What a rollercoaster of a game!
After being down 21-3 and looking anemic on both sides of the ball, Washington bounced back in a big way, with the offense finding its groove and putting up an impressive 35 points while roaring back to take the lead. However, the team almost gave up that lead after a Hail Mary by Russell Wilson with just seconds remaining was answered after the ball was tipped three times, finally landing in the hands of a lucky Broncos receiver. Benjamin St-Juste made a nice play in the endzone to stop the 2-point conversion and seal the victory for the Commanders.
Below are my Studs and Duds of the game, followed by some notes.
Sam Howell - Howell was cool under pressure and stepped up in his first road start to lead Washington to a thrilling 35-33 win. He completed 27-39 attempts for 299 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also had a few nice scrambles (one that was called back on a Leno hold). One thing we can all agree on - this guy can really sling it!
Hell of a throw here by Howell pic.twitter.com/qTJnpSqYtF— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
HUGE 3rd down scramble by Howell! pic.twitter.com/GOC7D2Jlar— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
What a throw by Howell and even better catch by Terry for the TD!!!— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
BIG TIME pic.twitter.com/z3TniRtUR5
Brian Robinson - Robinson was a one-man wrecking crew amassing 129 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. Heck of a performance by the second-year pro.
Terry McLaurin - Terry led all Washington receivers with five receptions for 54 yards and an amazing touchdown where he went up and made a great catch in the endzone in between a few Broncos defenders.
Logan Thomas - Thomas 100% gets a stud from me for hauling in that touchdown catch and taking that vicious hit that knocked him out of the game and got Kareem Jackson thrown out of the contest.
TD to Logan Thomas… but he took a very nasty shot to the head. pic.twitter.com/XDC2Y5dqzg— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Chase Young and Montez Sweat - Young wasn’t perfect in his 2023 return, and Sweat was rather quiet until the fourth quarter, but both of these guys stepped up and made life in the pocket miserable for Russell Wilson. The duo combined for seven tackles, three sacks, two tackles for a loss and multiple pressures on the afternoon.
Chase Young has been a menace all game. Here he gets his 1st sack of the season! pic.twitter.com/raxKVgFa9z— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Montez Sweat SACK! pic.twitter.com/vwCq9CpGCx— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Young and Sweat combine for the sack pic.twitter.com/4dPEiP6WUC— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Daron Payne - Payne had five tackles, all solo, a sack, two tackles for a loss and two batted passes. As usual, he was a menace all afternoon, with his most impressive series coming in the third quarter where he made three plays in a row to single-handedly force a punt from the Broncos.
Jamin Davis - Davis’ strip-sack that Cody Barton recovered may have been the play that changed the game. Davis has had a slow start to the season, but on that play, you see the potential he has.
Amazing closing speed by Jamin Davis who makes the tackle and creates the fumble pic.twitter.com/WLTm4K1vNY— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Emmanuel Forbes - Forbes got toasted early in the game, however, he bounced back in a big way with an amazing interception and great coverage - including a few passes defended, down the stretch.
Forbes with the INT! pic.twitter.com/1sQZhzolEd— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Charles Leno and Andrew Wylie - The “dynamic duo” made life in the pocket a lot harder for Sam Howell than it needed to be. Both players gave up multiple pressures and some sacks on the afternoon. Both players also had sacks erased due to defensive penalties.
Leno absolutely abused… pic.twitter.com/UBY12CfBMT— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Wylie just abused for strip-sack. Knocks us back from what would have been a makable FG pic.twitter.com/sKXJAr9C4u— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Percy Butler - In limited time, Butler gave up a long touchdown and recorded just one tackle on defense which was an assist.
This is embarrassing. Butler beaten badly here for the TD pic.twitter.com/Bola94uWkp— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
Camaron Cheeseman - I have a feeling Cheeseman will be out of a job in the very near future. He had another bad snap - and when your only job is to snap the ball, that can’t be tolerated.
-I thought our interior three offensive lineman played pretty well - especially blocking in space. Gates looked much better in his second game and Charles showed great athleticism from his left guard spot. Cosmi is a damn BEAST!
-Barton may have looked a bit better on the stat sheet, but I still saw him not being able to get off blocks and giving up some big gains in coverage - including a touchdown on a crosser. He did have a key fumble recovery.
Cody Barton in zone - tries to stay with Johnson on the crosser, but he doesn’t have a chance. Easy TD for Denver pic.twitter.com/CubwnaTKM4— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) September 17, 2023
-St-Juste made a nice play in the endzone on the 2-point conversion. Broncos fans may call that play controversial, but I say the BS tipped ball drill on the Hail Mary was BS too.
-I absolutely hated the fact that none of our defenders simply knocked the deep ball down to end the game. That was absolutely ridiculous and gave Denver a shot at a tie that they didn’t earn.
-So much for those fast starts Ron and Jack talked about in the preseason... but hey, it all worked out.