambles, we’ve got to make ourselves available for him.
What the team showed by scoring late to tie the game:
We played hard when it was needed most, but I feel like we have to stay consistent through and through. From the first drive we had a good drive, and then we got kind of sluggish in the middle. I think it’s real critical that we keep that momentum and keep that tempo in the middle of the game. Stop being sluggish and trying to pick it back up at the end, because at that point it’s too late.
How good the last drive felt:
It felt great, me and AG giving our team another chance to have a chance. I felt like we did everything we could to put ourselves in a position to extend. We’ve got to continue working on what we can do to help our offense.
Losing a game like this:
I heard something interesting from the Boston Celtics coach. He said that ‘People love to shoutout God when things are going great, but you never hear when things are going bad and you’re in the middle of something’. So, I would like to take this time and shoutout God. I recognize him as my Lord and Savior and just show my appreciation for being here and having the opportunity. I don’t really have too much to say tonight, but I would love to talk to you back at the facility in Ashburn.
CB Kendall Fuller
Handling a loss like this:
It hurts. Any time you come out here on a Sunday, put everything you have into, and you come up short, it’s always tough. But you just go watch the film and learn from it and focus on going 1-0 next week.
Ejection of Emmanuel Forbes:
I haven’t seen too much of the play, except one of the replays. Based off what from what I’ve seen, didn’t think it was enough for him to get kicked out, but the refs made the call, they saw the play more than I did. It sucks for him to go out early, but we have to keep on playing.
Where Seattle was giving the Commanders defense trouble:
I think we did really good, especially early on in the game, just keeping the explosives down. We let one get out, even me, I have to get off the block, make a tackle to where a running back, even out of the backfield doesn’t score. Things like that, controlling little situations that we can control. A three-yard pass shouldn’t go 64 yards and that’s something in zone coverage we have to be able to break to the ball better, get off blocks, and allow our defense to line up.
Seattle’s final drive:
I think they just executed better than us. I’d really have to watch it back to give you a precise answer, but I just think on all levels we didn’t do well enough there. Me, personally, I didn’t rush well enough, and that’s all I can control, and that’s all I realize. We didn’t get it done enough up front as a D line, and I wear that, too. I didn’t do enough there on that drive.
Improved pass rilush:
I think, obviously, it’s a little different now with guys just stepping into different situations, so I think we’re just getting comfortable with each other and learning how to rush with each other. I think we started to do a better job of that today, but we need to grow there to be more disruptive.
Impact of tough penalties:
I mean it sucks, but that’s football at the end of the day. I remember I was out there and I thought, ‘Oh, man, that sucks.’ But then I realized, OK, they’re going to try and score, so we’ve got to just respond. I think we did a decent job of that today, being in some situations where we had to respond, but we just didn’t execute enough at the end of the day.
Offense struggling in the middle of the game:
They did a good job of bringing pressure and they were able to stop us on some of that stuff, so just not able to complete the ball when we needed to. They did a good job. Hats off to them for being able to do that. I think you saw us picking up steam once we started running the ball. It was fun to run the ball four straight times in a row down their throat. Me, personally, I love doing that.
Importantance of momentum for players on the offensive line:
No doubt, it’s very important for everyone. You don’t want to be a one-dimensional offense. Being able to run the ball successfully and give confidence not only to the offense and to EB and all that stuff, so being able to do that was a good stretch and obviously turned into more successful plays going down the field.
Sam Cosmi on Sam Howell: “Dude’s ballin”— John Keim (@john_keim) November 13, 2023
He’s balling, man. He’s showing some crazy stuff. He’s really developed. You can see from the beginning of the year to now, I mean, it’s just like, wow. The thing that’s really cool to see, he’s like taking the coaching and he’s putting it out there. He’s getting the ball out when it needs to get out. Obviously, he’s just learning every week, and you can see him develop into a really, really special thing. I mean, he made some plays out there that were really, really special. So, it’s really good to see.
If something’s not there, he’s rolling out and making a play. He made those two throws down the sideline to B-Rob. That was pretty cool to see. There’s a lot plays there that he made. He made those throws. He’s got a talented arm.
Confidence level in the huddle during the last scoring drive:
We have a bunch of resilient guys, guys that don’t quit, guys that don’t just throw in the towel. We had a job to do, and that’s to go down and score and give us a fighting chance, , give us a chance to have a chance, and that’s what we did.