The Commanders loss to the Giants in a nutshell

The Commanders loss to the Giants in a nutshell
The Commanders loss to the Giants in a nutshell

The Washington Commanders lost 20-12 to the New York Giants in Ron Rivera’s first big game. Washington was outplayed and outcoached despite having a week to prepare.

Loss kills Washington’s playoff hopes. Loss gives Giants tiebreaker, placing Washington two games behind. Without a win, the Commanders’ playoff odds are 34%.

They’ll be underdogs in two of their final three games and a pick in the other. Burgundy and Gold’s loss was devastating. They’re still sixth, but their climb to mid-January football became tougher.

This gives Commanders a reality check. They’re ordinary and were beaten at home by the less talented Giants. Inexcusable loss. Brian Daboll and the Giants deserve respect, but this loss hurts in D.C.

San Francisco next week might decide the season.

Taylor Heinicke’s magic dust faded

Taylor Heinicke’s roller coaster was made of toothpicks, gum, and fairy dust. Unfortunately, Kayvon Thibodeaux tore apart the toothpick and gum roller coaster.

Washington scored today. One. Their defence conceded 13 points in an 8-point loss. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel are ineffective as receivers.

McLaurin and Dotson showed they’d be an epic pair with above-average quarterbacking. Nope. Heinicke’s lack of arm skill and sluggish decision-making cost him. See the sack on the opening drive, the sack before fumbling, the near interceptions, and how often he puts his receivers in danger.

Heinicke works hard, stays calm in pressure situations, and his teammates love him. His inconsistent play can only take a squad so far. Carson Wentz wasn’t any better, or they would’ve switched.

Heinicke hinders the offence. Whether Washington makes the playoffs or not, he’ll continue. The Burgundy & Gold will need a quarterback.

Ron Rivera and co. out-coached

Brian Robinson ran 12 times. Twelve. He averaged 7.4 ypc (89 yards). Why wasn’t he given more touches in the playoffs? Ride what got you to 7-5-1.

Robinson’s late-game absence was particularly puzzling. After a 15-yard run by Robinson, he never played again. Curtis Samuel got a 2-yard handoff, Antonio Gibson caught a short pass, and Taylor Heinicke fumbled on third-and-four in four-down territory.

Robinson had zero touches in the game’s most crucial moment, when he could have taken the lead. His only other handoff was the ruled touchdown run. Inexcusable. Robinson is a top player. Washington’s secret weapon for low-scoring victories.

Washington wouldn’t give the ball to the Alabama runner. Add that to Rivera punting instead of kicking a 51-yard field goal (which Slye would later make), chasing points in the third quarter, and Del Rio’s unit getting gashed by Saquon Barkley in the vital seconds of the game, and this coaching staff is a complete embarrassment.

Washington should reflect. With the 49ers coming, they must improve. On offence. From execution to Scott Turner’s game calling, they’ll need to be on target Saturday.

3. More stripes

No, the refs didn’t cause the Commanders’ loss tonight. They lost a chance to draw the game because the referees intervened.

Washington could’ve been playing for the win, not the tie, if not for a ticky-tack offensive pass interference on a two-point conversion attempt.

Not calling defensive pass interference on Darnay Holmes’s last play is unacceptable. Compared to the OPI on Dotson, improper formation on McLaurin, and holding on Cornelius Lucas, it’s confusing.

After watching the World Cup, where they have a near-instant VAR system for some penalties, you wonder why a multi-billion organisation doesn’t implement one. Why are big games determined by humans who make mistakes and are inconsistent?

International soccer’s VAR is fast. It’s faster than the NFL’s replay system. Referees yards away decide the ball’s location. Two people with sticks and a chain decide first downs. Why change what’s always been done?

The Commanders had multiple wins. If the pass interference is called late, Washington may not tie the game. They shouldn’t have been denied a tie. NBC’s Terry McAuley concurred.

Landover, Maryland’s stripes had a terrible night.

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