Commanders fall to Lions: Everything we know

The Washington Commanders dropped to 1-1 on the season after Sunday’s 36-27 loss to the Detroit Lions.

The game couldn’t have begun any worse for Washington, with the Lions rolling up 250 yards of total offense in the first half and entering halftime with a 22-0 lead.

The Commanders finally woke up in the third quarter, as quarterback Carson Wentz led a quick, impressive drive that ended with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Curtis Samuel. After a defensive stop, Wentz capped a seven-play, 94-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Logan Thomas. Washington went for two, and Wentz found rookie wideout Jahan Dotson to make it a 22-15 game.

Unfortunately for the Commanders, that was as close as they would get as the defense allowed two more Detroit touchdowns.

Here is everything we know from Washington’s first loss of the season.

Final score: Lions 36, Commanders 27

Detroit Lions’ Kalif Raymond (11). (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Team

1Q

2Q

3Q

4Q

Final

Washington Commanders

0

0

15

12

27

Detroit Lions

12

10

7

7

36

Why Washington lost

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

Where do we begin? One thing we can say is don’t blame quarterback Carson Wentz. No NFL team should get down 22-0 in the first half unless there is a significant talent discrepancy. With Washington and Detroit, there isn’t a huge talent discrepancy. The Commanders were outcoached and outplayed thoroughly in all three phases of the first half. Washington’s defense improved some in the second half but still allowed two touchdowns right after the offense had scored, ending any chance of a comeback win.

Washington’s defense is a problem that’s not going to get any better anytime soon. The Lions were playing without three starting offensive linemen and rushed for 191 yards and held Washington to just one sack of quarterback Jared Goff.

It was over when....

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

Washington head coach Ron Rivera inexplicably went for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. The Commanders had gone for two on their previous touchdown to make it 22-15. That was necessary. However, on their next score, the touchdown made it 29-21, whereas an extra point would’ve made it 29-22.

Instead of kicking the PAT, Rivera goes for two — and fails. The game remained 29-21, and the Lions would go on to score the next touchdown, making it 36-21. That meant the Commanders would be chasing the points for the remainder of the game instead of just kicking extra points to remain within seven.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter as Washington kicker Joey Slye missed the PAT on Washington’s next touchdown, ensuring the Commanders would trail by nine points. That meant Washington was two possessions behind.

You could choose a number of times when the game was over, but this is where it became most obvious.

Commanders' top performers

  • QB Carson Wentz: 30/46, 337 yards, three touchdowns, one interception. The above graphic showed two, but Wentz was only intercepted once.

  • WR Curtis Samuel: 7 receptions, 78 yards, one touchdown, 21 rushing yards

  • WR Terry McLaurin: 4 receptions, 75 yards

  • WR Jahan Dotson, 4 receptions, 59 yards, touchdown, also converted a 2-point conversion

  • S Darrick Forrest: 10 tackles

 

Game notes

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11). (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

  • Wentz has passed for over 300 yards and seven touchdowns in Washington’s first two games. The passing game is clearly Washington’s strength.

  • The defense allowed 425 total yards, multiple big plays and never provided a consistent pass rush from the edge. Sure, the Commanders finished with three sacks, but only two were impactful. Linebacker Jamin Davis’ sack on Detroit’s first possession and defensive tackle Daron Payne’s sack in the second half each forced Detroit punts. Defensive end Montez Sweat was shut down.

  • Antonio Gibson struggled after a strong opener. Gibson managed 28 yards on 14 attempts against a defense he should have been able to run against. That’s not all Gibson’s fault. Washington’s offensive line struggled. But Gibson lacks vision, and for a runner of his size, he is not a good short-yardage runner.

  • Washington’s wide receivers are outstanding. The trio of Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel combined for 15 receptions, 212 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Special teams was also an issue. There was the return on the free kick after Detroit’s safety. That play changed the game. The Commanders received nothing from their return game and kicker Joey Slye missed a PAT. Ouch.

Injuries

Washington Commanders center Chase Roullier (73). (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

  • Center Chase Roullier was carted off the field late in the game. This would be a massive loss for the Commanders. This was Roullier’s second game back after breaking his leg in Week 8 last season.

  • Defensive tackle Daniel Wise departed the game in the first half with an ankle injury.

  • Defensive end Casey Toohill was ruled out with a concussion in the second half.

What's next

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) prepares to pass the ball as Washington Football Team defensive tackle Matthew Ioannidis (98) chases during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles come to FedEx Field in Week 3, ensuring things won’t get any easier for the Commanders.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire