The so-called script for the Washington Commanders this season has been playing out as one of close games, but close losses. It played out again late Sunday afternoon in Seattle as the Commanders lost on the last play of the game by a score of 29-26. While fans are frustrated, angered, and saddened over the mounting losses, there is something to be excited about during the first ten games – Washington likely has their franchise quarterback of the present and future. We’ll hand out grades from the game and have a prediction for the next game against the New York Giants. Let’s jump right in.
The offense shined in different ways this week as Sam Howell continued his progression in the Eric Bieniemy offense and the running backs certainly had a day to remember.
For those of you working this morning - and whispering you weren't sure about Sam Howell behind my back - I'll repost this because YES I was talking about YOU PEOPLE :) https://t.co/QTyLd2zoaJ— DullesDistrict.Com (@DullesDistrict) November 13, 2023
Some mistakes include a lost fumble after a sizable gain, holding the ball too long on a sack, first-down production issues, and a couple of throws off the mark. However, Sam Howell had a third straight 300-yard game and did more than enough to beat the Seahawks with pinpoint passing, improvisational skills, patience, and scrambling ability.
29-44 for 312 yards, 2 rushes for 17 yards, 3 TDs, 1 FL, PFF rating 68.4, QBR 109.3
Sam Howell holds Witherspoon for a beat, then absolutely *rips* it into a shrinking window...— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 13, 2023
Has put highlight-worthy throws like this on tape all year, but is doing a better job each week of reducing errors and speeding up his process. Thought he played well yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Q0sehWu1z0
If there could be two grades for the running backs, one would be for receptions and the other for yardage gained. The latter would be “Incomplete” due to coaching decisions.
Brian Robinson – 8 carries for 38 yards, 6 catches for 119 yards and 1 TD, PFF rating 84.2
Antonio Gibson – 4 carries for 13 yards, 6 catches for 42 yards and 1 TD, PFF rating 67.5
Sam Howell finds Antonio Gibson to tie up the game pic.twitter.com/Cc5GCHetOc— Commanders Nation (@WasCommandersCP) November 13, 2023
After a lackluster performance the previous week, Logan Thomas and John Bates were productive as receivers and both players rated highly in pass blocking.
Logan Thomas – 5 catches for 40 yards, 5 targets, PFF rating 61.2
John Bates – 3 catches for 21 yards, 3 targets, PFF rating 73.7
Three of the top four receivers in the game were a pair of running backs and a tight end. And the leading receiver is fourth on the depth chart. However, the receiving corps had a solid day against the Seahawks as the ball was widely distributed.
Dyami Brown – 2 catches for 41 yards and 1 TD, 2 targets, PFF rating 86.8
Terry McLaurin – 4 catches for 33 yards, 8 targets, PFF rating 67.0
The offensive numbers from the skill positions against the Seahawks were fairly impressive, but the offensive line produced mixed results. Rush blocking had issues and the interior of the line was porous in pass pro.
Charles Leno - 55.2 (Run), 79.1 (Pass)
Andrew Wylie - 49.1 (Run), 66.5 (Pass)
Chris Paul - 44.3 (Run), 36.8 (Pass)
Sam Cosmi - 75.2 (Run), 27.2 (Pass)
Tyler Larsen - 61.6 (Run), 23.7 (Pass)
In the first half of Sunday’s game, the defense had a “bend, but don’t break” mentality. In the second half, the dam failed and burst wide open in a football flood of major proportions. The details to follow are not pretty or for the faint of heart.
Kenneth Walker III does it all himself for 64 yards ‼️ pic.twitter.com/m5ZlJQWM3f— PFF (@PFF) November 12, 2023
With only one sack and a few tackles in Sunday’s game, the line needs to find some of the swagger that it possessed last year.
Jonathan Allen – 4 tackles, 1 sack, PFF rating 62.5
Daron Payne – 5 tackles, PFF rating 62.2
Casey Toohill – 2 tackles, 1 pass defensed, PFF rating 61.3
Jonathan Allen declined to offer his thoughts on the loss postgame. His explanation: pic.twitter.com/mUwOItNA2f— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 13, 2023
It seemed as if Jamin Davis was the only linebacker on the field on Sunday. David Mayo continues to frustrate the fans and Khaleke Hudson was simply outmatched on nearly every play.
Davis – 11 tackles, PFF rating 63.5
Mayo – 7 tackles, PFF rating 40.7
Hudson – 1 tackle, PFF rating 54.1
The broadcast just said David Mayo was “Stuck in the mud” how embarrassing and that’s every week.— Zac (@DCzWall) November 12, 2023
If you’re looking for any positives on defense against Seattle, look no further than the safeties. Yes, their determined efforts were undermined by subpar performances from the line, linebackers, and cornerbacks.
Kamren Curl – 10 tackles, PFF rating 54.6
Percy Butler – 9 tackles, 1 pass defended, PFF rating 80.7
Quan Martin – 3 tackles, PFF rating 70.5
Kendall Fuller can only do so much – he played a decent game. Emmanuel Forbes was ejected on a questionable judgment call. Benjamin St-Juste was targeted by Seattle in the 4th quarter and he failed – miserably.
Fuller – 6 tackles, PFF rating 67.3
St-Juste – 7 tackles, 2 passes defended, 2 major penalties (PI, facemask), PFF rating 54.3
And for all those arguing this was a bad call - IT WAS NOT. This was 100% PI https://t.co/9ak2xmGmqR— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 13, 2023
St-Juste with just a HORRIBLE series defensively.— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) November 13, 2023
PI on 4th down and now this face mask. pic.twitter.com/tCiP3MTwIK
Joey Slye missed an extra point attempt, but it did not affect the outcome of the game. Tress Way handled a poor snap with incredible concentration and Slye drilled the field goal. Camaron Cheeseman had several issues with poor snaps on field goals and punts. Antonio Gibson produced another solid day as the kickoff returner.
Joey Slye – 2-2 FGA, 2-3 XPs
Tress Way – 5 punts, 45.4 yard average, long of 52 yards, 2 inside the 20.
Week 11 Prediction
The Commanders will return home to FedEx Field this coming Sunday and will be looking to defeat the New York Giants in a big way. Look for the offense to be much better and the whole team will certainly be seeking revenge. Washington is a heavy favorite and, quite frankly, that is not a surprise.
Commanders 41, Giants 16
Let’s forget about any talk of the playoffs at this juncture and talk about the continued development of Sam Howell. See you as we go along.