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Washington Commanders Vs. New England Patriots - Studs and Duds

NFL: Washington Commanders at New England Patriots Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

On a beautiful November afternoon in New England, Washington came ready to play!

Yes, there were some bad turnovers that helped this game be a lot closer than it should have been, but when push came to shove, the defense stood tall and held the Patriots’ offense in check most of the game - this without their top two EDGE rushers, who were traded earlier in the week.

Overall, Eric Bieniemy called a good game offensively. Sam Howell and the offense put up 432 total yards and converted nine of seventeen third down attempts in route to racking up 23 first downs on the afternoon and controlling time of possession 37-23 minutes.

Really good team win!

Below are my Studs and Duds, followed by some notes.


Sam Howell - This one has a few layers, so hang with me... Yes, Sam threw an absolutely HORRIBLE interception in the endzone right before the half. That was inexcusable and will have to be corrected moving forward. However, the good FAR outweighed the bad.

He showed great accuracy and general ball placement throughout the game. His pocket presence looked outstanding, and he spread the ball around to all his receivers - including many tight-window throws that some quarterbacks in the league just can’t make. He had an amazing 24-yard scramble on third and 23 to pick up a big first down. It just looks to me like this kid has the “it” factor.

Jahan Dotson - For the second game in a row, Dotson played the part. He hauled in four receptions for 69 yards and a pretty touchdown. He’s still suffering from concentration drops and he’ll need to work on fixing that as the season continues, but happy to see him back to contributing in this offense.

Terry McLaurin - Terry was the leading receiver, hauling in five receptions for 73 yards, but it’s also the little things, like the block on Brian Robinson’s touchdown, that often go unnoticed with the star receiver.

Antonio Gibson - Gibson ran tough between the tackles and caught all five of his targets for 42 yards. He also blocked well when asked to do so, He chipped in 72 yards on three kickoff returns.

Emmanuel Forbes - Forbes had his best game as a pro against the Patriots. He was lock-down in coverage and nearly grabbed his second interception down by the goal line. So happy to see this young man get back on track.

Quan Martin - Quan grabbed the game-sealing INT after it went through the hands of Smith-Schuster late in the fourth quarter. Hopefully this gives the rookie some confidence moving forward.


Percy Butler - Most of the secondary played very well against the Patriots, but Butler was the one who stuck out to me as having a poor game. He gave up some plays in coverage and took a poor angle and missed a key tackle on Stevenson’s long touchdown run.

Dyami Brown - The drops have become more magnified as his career progresses. The ball Howell threw to him in the corner of the endzone near the end of the second quarter NEEDS to be caught. PERIOD!

Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen - Aside from a few plays in the game, this duo was virtually invisible and was outplayed by John Ridgeway. We need/expect more from these two.

Refs - This was a VERY poor game from the zebras. The roughing the passer call against rookie K.J. Henry (which negated the rookies first NFL sack) was one of the worst calls I’ve seen this season.


-I’m not putting anyone from this unit on the Studs list just yet, but I thought, with the exception of a few plays here and there, that the offensive line played really well. Probably their best collective game of the season against a tough Patriots defense. It’s amazing what happens when a stubborn head coach who is reluctant to admit he’s wrong actually stands up and makes some changes.

-Byron Pringle and Jamison Crowder continue to provide reliable targets for Sam Howell in Curtis Samuel’s absence.

-Brian Robinson ran hard, blocked well and had an eight-yard rushing touchdown, but his fumble in minus territory was a costly one.

-Hudson continued to flash some good plays. Even on the touchdown to Henry, I thought he was in pretty decent coverage - he just gave up 5 inches to the tight end.

-Quietly, Kendall Fuller had a really solid game. He was the second-leading tackler behind Jamin Davis and showed well in coverage.