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Grading The Game – Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants

A season is all but lost as the Burgundy and Gold fall apart in front of team legends and a sellout crowd

NFL: New York Giants at Washington Commanders Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that frustrated fans in the stands and on social media, the Washington Commanders all but guaranteed that the 2023 season is over. The 31-19 shellacking that the Giants handed out was actually not decided until the final few seconds, but it still feels like it was decided shortly after the game began. Let’s unpack this debacle together and see what transpired on Sunday. We’ll hand out grades and have a prediction for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Note: You asked for it since day one of the weekly grades articles and now it is here. From this day forward, we will grade the coaches.

Offense

Where should we start? The three untimely interceptions? The two fumbles? The dropped passes? Allowing Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux to set up a four-season camping tent in the offensive backfield for a pair of sacks and several tackles for lost yardage? Poor play calling in the red zone? Let’s sort it all out.

Quarterback

The Giants were not kind to Sam Howell for the second time this season and his three interceptions contributed heavily to the loss. On a positive note, he now has 3,038 yards passing for the season.

Stats:

31-45 for 255 yards and a TD, 3 rushes for 35 yards and a TD, 3 INTs, 1 PFF rating 53.9, QBR 62.7

Assessment: D-

Running Backs

By comparison to the rest of the offense, the running backs had a good day. However, Derrick Gore only had one carry for zero yards. On the last play of the game, he gained 23 yards against a very soft Giants defense. Chris Rodriguez was solid, but had a fumble in Giants territory.

Stats:

Brian Robinson – 17 carries for 73 yards, 7 catches for 58 yards, PFF rating 67.0

Chris Rodriquez – 6 carries for 43 yards and 1 FL, 1 catch for 5 yards, PFF rating 61.3

Assessment: B

Tight Ends

For the second week in a row, the top two receivers were not wide receivers. Logan Thomas was one of those players, but he did lose a fumble. John Bates had a decent day with limited targets. However, their overall blocking was very poor.

Stats:

Thomas – 5 catches for 58 yards, 8 targets, PFF rating 49.8

Bates – 2 catches for 15 yards, 2 targets, PFF rating 52.2

Assessment: C

Wide Receivers

The top receiver for Washington had 43 yards receiving on the day.

Stats:

Terry McLaurin – 5 catches for 43 yards, 7 targets, PFF rating 63.6

Jahan Dotson – 3 catches for 23 yards, 4 targets, PFF rating 58.9

Byron Pringle – 3 catches for 22 yards, 3 targets, PFF rating 65.9

Assessment: F

Offensive Line

It has been relatively easy to give the offensive line plenty of grief this season, but they had a better-than-expected day against the Giants. Sure, there were three sacks and a few pressures, but this unit was not the primary issue on Sunday.

Stats (PFF Ratings):

Sam Cosmi - 82.2 (Run), 78.2 (Pass)

Andrew Wylie - 75.3 (Run), 80.2 (Pass)

Charles Leno - 66.1 (Run), 64.5 (Pass)

Tyler Larsen - 55.6 (Run), 27.7 (Pass)

Chris Paul - 46.1 Run), 48.9 (Pass)

Assessment: C+

Defense

Giving up 24 points to one of the worst offenses in the league is a criminal error of major proportions, especially against a battered and bruised Giants team. The grades are mixed, but one unit was particularly horrible.

Defensive Line

The defensive line had one of their best games of the season. Unfortunately, it came in a loss to the lowly Giants. KJ Henry could be in the process of developing into a solid defensive end.

Stats:

Jonathan Allen – 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, PFF rating 83.9

Daron Payne – 3 tackles, 1 sack, PFF rating 78.2

KJ Henry – 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes deflected, PFF rating 78.3

Casey Toohill – 1 tackle, 1 sack, PFF rating 53.1

Assessment: B

Linebackers

Whatever David Mayo ate before the game, he needs to consume more of it – this was his best game as a Commander thus far. Jamin Davis tied for the team lead in tackles on Sunday.

Stats:

Davis – 7 tackles, 1 sack, PFF rating 72.4

Mayo – 6 tackles, 2 sacks, PFF rating 84.4

Assessment: B

Safeties

This is where the grades begin to suffer significantly. The safeties looked lost at times when the Giants employed mesh routes throughout much of the game, especially on shorter routes.

Stats:

Kamren Curl – 7 tackles, PFF rating 65.0

Percy Butler – 7 tackles, PFF rating 85.9

Quan Martin – 1 pass defensed, PFF rating 65.2

Assessment: D

Cornerbacks

The grades continue to plummet with the cornerbacks. The intermediate mesh routes confused several of the corners and Kendall Fuller was so lost on one long pass and it resulted in an easy touchdown. Emmanuel Forbes was the lone exception, but it wasn’t enough.

Stats:

Fuller – 6 tackles, PFF rating 55.7

Benjamin St-Juste – 2 tackles, 1 sack, PFF rating 65.2

Forbes – 4 tackles, 2 passes defensed, PFF rating 74.3

Assessment: F

Special Teams

Once again, Joey Slye missed an extra point. Byron Pringle fumbled the ball away on a kickoff return.

Stats:

Joey Slye – 2-2 FGA, 1-2 XPs

Tress Way – 2 punts, 45.0-yard average

Assessment: C-

Coaches

Prior to the game, the Giants had a 2-8 record and most power rankings placed them at the very bottom. They were down several starters due to injury. The starting quarterback was an undrafted free agent this year. You get the picture.

When the Commanders were at the Giants’ five-yard line, rarely-used running back Derrick Gore got the call and the play went for no gain. Who made that call? When the Giants were inside the red zone, who made the decision to use man coverage instead of zone coverage? Again, you get the picture.

Assessment: F

Week 12 Prediction

The Washington Commanders will travel to Dallas on Thursday and Dallas will likely dominate.

Cowboys 55, Commanders 31

Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and the time that you will spend with family and loved ones. See you as we go along.