The Washington Commanders Choke Against The New York Giants Again
The Washington Commanders lost 20-12 to the New York Giants Sunday night. The Commanders offense was terrible for most of the game. My blame goes on Scott Turner for this because Brian Robinson only got 12 carries when he was averaging 7 yards per carry. For the defense they played well enough for the Commanders to win. For the second straight game the Commanders did everything to lose this game and gave the game away.
Scott Turner had his worst play calling game last night. The running backs only had a total of 17 carries combined. Curtis Samuel had the same amount of attempts as Gibson and Samuel only had one rushing yard. Every time the offense would get moving Turner would either call a pass play or a jet sweep with Samuel, which resulted in nothing. Here are some examples. On third and three late in the third quarter Turner decided to run Curtis Samuel up the middle instead of Robinson. Then in the fourth quarter after a 19 yard run by Robinson, Turner called a run for Samuel, which only gained a yard. I just don’t understand why they called plays for Samuel to run the ball when Robinson was averaging 7.4 yards a carry.
Now for Heinicke and the play calling. On Heinicke’s first sack fumble, which resulted in a Giants touchdown the Commanders should’ve just run the ball. It was 2nd and 18 from the 10 and the odds of getting a first down weren’t great. If the Commanders run the ball twice and punt it would’ve resulted in a better outcome. Also the defense had been playing well, so they should’ve just played it safe and maybe they break a run.
On Heinicke’s second sack fumble they should’ve also run the ball. It was third and four at the 5. If you give the ball to Robinson he may have gotten you the first down or even a touchdown. It would’ve definitely set up a fourth and short if he didn’t score or get the first. Instead Scott called a pass play and Heinicke held onto the ball too long and takes a sack and fumble.
Once again Heinicke had a bad game. Now the play calling didn’t help him by going empty at times with a bad o-line, but Heinicke can’t fumble the ball twice. On the first drive of the game Heinicke took a sack, which took the commanders out of field goal range. If he checks it down or just throws it away the Commanders probably come away with three points.
Now on his first fumble I don’r really blame him because the Commanders went empty and didn’t give the LT any help. Now on his second fumble he needs to protect the ball better. He was careless with the ball and didn’t have two hands on the ball, which is why he fumbled.
When it came to throwing the ball Heinicke did alright when he had time. He made a couple of big throws late in the game. One on the last drive to Samuel, which went for 27 yards. Another to Dotson on the drive Heinicke fumbled that went for 60 yards. If Heinicke can clean up the sacks and fumbles the Commanders win this game.
The Running Game
I don’t understand how we only ran the ball 17 times with running backs yesterday. The Giants have been one of the worst teams against the run the last month of the season. Last week they gave up 250 yards on the ground to the Eagles. I would’ve liked to see at least 40 rushing attempts split between the running backs for this game. Especially when Robinson was averaging 7.4 yards per carry and Gibson was averaging 4.2 yards per carry. At the end of the day not running the ball more is one of the main reasons the Commanders lost this game.
The defense isn’t the reason the Commanders lost to the Giants. The Commanders only gave up one drive to the Giants all game. Now that drive was a killer especially because the Giants converted a 3rd and nine and 4th and nine. A stop on one of those plays would’ve helped, but so would not fumbling the ball twice. I would’ve liked to see some tighter coverage from the Commanders instead of playing a soft zone, but with a backup corner playing I get they play call.
The D-Line didn’t get any pressure on Jones all game. They only had four QB hits and didn’t record a sack. The team has a whole only had one tackle for a loss and that was from Jon Allen on a run play he blew up. Against the 49ers next week the game plan will need to be better and play tighter coverage against a rookie QB and blitz more.
Finally the refs were terrible at the end of the game. On a touchdown run by Robinson the refs called McLaurin for illegal formation. Saying he wasn’t up on the line of scrimmage. In the replay you can clearly see Terry checks with the ref and the ref said he was good. Terry also said in postgame that the ref told him he was good, but the ref still threw they flag.
Then on last play on offense for the Commanders on fourth and six the refs didn’t call a clear pass interference. The defender was holding Samuel and hugging him, but the refs let it go. If the refs are going to call the illegal formation then they need to call this PI.
Now the Commanders shouldn’t have put the game in the refs hand. If they don’t turn ball over, take sacks, or if they ran the ball more they wouldn’t be in this situation.
Next week the Commanders take on the 49ers in San Francisco. It will be a tough game for the offense, since the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL. For the Commanders defense they will need to stop the run game and put some pressure on the rookie QB. If the Commanders can somehow win out they will still make the playoffs, but at this point I don’t know if they win another game.