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Commanders Versus Lions: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

By Mark Solway | September 19th, 2022

The Washington Commanders came out flat against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They fell behind 22-0 by half-time and just could not claw their way back in a very disappointing 36-27 loss.

There were some decent performances, but there were also some things to groan about.

The Good:

Curtis Samuel

While positives were a bit hard to come by, Samuel played very well again on Sunday. He continues to be a bright spot so far in 2022.

He put up 99 yards on 8 touches – 7 receptions for 78 yards and one 21-yard run. He also scored a touchdown.

On a day where Washington just seemed behind from the get-go, their receiving corps at least gave them a fighting chance in the second half.

Samuel struggled all of last season with a nagging injury, and took plenty of heat for it. He deserves to be recognized now that he is playing so well. He has shaken off the “Sidefield” nickname and rightfully earned respect.

He currently leads the team with 133 yards receiving through two games. He has also been targeted more than any other Washington receiver (20).

He has looked dangerous throughout.

Together with Terry McLaurin, and rookie Jahan Dotson, Samuel has become part of a very dynamic three-headed receiving monster.

Also mentions: Jahan Dotson, Daron Payne

The Bad

William Jackson III

Does anything bother a fan more than a guy who doesn’t even seem to be putting out his best effort out there? After all, these guys are paid more money per season than your average person will ever see.

Oh sure, it’s easy to point to “how he’s used” and blame someone else. And sure, there may be some truth to the fact that he’d be better in press coverage than in zone.

So what. That doesn’t change the fact that he got beat multiple times on Sunday and was a major point of distress in the defense.

He gets paid really good money to play like this too.

He has the second highest cap hit on the team behind only Carson Wentz. How much? Almost $14,000,000 this season.

Ouch.

The Ugly

Ron Rivera / Jack Del Rio

There are multiple reasons for the decision to drop these two in the “Ugly” slot. They seem to be getting out-coached on a fairly regular basis. Time management looks like a Harvard level law course to Rivera at the moment. The decision to go for two at 29-21 seems questionable at best.

But the main reason for putting these two here?

Poor leadership.

In what regard?

Specifically, throwing Jamin Davis under the bus.

Now, has Jamin played well? Maybe not. Although he did manage to sack Jared Goff on Sunday.

But Davis is a second year player who is now playing out of position because the staff couldn’t get out of him what they thought that they could. So they point fingers at the young kid and act like they didn’t make a mistake drafting him in the first round, rather than cop to it being their mistake.

What a lousy way to inspire the rest of your team.

Davis has become a scapegoat for Del Rio. To compound issues, instead of manning up and reprimanding his defensive coach, Rivera piles on too.

“Again, as a young guy, he’s going to learn and grow but, hey, we’re running out of time as far as that’s concerned.”

Why not just stop after “learn and grow”? Instead, Rivera doubles down and puts even more undue pressure on the kid.

That’s awful.

Hot garbage

What happened to the adage that “we win and lose as a team”?

There aren’t likely many players on the team that are thinking, “Yeah Jamin, buck up.”

However, there are likely some players on the team thinking, “who are they going to throw under the bus next”?

It’s a terrible look from the two coaches, and it lands them both in this week’s ugly pile.

Game Score Week 2

Next

The Commanders go again next Sunday. This time in a division battle with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington will need to be a lot better than they were against Detroit, if they want to move to 2-1 and keep pace in the NFC East.

 

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