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  • Chappell Wilson

Commanders let one slip away at home against the Eagles 38-31

Washington came into week 8 looking very wounded after losing a low-scoring game to the also struggling New York Giants. The rumbling of Coach Ron Rivera being on the hot seat started to grow after last week, and the team definitely took notice as they started Sunday’s game against the Eagles with plenty of tenacity and were up 14-3 in the second quarter. The Commanders forced two fumbles and were the first team this season to stop Philadelphia’s infamous tush push.

Quarterback Sam Howell lit up the Eagles secondary, and he was surprisingly protected very well by his offensive linemen, as they only surrendered one on the day. Coach Rivera’s staff had a great game plan in the first half, and it showed on the scoreboard as they went into the locker room up 7. In the second half, the Commanders had little to no chance of stopping star receiver AJ Brown as he went on to torch their defense for 8 receptions, 130 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Washington’s young QB looked amazing through three quarters, but in crunch time he seemed to look very rattled, and it hurt Washington's chances to win the game as he didn’t convert on two crucial fourth downs and also through an interception in the fourth quarter that was in his team’s own territory.

The late game issues gave Washington the opportunity to win the game and close the gap between them and the rest of the NFC East, but luckily the Commanders will now be having a few winnable games in the next few weeks as they face the Patriots, Seahawks, and Giants. These next few games will show if this team’s culture has changed or if Coach Rivera has maybe lost touch with his players in the locker room.

As we all know, the Commanders are under new ownership as of this season, and if the team doesn’t show any improvement, the new owner may want to move in a different direction. Washington has also spent a ton of money on their defensive line, which has multiple first-round picks, some of whom have been given big contracts, and that means they will be faced with a decision at the trade deadline with Chase Young and Montez Sweat. The highly paid front four of Washington haven’t produced as much as the team or fan base would like, and there are still questions surrounding the quarterback situation with Sam Howell. This team will be heading up I95 to face off against the disappointing New England Patriots, led by Hall of Fame Coach Bill Belichick. Both teams will be desperately seeking a win, but it sure seems like it can be a season-defining loss if Washington falls short on Sunday.

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