Washington Post (paywall)
Moments after a fan was carried out of the stands for throwing a beer can on the field, players returned to FedEx Field locker rooms that were without running water because of an “equipment failure” in the stadium’s main water heater.
So the Washington Commanders were left to bask in the stench of their most embarrassing loss in years, a 31-19 drubbing Sunday from the New York Giants, owners of the worst offense in the NFL, led by third-string quarterback Tommy DeVito. Washington dropped to 4-7 and walked off the field to boos.
The loss, undoubtedly the worst of Coach Ron Rivera’s tenure in Washington, was bad enough to raise the question of whether an in-season change of some sort is near — not necessarily to salvage a season that continues to slip away but to acknowledge a sellout crowd of fans who expected more than this.
“It’s a low point, that’s for sure,” Rivera said.
Washington had no one to blame but itself.
The Commanders turned the ball over six times, with three interceptions by quarterback Sam Howell and a fumble apiece by tight end Logan Thomas, wide receiver Byron Pringle and running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. The defense, meanwhile, was a sieve. A week after it allowed 11 explosive plays (defined as runs of 12 or more yards and passes of at least 16 yards) to the Seattle Seahawks, it gave up nine such plays to the Giants.
Washington Post (paywall)
What remains now are only the logistics. Can Ron Rivera be removed from his job Monday, with the Washington Commanders on a short week before a Thursday date at Dallas? Or does it make more sense to do it just after the holiday, so whoever’s keeping the seat warm can have more than three days to prepare for the next opponent?
After the bye week? Or after the season?
The more to-the-point question: Does it really matter?
This Commanders season became a foregone conclusion earlier than normal. Maybe we should be thankful there’s no tease about what’s possible. Still, it’s a shame Thanksgiving isn’t even here and the most important person in the building isn’t the guy who coaches the team but whoever’s next. Eric Bieniemy? Ben Johnson? Bill … Belichick?
Whoever. We have time for that.
Under the old ownership regime, this is where we would link the putrid on-field result with the fact that neither locker room had hot water so the players could comfortably shower afterward. Then we would make a joke about how the stench of the game followed the Commanders home. (Insert rimshot here.)
This is, though, a new era, the relentless beatdown of Daniel Snyder replaced with the optimism of Josh Harris. The jokes aren’t supposed to apply. Yet here we are.
Put the showers aside. Concentrate on the results. How can this be happening in the fourth year of a program that Rivera keeps arguing is showing growth?
“No matter what my answer is, it’s going to come out, and people are going to say it’s an excuse,” Rivera said. “So we’re just going to take the responsibility and show up tomorrow and get prepared.”
The Athletic (paywall)
The collapse all but complete, Josh Harris should put Ron Rivera out of his misery after the Washington Commanders’ soon-to-be shellacking by the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon just outside of Dallas. Or after the Commanders’ closer-than-expected loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon just outside of Dallas. Or after the Commanders’ upset win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon just outside of Dallas. It no longer matters what happens just outside of Dallas.
Harris should thank Rivera for trying to reset what had been a lackadaisical culture under Jay Gruden for keeping Washington competitive through COVID-19 and through some truly unfortunate injuries (not that every team doesn’t go through injuries), and for making the on-field product palatable through most of the end of Dan Snyder’s reign. He should thank him, and the front office, for helping get the team’s financial books set for a potential significant free-agent outlay this coming offseason, and for biting the bullet now to put a deposit toward the future with the trades of Chase Young and Montez Sweat — which will give Washington a real chance to fortify the team quickly, with five picks in the top 100 of next year’s draft.
Most importantly, Harris should thank Rivera for taking Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 draft and giving a beleaguered fan base some real hope for the first time in a generation that Washington has its quarterback of the future.
But this has to end. It’s time for this franchise to move on.
Washington plays again in 96 hours. It will fly to Dallas on Wednesday. There’s just not enough time for a coaching change before the Turkey Day extravaganza. So wait until the team gets back from Texas, with a mini-bye week in the offing, and do what needs to be done.
You had to be there to fully understand the outcome of the Washington Commanders’ Week 11 loss to the New York Giants.
The Commanders outgained the Giants, 403-292, and controlled the clock for nearly 10 more minutes. They scored touchdowns on two of their three trips to the red zone. They only had one penalty for five yards all day. They nearly doubled the Giants on the ground, 174-91. They had 28 first downs compared to the Giants’ 13. Up until nearly the end of the third quarter, the Giants had zero rushing yards, and the defense recorded nine sacks on the afternoon.
And yet, despite all that going in their favor, the Commanders still dropped their fourth division game of the season, 31-19.
In the end, turnovers doomed the Commanders almost from the start. The Burgundy & Gold committed six giveaways, each more devastating than the last. And while the Giants didn’t necessarily do much with them until the end, it was just enough to spoil the Commanders’ chances of putting together any semblance of consistent momentum.
“It’s a low point, that’s for sure,” head coach Ron Rivera said after the game. “Anytime you got an opportunity to win a football game and you put the numbers up that you did, you get a chance, you gotta come through.”
For the last weeks, it looked like the offense was beginning to find some of that consistency the Commanders have been lacking all season. They went 1-2 in that span, but at least the unit was putting the team in position to win behind Howell and a better game plan that got the ball to playmakers at a quicker rate.
This week, all that progress looked to be gone as the offense committed two turnovers in their first six plays. The defense bailed them out on the first one, partly because Howell’s first interception placed the ball deep in Giants territory. They weren’t so lucky on the second....
DC Sports King
“Black Monday. Coming to a theatre near you. Been there. Done that,” Gruden wrote on Twitter/X after Washington’s 31-19 loss to the New York Giants.
Coincidentally, Gruden was Washington’s head coach before getting fired during his sixth season in 2019. Rivera, who got fired by the Panthers later that year, ultimately replaced Gruden.
The Commanders entered Sunday’s game a 7.5-point favorite. However, the Giants dominated the game before sealing the victory with a pick-six by linebacker Isaiah Simmons off Commanders quarterback Sam Howell.
Washington had six turnovers, three fumbles, and three interceptions thrown by Howell. The turnovers negated a nine-sack performance by the Commanders defense. But not before giving up over 240 passing yards and three touchdown passes from the Giants’ undefeated rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito.
Former Commanders owner Dan Snyder famously said, “Happy Thanksgiving” when announcing the hiring of Ron Rivera. Nearly four years later, Rivera’s days appear numbered, and he could potentially coach his final game with Washington on Thanksgiving.
Rivera is running out of time, and it’s hard to ignore the inevitable Black Monday is approaching for the coach.
This is not the type of the loss that suggests major changes need to be discussed. This is the type of loss that demands major changes be made.
Washington has another game in four days, playing the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving. It’s possible that the tight time window will prevent Commanders ownership from having some tough discussions about the future of Rivera and the staff he’s assembled.
But those conversations need to be had, whether it’s Thursday night while munching leftover turkey, or sooner.
The Commanders not only lost to a bad Giants team engulfed in turmoil, the Giants blew them out. Washington generated nine sacks, nearly tying a franchise record, and still spent much of the fourth quarter down two scores.
Was there a bit of a comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter? Sure. Want to read a glowing piece on the positives to take from this game? Look elsewhere.
There’s an old saying in the NFL: “You can’t lose at home to a third-string QB and keep your job.”
Actually that’s not an old saying, but maybe it should be.
Giants’ and Commanders’ locker rooms at FedEx Field have no hot water for showers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 19, 2023
A Commanders’ official said: “We had an equipment failure in the main water heater that provides hot water to the field level locker rooms. We can’t resolve the matter without completely shutting…
I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life. What are we as fans supposed to do? They didn’t fire Ron or Jack after the Bears game. And now look at us. pic.twitter.com/eL0IQkTGgm— Eric Nathan (@BarstoolNate) November 19, 2023
This is the poverty franchise I root for! I mean, it’s so bad. We got Dan Snyder out and nottttt a whole lot has changed. I get it, it’ll take time, the deal only closed in July, but my god, what an embarrassment. Pathetic showing on the field, off the field, everywhere. The fact Josh Harris paid 7 BILLION DOLLARS for the Commanders and lets Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio run the show is mind blowing. The fact he has no hot water is mind blowing. All of it, none of it makes a lick of sense.
And now we get to play Dallas in 4 fucking days. I refuse to let old morons Ron and Jack ruin my Thanksgiving. I mean they’re gonna, but I am trying not to let them. This is all fucked. Fire them right now. My god.
Podcasts & videos
As always, Trap or Dive is live immediately following every Commanders game!— Trap or Dive Podcast (@TraporDive) November 19, 2023
Join @LetMualTellit @DCSportsDre and @SaintWah following today’s Giants-Commanders matchup to recap the game. #HTTC https://t.co/hubqiPI4md pic.twitter.com/4ak74aqhJy
It was quite a day. I’d say there are no words but @NickiJhabvala and I found a lot to say. The big picture with coaching. What’s next? Sam Howell: step back or just part of the growth? Fans have showed up. More. @ESPNRichmond https://t.co/qdDyVBFsPI— John Keim (@john_keim) November 20, 2023
️@RealBramW joins me to consider the Commanders' latest low point. Not only why they fell to the Giants but what happened this season that exasperated issues. Plenty of now-what banter as well. Give a listen. Warning: no hot water is provided.https://t.co/cfhb1tVks3— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 20, 2023