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Daily Slop - 12 Sep 23 - Jon Allen: Commanders Fans ‘Helped Us Win The Game’

A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Commanders Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Commanders links


Sports Illustrated

Commanders Fans ‘Helped Us Win The Game’, Says Jonathan Allen

The Washington Commanders opened their season with a come-from-behind win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

“There was a moment where we were not playing good and they were not really into it, but that’s our job to get them back into it,” Allen said. “Luckily, they came on strong in the 4th quarter, you know, helped us win the game.”

“I haven’t seen the fans like that in my six years here, so I’m glad we were able to get the win for the fans, you know,” Allen said. “That would’ve been very disappointing to let them down on the first game of the season, so we’re happy but we’re not satisfied for them to leave.”

Commanders Wire

Terry McLaurin said Week 1 was the loudest crowd at FedEx Field during his time with Commanders

“Man, it was amazing coming out there,” McLaurin said. “I got chills standing for the national anthem. The saxophone player, I didn’t get to say what’s up to him, but that dude can play, man. The way he played it through, the planes coming over, which is a really cool moment to hear the roar of the crowd. I’ve been here five years, and that was the loudest I’ve probably heard it. It’s good to get a win to hopefully keep that momentum going so the next time we’re at home, we can have a similar outcome.”

The Commanders are on the road next week but return to FedEx Field to host one of the NFL’s top teams, the Buffalo Bills, in Week 3.

Will it be another sold-out crowd for the home team? Buffalo, unlike Arizona, is more regional, and its fans travel well. So that game will be a good test.

Sheehan on FedEx Field atmosphere: ‘There was a buzz’ for ‘THE sports team in town that matters the most’

Kevin Sheehan was in attendance at FedEx Field to witness the Washington Commanders’ 20-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 and his observation: “It really was an energetic atmosphere. It was really nice to feel some of that again, it’s been a while.”

Sheehan said that for those who know what a “true, loud raucous NFL stadium in D.C. sounds like, it wasn’t that, but it was good.” It wasn’t louder than the playoff game or the season finale against the Cowboys in 2012, or the playoff game against the Packers, in Sheehan’s opinion.

Having said all that, Sheehan added that Sunday “was really good, it really was. And it was highlighted by the fans filling up the stadium – there were a few spots in the upper deck, a few spots in the club level, that’s typical for almost any NFL sellout – but what a difference a departing owner makes.

“The fans were there early... and there was a buzz and it did get loud at times and that was great to hear, especially on defense... it was impactful in the game. And there was a lot of pomp and circumstances around this event yesterday as well.”

For Sheehan, and some of the old salts in the fan base, the pep rally atmosphere from over the last month with the new ownership re-engaging with the new fan base has been good and deserves “kudos” for them to do that and bring out the alumni and engage with media, but “I kinda felt like it’s time for football now. The product on the field matters now because the season is here and the games count.”

Washington Post (paywall)

Hail or Fail: Dominating defense helps Commanders overcome three turnovers

Joe Theismann, Dexter Manley and Charles Mann greeted fans in Legends Plaza before the game, and John Riggins watched the win from Harris’s suite. Champ Bailey and Robert Griffin III were among the other franchise greats who returned to the stadium for the first time in years. “I think there’s a reason that a lot of alumni stayed away, and we don’t have to talk about that anymore,” Griffin told reporters before the game. “But now it’s a fresh start.” Welcome home, indeed.

Washington’s special team aces were in midseason form. Three of Way’s six punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. He also boomed a 59-yard punt and managed to field a one-hopped snap by Camaron Cheeseman on Slye’s field goal before halftime with soft hands that should make his brother-in-law, Brewers infielder Brice Turang, proud. Reaves finished with three tackles and helped Washington’s punt coverage unit limit the Cardinals to 24 yards on four returns.

Commanders aspire for improvement after mistakes in Week 1 win

Ron Rivera normally jumps right into answering questions during his press conferences, but things started off a little differently on Sunday after the Washington Commanders’ 20-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

He had a message for the reporters in the room and the fans watching live: winning is great, but the four-point victory was neither good enough nor up to the team’s standards.

“I want to thank the fans for coming out. We really do appreciate them coming out,” Rivera said. “We’ve got to be a better football team for them, though.”

That was the sentiment the players shared in the locker room. A win is a win, and the Commanders did enough to secure a Week 1 victory for the third time in four seasons. Enough is all they did, though, as early struggles from the offense, plus the occasional miscue in an otherwise exceptional defensive performance, led to Washington having to put together a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter.

The players are determined to show that Sunday was an outlier and not the start of a pattern.

Bullock’s Film Room

Evaluating Sam Howell’s performance vs the Cardinals

Breaking down the positives and negatives from Howell’s performance against Arizona

Howell, like most young quarterbacks, was largely up and down throughout the game. Inconsistency is to be expected from Howell, but one of his best traits is his ability to not get too high or low regardless of what happens on the field. Howell does a great job staying even-keeled which enables him to bounce back from the negative plays that naturally do happen for young quarterbacks. Howell had two big negative plays in this game but he showed the resilience to bounce back from them and not lose confidence.

There were a few consistent errors that need to be corrected, like holding onto the ball a little too long a couple of times. Obviously the sack fumble can’t happen either and protecting the football has to be priority number one. The Commanders won’t be able to overcome turning the ball over three times on offense against better teams and Howell was at least partly responsible for two of those.

But the positives were there, more so than I perhaps anticipated when I finished watching the TV broadcast and started watching the All-22. The ability to bounce back from negative plays is very promising as he clearly doesn’t get too low when bad things happen. We saw a young Kirk Cousins often slump badly after a negative play and one interception could quickly turn into two or three. That didn’t happen for Howell, in fact he bounced back strongly each time he had a negative play, which is a good sign for a young quarterback.

Riggo’s Rag

Commanders key numbers: The good and the bad from Week 1 triumph vs. Cardinals

It was a mixed bag for the Commanders during their Week 1 success.

30: After the Arizona Cardinals went up 16-10 following their first possession of the second half, the Washington Commanders’ defense held them to 30 net yards for the remainder of the game. The front four came up big numerous times and Emmanuel Forbes ultimately put the game away with a pass breakup on 4th-and-10 on their final possession.

10: All 10 of the Commanders’ second-half points were off of turnovers forced by Montez Sweat. His first forced fumble led to a Sam Howell touchdown run, and his second forced fumble and recovery allowed Washington to add to its lead late.

Sweat finished with five tackles, two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He is setting up for a big payday this offseason.

4-0: Dating to last season, the Commanders are now 4-0 when Brian Robinson Jr. notches a touchdown. He kicked off the scoring on Washington’s season with a seven-yard reception on Washington’s second drive. The Commanders went 91 yards in six plays, largely benefitting from 67 yards from penalties.

0: The Commanders’ defense continues to thrive in the red zone with its bend-but-don’t-break strategy. Although they allowed four big plays (passes over 25 yards/rushes over 10 yards), they gave up 0 offensive touchdowns in the game.

Commanders Wire

Commanders sign Jamison Crowder to 53-man roster

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with Washington, was signed to the practice squad last week due to an injury to Dax Milne. On Saturday, the Commanders elevated Crowder to the 53-man roster.

During Sunday’s win, Crowder fielded three punts for 10 yards. He had another called back due to holding. No, those numbers aren’t special, but it took just one look at Crowder to realize that the Commanders should stick with him in the role.

In a corresponding move, the Commanders waived defensive end William Bradley-King.

Commanders-Cardinals Stats & Snaps

  • Defensive End Montez Sweat had 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit.
  • Sweat becomes the first Washington player to record 1.5 or more sacks and two or more forced fumbles in a single game since Brandon Meriweather in 2014. He is the fourth Washington player in franchise history to record that stat line, joining Meriweather, Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson.
  • Sweat recorded the sixth game of his career with 1.5 or more sacks and his first since Week 11 of last season.
  • Sweat (30.5) moved into sole possession of 10th all-time in official sacks (since 1982) in franchise history.
  • Defensive Tackle Jonathan Allen had a sack, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
  • Allen has recorded multiple tackles for loss in a single game 14 times in his career, the second-most by a Washington player through 86 career games.
  • Defensive Tackle Daron Payne had two tackles for loss and the fifth fumble recovery of his career.

Sports Illustrated

Commanders DB Quan Martin Enters Concussion Protocol - Injury Tracker

Chase Young might have a chance to make his Washington Commanders season debut on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Throughout the season, check out Commander Country’s injury tracker for all your Washington Commanders injury reports week in and week out.

Monday Aftermath - Week 1

Commanders second-round rookie Quan Martin is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after Sunday’s win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Watchin’ Film With Phil

Kyzir White’s Late Helmet-to-Helmet Hit on Sam Howell was Bush League

There were several cheap shots during Sunday’s 20-16 opening-day win for the Washington Commanders over the Arizona Cardinals. The main play that most will remember is the hit Cardinals LB Kyzir White put on Commanders QB Sam Howell after Howell had clearly taken at least two steps out of bounds.

It’s just a matter of time before the NFL adapts the same rules that college football already has that lead to players being ejected for targeting. There is no place in the game for this anymore, with all the knowledge of CTE and concussions in general.

The video below gives my opinions on the subject; viewer discretion may be needed.

Podcasts & videos

Ben Standig’s big takeaways, concerns from Commanders’ win over Cardinals with Kevin Sheehan

Watchin’ Film With Phil

Antonio Gibson Fumble: Still a Problem or Isolated Incident?

ESPN: Pat McAfee calls out SVP for his Sam Howell tell


NFC East links

Washington Post (paywall)

The Cowboys dominated the Giants. Are they true contenders in the NFC?

The numbers on the scoreboard were striking. The dominance was eye-catching, even if the Giants contributed to it. The Cowboys gave an overpowering performance on defense, did enough on offense and delivered an opening-night reminder that maybe, just maybe, they can maneuver themselves back into position to vie for the sort of postseason glory that has eluded them for nearly three decades.

They raced to a 26-point first-half lead over the stumbling-and-bumbling Giants and coasted to a 40-0 triumph in the opening Sunday night game of the NFL season.

The Cowboys did nothing particularly spectacular on offense. With McCarthy serving as the play caller, Prescott threw for a modest 143 yards in a 13-for-24 passing performance before giving way to backup Cooper Rush. Tailback Tony Pollard ran for two touchdowns. The offense could be pedestrian because the defense did the heavy lifting, amassing seven sacks. And the Giants helped. The Cowboys scored first-quarter touchdowns on Noah Igbinoghene’s 58-yard return of a blocked field goal and DaRon Bland’s 22-yard return of a tipped-ball interception.

But the Giants’ mostly satisfying [2022] season ended with an unsavory 38-7 defeat to the Eagles in a divisional-round playoff game. The drubbing Sunday night means the Giants have been outscored 78-7 over their past two games.

Bleeding Green Nation

Nakobe Dean to miss several weeks, Eagles sign former first-round LB to practice squad

The Eagles cannot catch a break at the linebacker position, and with Nakobe Dean expected to miss about four weeks with a foot injury, the team added some depth.

The Eagles have had some really bad luck with the linebacker position through preseason and now Week 1, with news that Nakobe Dean is expected to miss several weeks due to the foot injury he suffered on Sunday against the Patriots. Not the best news, but reports indicate the team expected worse prior to additional testing, and are encouraged that he doesn’t need surgery.

With Dean now out for an assumed four weeks, the Eagles have just two linebackers on the active roster, Zach Cunningham and Christian Ellis, with Nicholas Morrow on the practice squad. To make up for that lack of depth, the team is signing former Titans’ first-round pick Rashaan Evans to the practice squad, per reports.

Drafted by the Titans in 2018 at No. 22 overall, Evans played four years in Tennessee before suiting up for the Falcons in 2022. He started all 17 games in Atlanta last season and had a career-high 159 total tackles in addition to 4 pass breakups, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries. The LB played 98 percent of the defensive snaps, but was never signed during free agency that followed.

Big Blue View

Giants injury news: Andrew Thomas has hamstring issue

Giants will await MRI results to determine severity

The 2022 second-team All-Pro left tackle suffered a hamstring injury. Thomas reportedly suffered the injury on the blocked field goal at the end of the Giants’ opening drive, and clearly did not play to his usual standards Sunday night. Thomas was also the only Giants’ offensive lineman not to complete the game, playing 53 of 70 offensive snaps.

“He fought through,” head coach Brian Daboll said of Thomas, “I think he had a little bit of a hammy going in there.”

Thomas will be undergoing an MRI of the hamstring on Monday.

Thomas was disappointed in his play Sunday.

“I’m supposed to be a captain and a leader. And I don’t think I played too that standard today,” he said.

The Giants need Thomas to be at his best considering that on Sunday the rest of the line looked overmatched.

The only true backup offensive tackle on the roster, Matt Peart, played only four snaps before leaving the game himself with an unknown injury. Josh Ezeudu finished the game at left tackle.

The video below shows that Thomas could barely move and should not have been playing.

NFL league links


Washington Post (paywall)

Aaron Rodgers exits after four plays as Jets fear Achilles’ injury

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a left leg injury during the first offensive series of his regular season debut with the New York Jets on Monday night, leaving the field on a cart amid stunned disbelief from a previously raucous home crowd at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets announced that Rodgers suffered an ankle injury. They did not immediately offer further specifics but said he would not return to the game against the Buffalo Bills. The team also said X-rays were negative.

Jets Coach Robert Saleh said after the game there is concern that Rodgers suffered an Achilles’ injury, pending the result of an MRI exam. “It’s not good,” Saleh said.