Commanders can’t overcome first-half deficit, fall to lowly Giants – eastpowernews

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nicely, no less than they’ve Tress Approach.

Exterior of their punter, the Washington Commanders had little else Sunday in a 14-7 loss to the New York Giants that made a workforce that began the day 1-5, with a decimated offensive line and an injured beginning quarterback, appear to be a Tremendous Bowl contender.

The rating is deceiving; the sport was disastrous sufficient to make Washington’s loss to the beforehand winless Chicago Bears two weeks in the past appear nearly regular. Possibly that is who the Commanders are: a workforce that may compete sometimes however that too usually disappoints in video games it ought to win. Washington has a behavior of falling behind early and ready till the beginning of the second half, if not later, to tug it collectively, sending the offense into catch-up mode and leaving the protection pressured to make huge performs.

“It’s been seven f—ing years of the identical s—,” defensive sort out Jonathan Allen mentioned. “I’m uninterested in this s—.”

The blame falls on everybody — particularly Washington’s porous offensive line and a training employees that appeared to stay too lengthy to a sport plan that repeatedly failed.

4 takeaways from the Commanders’ loss to the Giants

The difficulty began on the outset, when quarterback Sam Howell was sacked on his first dropback and left sort out Charles Leno Jr. adopted with a false begin penalty. The Giants’ defensive linemen repeatedly pushed again and ran over Washington’s offensive linemen, whose play was accountable for almost all of the six sacks on Howell. He has taken 40 on the season and is on tempo to be sacked 97 instances general.

Three of Howell’s 5 first-half sacks got here on third down.

“That is what they do — they carry strain on third down,” proper sort out Andrew Wylie mentioned. “And plain and easy, we weren’t selecting it up.”

Getting into Week 7, the Giants had used 5 or extra rushers on 38.3 % of their defensive performs and man-to-man protection on the again finish for greater than a 3rd of their performs, in response to TruMedia. Towards the Commanders, they dialed up the strain much more, sending 5 rushers on 55.1 % of Washington’s dropbacks.

When requested if the Giants shocked them, a number of Commanders gamers mentioned they’d completed what they’d anticipated.

“They gave us some seems to be, however they weren’t any seems to be that we don’t know the solutions to,” Howell mentioned. “It was simply extra of a matter of simply executing.”

Added large receiver Jahan Dotson: “We knew they had been going to deliver the home. We knew they had been going to play [cover-zero]. I had been saying all of it week: We knew they had been going take a look at us man-to-man. It was about getting our playmakers on the skin, and that’s what we did within the second half, and that’s why we had some success.”

New York’s plan labored particularly nicely within the first half as Washington’s line crumbled underneath strain and its receivers struggled to create separation, leaving Howell little time and slim home windows.

The outcome: Washington’s eight drives within the half produced zero factors. None included greater than 4 performs, and half led to zero or adverse web yards. Just one resulted in Giants territory. The Commanders averaged 1.8 yards per play, and Howell produced simply 15 web passing yards.

Svrluga: The puzzling Commanders protection appears lower than the sum of its elements

The Commanders made some changes within the second half, serving to Brian Robinson Jr. waltz into the tip zone for a four-yard landing after a muffed punt by the Giants gave Washington a brief subject. However a lot of the Commanders’ rediscovered rhythm was due to Terry McLaurin.

He caught a 27-yard move within the third quarter that was padded with a 15-yard pointless roughness penalty on cornerback Deonte Banks. McLaurin bounced up from the powerful hit. Two performs later, with solely seven seconds left within the quarter, he hauled in a 31-yard catch on third and 9. It was Washington’s first third-down conversion in 13 makes an attempt.

“I belief myself successful down the sector,” McLaurin mentioned. “I feel that’s a power in my sport. I’m continually attempting to work with [offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy] and … the offensive employees simply to proceed to provide me possibilities down the sector. As a result of I feel go routes and fades are extraordinarily pivotal in an offense, particularly once they’re blitzing like that.”

McLaurin’s catch put the Commanders at New York’s 16-yard line — in place to attain once more — however Howell threw two incompletions, and as a substitute of going for it on fourth and three whereas trailing by a landing, the Commanders opted to kick. Leonard Williams blocked Joey Slye’s 27-yard subject objective try.

The choice to kick was nearly as questionable because the workforce accepting a holding penalty on the Giants that finally led to New York’s first landing.

The Commanders stopped the Giants on third and 5 early within the second quarter, permitting Tyrod Taylor, who was beginning rather than Daniel Jones (neck), to run for under three yards on a scramble.

Justin Pugh was referred to as for holding. If the Commanders had declined the penalty, the Giants would have had to decide on between going for it on fourth and objective from the 2-yard line and kicking a subject objective; by accepting the penalty, Washington gave the Giants two downs to get the ball into the tip zone, which they did on a 15-yard dart to Darren Waller on third down.

New York’s second landing got here two drives later. First, Banks intercepted Howell on a move meant for Dotson.

“I don’t know if the ball bought tipped or one thing,” Howell mentioned. “I simply really feel just like the ball didn’t go so far as I used to be attempting to throw it, so it was only a dangerous play on me. I believed decision-making-wise, it was high-quality. Simply bought to throw the ball a bit [farther].”

The dagger: Wylie was flagged for pointless roughness after the play, tacking on a free 15 yards.

Two performs later, Saquon Barkley caught a brief move and took it 32 yards for a landing, forcing missed tackles by Washington defenders en route.

In contrast to a few of their previous first-half debacles, when the Commanders regrouped for the beginning of the second half and climbed again, they didn’t actually seem useful till their remaining drive of the sport, a 17-play collection that spanned 85 yards.

The drive got here courtesy of the line of defense after Daron Payne knocked the ball out of Barkley’s grasp on a run from Washington’s 10-yard line and fellow defensive sort out John Ridgeway recovered it.

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For some time, the Commanders had been rolling, accumulating six first downs as Howell (22 for 42 for 249 yards with one interception and a 60.5 ranking) unfold the ball round. However it ended on the New York 7-yard line. On fourth and 5, Howell scrambled left to flee heavy strain and focused Dotson on a crossing route close to the two. However he threw the ball barely behind Dotson, who bobbled it earlier than being knocked out of bounds.

“I make these performs on a regular basis with my eyes closed, so not having the ability to make that play, it hurts for positive,” Dotson mentioned. “And I’m going to let it harm as a result of that’s the one manner I’m going to get higher.”

The sport ended when Payne went down with an damage with 51 seconds left, forcing Washington to make use of a timeout it didn’t have. Because the gamers shook palms at midfield, Dotson crouched on the sideline.

Approach, in the meantime, set a private greatest with 513 yards and matched his profession excessive of 10 punts, booting 4 contained in the 20.

“It’s sort of changing into a repetitive factor the place we’re attempting to bounce again each single sport,” he mentioned. “… We bought to be higher.”

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