Stock Report: Commanders suffer embarrassing loss in Detroit

Commanders suffer embarrassing loss in Detroit originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

DETROIT –  The Commanders made it interesting in the second half but the damage from a completely inferior first half doomed Washington in its first loss of the season. 

Where Carson Wentz and the offense mounted somewhat of a second-half comeback, the defense refused to go along for the ride. Washington’s defense has now given up 58 points through two games and does not at all seem ready to rebound from a bad 2021 season. 

How bad was the defensive effort? Late in the third quarter when Washington had cut the Detroit lead to one score, the Commanders promptly gave up a 58-yard run to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and three plays later, running back DeAndre Swift burst in for a 22-yard score on a play that he fell down after catching the ball.

Seriously, he caught the ball, fell down, got back up and then ran for the end zone.

It was the cherry on top of an all-too embarrassing defensive performance sundae. 

There were other gaffes, and the volatility that comes with Wentz quarterbacking, but by far the biggest culprit in the defeat was Washington’s inadequate defense. 

Stock Down

  • Trai Turner – Washington’s interior offensive line got mangled much of the game though Turner seemed particularly inept. On a series of possessions the Commanders offense could not move the ball past their own 20-yard line and there was consistent rush from the inside, let alone an inability to run the ball. Eventually things opened up but not before the damage was done. Only twice did Washington gain a first down in the entire first half of this game. Think about that. 
  • Secondary – Bobby McCain, Benjamin St. Juste and William Jackson III all probably deserve their own category here. Lions QB Jared Goff completed 20 of 34 passes for 256 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Further, there seemed some reluctance by members of the secondary to aggressively go for tackles late in the game. The Swift TD catch highlighted particularly poor tackling too.
  • Dax Milne – The second-year wideout is being asked to return kickoffs and punts. A big part of that is decision making. And Milne’s decision making has been suspect. Repeatedly he brought kicks out of the end zone and did not reach the 25-yard line. He also fair caught a punt at his own 6-yard line. Mistakes, all of them. 
  • Jack Del Rio – At some point the defensive coordinator needs to be named as part of the problem. His defensive unit finished last year near the bottom in most major statistical categories and Washington’s defense is on pace for similar results. It’s Week 2 of the regular season; by and large the players aren’t going to change. Maybe change what you’re asking them to do. 

Stock Up

  • Receiver Group – Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel continue to be the strength of this team. In the second half when Wentz got some time to deliver throws he began to find his wideouts for chunk plays. The three wideouts combined for 15 catches, 212 yards and two TDs. 
  • Logan Thomas – The veteran tight end continues his remarkable comeback from a knee injury, grabbing three catches for 37 yards and a TD. He injured his knee less than 10 months ago.
  • Young Lions  – Detroit has some serious young talent on its squad: Amon-Ra St. Brown and DeAndre Swift highlight the offense while Aiden Hutchinson dominated the line of scrimmage against Washington. He finished with three sacks in an absolutely dominant first-half performance before injury appeared to slow him down in the second half.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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