Commanders Win Streak Comes To An End
The Washington Commanders lost to the Minnesota Vikings 20-17. The Commanders had a ten point lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately hat lead would go away quickly. The Vikings would make a field goal and score a touchdown three minutes later after Heinicke threw an interception. The Commanders offense had a terrible first half again this week by only putting up three points. They would do better in the second half, but it still wasn’t great. For the defense they had a great game other than the first drive. After giving up the first drive touchdown the defense shut the Vikings down until the fourth quarter. The Commanders will need to rely on the defense for the rest of the season to win games because this offense isn’t going to outscore teams.
The offense had another bad game this week. Heinicke didn’t have a great game and only threw for 149 yards, but did throw two touchdowns. Heinicke also had several ball batted down today in key situations. He also didn’t get McLaurin involved enough today. McLaurin only had five catches for 56 yards. This game really highlighted Heinicke’s down side and why he isn’t a long term solution in DC.
When it came to running the ball this week the Commanders as a whole did better. They rushed for a total of 137 yards, but the running backs only ran for 80 of those yards. I would’ve liked to see the running backs get a few more touches. Especially on the drive Heinicke threw the interception.
The play calling today was an issue again. On the second drive of the game Scott Turner Called a QB draw on 3rd and 9. I don’t like that call with Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen on 3rd down and with Heinicke it makes zero sense. On third down the goal is to get the first down and not play it safe with a QB draw. Then later in the game on 4th and 1 they called a pass instead of giving it to Robinson up the middle. The play calling from Turner at times has been great, but when it really matters he seems to struggle.
The defense played a really good game. They hit Cousins a total of 11 times throughout the game. They would also sack Cousins two times today. After giving up an opening drive touchdown the Commanders would shut the Vikings down on their next seven drives. They would also pick off Cousins right before halftime, which kept the Vikings from scoring a field goal.
On the ground the Commanders held the Vikings to a total of 56 yards. 47 of those yards came from Dalvin Cook who averaged 2.8 yards per carry. This made the Vikings one dimensional, which allowed the defense to go after Cousins. They also didn’t give up a big run to the outside like they have all season. It seems like the defense is getting better every week. And it will get even better win Chase Young returns to the field.
The momentum of the game would shift after Heinicke’s interception. The Vikings returned the interception to the Commanders 12 yard line. Two plays later the Vikings would score a touchdown and tied the game up at 17. After the touchdown the Commanders would go three and out and punt. Then the Vikings would drive down and kick the game winning field goal. If Heinicke doesn’t throw that pick I like the Commanders odds to win the game.
The Commanders will take on the Undefeated Eagles next week on Monday Night. The Eagles beat the Texans on Thursday 29-17. The Eagles will be well rested for Monday Nights game against the Commanders. The Commanders defense will need to get after Hurts and play better than they did in week 3. The Commanders lost 24-8 in week 3. The offense will also need to look better next week to keep up with one of the highest scoring offenses in the league.