Failure: Presence and protection of the pocket
Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz has been sacked nine times, a career high – one more than he endured as a member of the Eagles in Washington in Philadelphia’s victory in the opener. 2020 season and one shy of John Beck’s franchise record set in a 23-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills in 2011. (The Bills were originally credited with nine sacks in that game, but the official scorers changed the total to 10 three days later.) The Eagles, who became the first team since Washington in 2019 to record four sacks in the first quarter, finished with at least nine sacks for the eighth time in franchise history. Wentz took some of the blame, acknowledging he needs to do a better job of getting rid of the ball in the face of pressure.
Commanders trusted Carson Wentz. Finally, he must reward them.
During the first quarter, Commanders announced that they had reduced the categories of their new mascot to two. The winning mascot, which will be revealed at the team’s final home game of the season, will be either a pig or a dog. (Historical figure and superhero have been eliminated as categories, which is good news.) Fans are invited to vote online for the name of the pig or dog mascot. Options include Boss, EZ, Lieutenant, Lil General, Major, Tuddy (cringe), and Winstan (please, no). A hog — said to be a nod to the franchise’s dominant offensive line of the ’80s and early ’90s — seems like the obvious choice since the team announced its search for a mascot earlier this year. . It turns out that the Commanders plan to honor the original Hogs during the game when they announce the winning pick.
Failure: Terrain Advantage
Eagles fans took over FedEx Field and made their presence felt — with hearty boos for Wentz — throughout the day. Earlier in the week, Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni challenged Eagles fans to make life difficult for commanders and said it would be a “deflating thing” if Washington was forced to use a silent cadence at home. “That would be pretty cool,” Sirianni said. Mission accomplished. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin said Washington was forced to change its snap count a few times.
Washington’s fourth quarter safety cut the Eagles’ lead to 24-2, an unusual but not unprecedented scoreline. Three NFL games have ended this way, including the New York Giants’ playoff victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 8, 2012. Sunday’s 24-8 final, although it didn’t does not act like a scorigami, is even rarer. In fact, that had only happened once before, on October 26, 1975, when the Houston Oilers defeated the Detroit Lions by that margin. Washington has never scored exactly two points in a game.
Failure: Ron Rivera’s attempted challenge
While Wentz needs to work on not holding the ball for so long, Rivera needs to improve his reaction time with the challenge flag. DeVonta Smith set up the Eagles’ first field goal with an incredible 45-yard catch along the sideline, but replays appeared to show the wide receiver only had one foot in bounds. Rivera tried to challenge the hold, but he only threw his red flag on the pitch after the Eagles had already broken the ball in the ensuing play. “I needed to throw it earlier, that’s the truth,” Rivera said after the game.
Hurts threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, and Smith had eight catches for 169 yards and a score, so there weren’t many standout performances in Washington’s secondary. St-Juste was an exception. The sophomore cornerback, who has lined up primarily in the slot this season, played on the outside against Kendall Fuller with regular starter William Jackson III inactive with a back injury. He responded with three tackles and three pass breakups.
Failure: The Attack on Washington
The new smoke machines the commanders debuting for the pregame introductions were the extent of their offensive firepower for much of the day. Washington has been outscored 46-0 in the first half in its last two games after being beaten 322-50 in two quarters and taking a 24-0 halftime deficit on Sunday. Unlike last week, things didn’t improve much in the second half against the Eagles. Washington reached the red zone for the first time in the final minute of the third quarter, but the 15-play, 93-yard run resulted in a turnover after tight end Logan Thomas was stopped with no gain on a shovel pass to the fourth and objective. The Commanders have only scored on one of their three trips to the red zone.