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Commanders Reacts Survey: Assigning blame for Sunday’s debacle against the Bills

Poll questions!!

Buffalo Bills v Washington Commanders Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Washington Commanders fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in regular email surveys.

The questions

Question 1
We begin our survey with the usual weekly question that asks if you are confident in the direction of the team. Last week, Commanders fans comprised the 5th-most confident fan base in the NFL, with 95% of those responding to the poll answering ‘yes’ to this question.

Question 2
Last week we asked readers to predict the outcome of the Bills game, and 54% predicted a victory for the burgundy & gold in a close game. If you were part of that majority, don’t quit your day job just yet. The good guys were shut out until the final scoring play of the game — a Joey Slye field goal to make the final tally 37-3.

This week, the Commanders are 8-point underdogs on the road, according to DraftKings. They will play one of only 3 remaining undefeated teams — the Philadelphia Eagles.

The last time Washington went to Lincoln Financial Field to play an undefeated Eagles team was November 14th last year, when the previously 8-0 Eagles lost 32-21 in front of a prime time national audience on Monday Night Football. That game stands alone as Jalen Hurts’ only loss in his last 21 regular season starts.

Players, coaches and observers have used the word ‘resilient’ more than any other to describe the 2023 Commanders. Can they come back from the ugly loss to the Bills to beat an undefeated Philadelphia Eagles team on the road to reclaim their pride?

Question 3
I wish I could say that Sunday’s home loss to the Bills was the worst I’ve seen, but it wouldn’t be true. It pales in comparison to the 2021 loss to the Cowboys by a score of 56-14, when Dallas romped all over Washington from the opening whistle.

By contrast, at home this past Sunday, Washington had the ball with a 1st & 10 and trailing by only 16 points early in the 4th quarter, and could easily have been in closer game if, for example, Ron Rivera had opted to kick a field goal instead of going for the touchdown (and failing to get it) on 4th and goal early in the game.

Last week’s game ended in a rout. The game was, and probably always will be, defined by 9 sacks and 5 turnovers (yet, unbelievably, wasn’t the worst beatdown of the day in the NFL).

Still, it was a bad loss on a day when the team had reportedly hosted 175 former players for the team’s annual ‘homecoming’ weekend.

One admirable thing I’ve observed since the game has been an absence of players and coaches pointing the finger at anyone but themselves. Every team leader, from Sam Howell and Terry McLaurin on offense to Jonathan Allen on defense, has publicly raised his hand and taken the blame for the lopsided result.

The players may not want to blame anyone but themselves, but fans are much happier to point fingers, and we give you that chance today. Our final question of the day asks you who you believe is most culpable for this past Sunday’s catastrophe.

Comments & Results

Of course, we invite you to answer the survey questions below, but also feel free to expand on your answers in the comments section. I rely on those comments when discussing the results of the survey when they are posted in a separate article the next few days.