Landover, MD. – The fallout is complete, Josh Harris should put Ron Rivera out of his misery after the recent terrorist attack by the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon outside of Dallas. Or after a better-than-expected loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon outside of Dallas. Or after the Cowboys beat the Commanders on Thanksgiving afternoon outside of Dallas. It doesn’t matter what happens outside of Dallas.
Harris Rivera has to be credited for getting Washington to compete through Covid-19 and some truly unfortunate injuries (not that every team is immune to injuries) and, in the process, trying to reset the culture that was missing under Jay Gruden. A largely lovable field product at the end of Dan Snyder’s reign. He should credit him and his front office for helping prepare the team’s financial books for significant free agent spending this coming offseason, and for now biting the bullet and making future deposits in Chase Young and a trade. Montez Lab – This gives Washington a real opportunity to quickly strengthen the team and pick five picks in the top 100 in next year’s draft.
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More importantly, Harris has Rivera to thank for taking Sam Howell in the fifth round of the 2022 draft and giving Washington real hope for the first time in a generation that it has a quarterback of the future.
But this must end. It’s time for this franchise to move on.
This is written without joy or talk-radio rage. It’s math. After going 4-7 in the regular season, the Chiefs, again, lost to the New York Giants, 31-19 on Sunday at FedEx. They still have to play the Cowboys twice, and the Miami Dolphins, and the San Francisco 49ers. There will be no Rivera run this year, meaning Washington will almost certainly end up with its fourth consecutive winless season under its head coach. So, there’s no reason to keep him on the sidelines any longer than necessary.
Rivera is deep into this tenure, and the same things always happen when the team has a chance to take a step forward. More explosive plays allowed by one of the league’s worst defenses; The extra turnovers and sacks allowed by an offense that can’t get the ball to its best players often enough. Ugly: A more inexplicable showdown with subpar antagonists. On Sunday, Howell dropped three shots against a battered New York defense, Logan Thomas and Chris Rodriguez had two more drives on fumbles, and Byron Pringle fumbled on the end of a punt return to start the second half.
On the other side of the field, Tommy DeVito, the Giants’ third-string quarterback, was a sure hit and took nine sacks. He also went 18 of 26 for 246 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and left town with a 137.7 rating.
Bag number eight
📺 #NYGvsWAS: FOX pic.twitter.com/xHSk8toHWn
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) November 19, 2023
The lack of water in both the Washington and New York locker rooms was a comically apt metaphor for how grounded the commanders were and the changes that needed to be made.
“It goes back and forth,” Jonathan Allen said. “One game the offense plays well, the next game the defense plays well. As long as we play together, this is the result. it hurts. Don’t have too much to say.
Washington will play again in 96 hours. He flies to Dallas on Wednesday. There isn’t enough time for a coaching change before the Turkey Day scrimmage. So wait for the team to get back from Texas, work on a mini-bi week, and do what needs to be done. Because commanders need to start as early as possible to figure out what they can do next and be able to pursue what they think best reflects that ownership vision. And the tentacles of top assistant coaches around the league need to start extending as soon as possible.
You might want to make the change this second, after Sunday, when the home team’s offense and special teams committed as many turnovers (six) as the defense had a quarterback sack. (If not for a man with more commanding stats.) The final turning point came when Howell tried to lead the Miracle in the final two minutes of a touchdown drive, succumbed to pressure and threw the ball out of bounds. Only to find the ball as far as Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons, he intercepted the ball and returned it 54 yards for the final score.
“The frustrating part is I think we have a good football team,” Howell said. “We have a lot of potential in that locker room. That’s disappointing, we’re certainly not getting the results we feel we’re capable of…certainly not where we thought we’d be. We know we are a better team than we have been this year.
Commanders, the Giants find the FedEx Field shower broken.
But that’s all. The commanders are not a good team. They have talent on both sides of the ball. But it doesn’t show up on Sundays, it’s not enough.
If the players aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, or if the coaches aren’t putting them in the right position to be effective, the Commanders have never come close to playing 60 minutes of extra football on a regular basis this season. It’s surprising that this team lost twice to a Giants team quarterbacked by Tyrod Taylor and DeVito. It’s ridiculous that this team got beat at home by the Chicago Bears.
Rivera said his team is ready to play Sunday. On his fourth offensive drive, Howell threw a no-chance pass to Demi Brown that was picked off by cornerback Nick McCloud. Midway through the first quarter, Saquon Barkley hit Jamin Davis for a 24-yard touchdown. Yes, the defense kept Barkley on the ground most of the day. He scored on second-half runs of 36 and 31 yards. The Chiefs gave up a 40-yard score from DeVito to wideout Darius Slayton on another blown coverage.
Still, I asked Rivera if someone should sit on the bench because of more defensive issues.
“There are things we’ll look at, keep discussing and go from there,” Rivera said.
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The owners are generally not willing to make changes at the time, mostly because they never work. (There’s the matter of bumping an assistant coach from an existing staff to a head coaching position, which almost always means a pay raise for the new boss. It’s about getting this season over with and moving on to the next one. And – I mean this – kudos to Rivera for the work he’s done here. It’s been hard and important, but it’s time to turn the page.
An hour into the game, the public address system suddenly came alive in the empty stadium, playing a message over and over again as the theme song – I swear – played a message over the music. First and 10 in 44 … First and 10 in 44 … First and 10 in 44 …
Fallout patterns flowed through FedEx, because the hot water didn’t exist.
(Top photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)