When Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera decided to bench quarterback Taylor Heinicke in favor of Carson Wentz last week, he knew there would be a backlash if it failed.
Rivera entered Sunday’s game against the Browns knowing it could backfire, but even he had no idea it would go as miserably as it did for Wentz and the Commanders.
Wentz threw two interceptions in his first six passing attempts. At one point, he had as many completions to Cleveland players as he did his teammates. Yet, because the game stayed close in the first half and Wentz led the Commanders to one scoring drive, he stuck with Wentz.
After the game, Rivera was asked who would play quarterback in Week 18 if the Commanders were eliminated Sunday. Rivera appeared not to know Washington could be eliminated Sunday.
Here are just some of Twitter’s reactions to Rivera’s rough Sunday.
For the ninth time in Ron Rivera’s 12 years as a head coach, his team won’t have a winning record. He last had a winning record in 2017.
— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera seems like a very good person, but decisions like going back to Carson Wentz really make me question his ability as a head coach. https://t.co/6WVLUVP1hg
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) January 1, 2023
I love Ron Rivera…he played for my fave team ever, the ‘85 Bears…He’s a worthy man and head coach…but starting Carson Wentz today with everything on the line for Washington was about as dumb a decision as a coach can make.
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) January 1, 2023
I think Ron Rivera has the ultimate job security – an owner selling the team who doesn't want to pay a buyout.
But there are some very fair questions after this debacle.
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) January 1, 2023
Michael David Smith
The Commanders are 5-3-1 when Taylor Heinicke starts and 2-5 when Carson Wentz starts.
Wentz has more interceptions and more sacks in fewer starts.
Ron Rivera's failure to identify which of his quarterbacks was better is the reason the Commanders will miss the playoffs.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera: “We want to be a power running team who uses play action to generate shots.”
Scott Turner: *puts Wentz in shotgun first 6 of 7 plays*
— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) January 1, 2023
Congratulations to Ron Rivera for being eliminated from the postseason again…
— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) January 2, 2023
Ron Rivera not knowing his team could be eliminated today until a reporter mentioned it after the loss is one of the craziest admissions I’ve ever from a coach. That he didn’t know exactly what was at stake today is a complete and utter indictment of his stewardship of this team.
— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) January 2, 2023
Washington went from 1-5 to “hottest team in the league” to 0-3-1 and out of the playoffs. The only consistency under Ron Rivera has been inconsistency, and that’s unacceptable in year three.
— Eric Sully (@CommandersRealm) January 2, 2023
Ron Rivera is a losing HC, the only reason he’s still coaching is bc of his “likability”. Three straight seasons of 7 wins in Washington. He only has 3 winning season in his 12 year coaching career. He’s an awful HC and the team needs to move on after the season no matter what.
— Sean 🪖 (Fire Ron Rivera) (@CommiesSean) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera going on a mid season winning streak just to end on a losing streak and ending with 7 wins pic.twitter.com/bj6eCA4DcY
— 𝕊𝕨𝟛𝟛ℙ (@JahanOROTY) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera will, once again, lead the Washington Redskins/Football Team/Commanders to 7 wins
7 wins in 2020
7 wins in 2021
7 wins in 2022 (they just lost to Cleveland & won’t beat Dallas next year)
This team has not progressed whatsoever. The Rivera era needs to come to a close
— Johnny Obeid 🇵🇸🤟🏽 (@JohnnyObeid) January 1, 2023
Did Ron Rivera possibly lose the lockerroom going to Wentz?
— Rant Burgundy (@ImRantBurgundy) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera you asked for this 😔 so I have to give you smoke sir respectfully 🙏🏾
— Marcus Spears (@mspears96) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera after making sure the team don't get over 7 wins pic.twitter.com/P9GmAfgWoS
— coolsky (@coolskywastaken) January 1, 2023
Even more reactions
Reporter: You do realize the Commanders could be eliminated from the playoffs today
Ron Rivera: ??? pic.twitter.com/6Kr0K0xZuf
— Sourdeath Sam (@SourdeathSam) January 2, 2023
— DC Sports Buzz (@DCSportsBuzzz) January 1, 2023
Wentz with a QBR of 37.7 against Cleveland and 3 interceptions.
Heinicke was benched with 1 interception and a QBR of 114.5 against the best defense in the league last week.
Fire Ron Rivera.#Commanders
— Jesse 4.6.5 (@jesse_isaacson) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera watching the Packers – Vikings game after he just found out an hour ago Washington would be eliminated with a Green Bay winpic.twitter.com/tKJFvvkE3v
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 1, 2023
Ron Rivera and Scott Turner cooking up another 7 win season for the third straight year pic.twitter.com/cjj2tgsFvC
— (7-9-1) brandon (@SamHowellMVP) January 1, 2023
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) January 1, 2023