The Washington Commanders victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday was a bit if an anomaly. Why? Because Washington haven’t opened a season at 2-0 since the Occupy Wall Street movement.
That’s right, they haven’t won their first two regular season games since 2011.
It was a very tight game. Perhaps more poignantly, it definitely didn’t look like it was going to happen for at least half of the game. In fact, it almost fell through at the last moment as well.
When the Broncos hit a 50-yard Hail Mary to close out the game, even the most ardent of Washington fans had to be thinking, “We did not just blow that”. After all, the Washington faithful have seen a lot of sorrow in the last generation.
But this is the Josh Harris era. Things just seem… different.
So sure, Denver scored on the Hail Mary, but could they tack on a two-point conversion and send the game to overtime.
Not this time.
Even eerier still, was the fact that a pass interference penalty could have easily been called against the Commanders on that two-point conversion, but it wasn’t.
Did Josh Harris have anything to do with it. Well, maybe not in the actual physical sense, but in the metaphysical sense? Surely it is becoming apparent that things are just changing for the good in the nation’s capital.
Sam Howell had another respectable outing. He finished with 299 yards on a 27 of 39 day. He threw two touchdowns – one to Terry McLaurin (30 yards) and one to Logan Thomas (4 yards).
Brian Robinson Jr. had arguably his best day as a pro. He racked up 87 tough yards on 18 carries for a healthy 4.8 yard-per-carry average. Moreover, he tacked on two touchdowns as well. He also caught 2 passes for another 42 yards, giving him 129 all-purpose yards on the day.
The Commanders defense sacked Russell Wilson SEVEN times. Book ends Chase Young and Montez Sweat both had 1.5 sacks each, while Daron Payne, James Smith-Williams, Jamin Davis, and Casey Toohill all had one each.
Russell Wilson was 18 of 32 for the Broncos, and threw for 308 yards. He had three touchdowns and an interception. He also led all Bronco runners with 56 yards on 6 carries.
Chase-ing Past Form
Chase Young had himself a game. Returning from a stinger that he suffered in the first pre-season game. Young looked like, well, a bit like the Chase Young that won the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Too much?
The 24-year old will need to play more than one good game to return to that form, but the Maryland native was extremely effective against the Broncos.
He took a couple of penalties that probably tainted the outing slightly for some, but they shouldn’t.
He was disruptive.
He was energetic.
He was Chase.
At one point the Commanders were down by 18 points at 21-3. It had been ugly up until that point.
But they managed to come all the way back.
It was the biggest deficit that Washington have squashed since the infamous Kirk Cousins, “You Like That” game.
The Commanders will square off against the Buffalo Bills next week. The Bills are coming off their first win of the season after spanking the Las Vegas Raiders 38-10. Apparently that was enough for bookmakers to give Buffalo an edge in Week 3.
Washington can hopefully use that Home Dog status as bulletin board material and show up ready to fight.
With the way the entire NFC East have kicked off 2023, there may not be much wiggle room this season and every match-up will be meaningful.