Blame the officiating. Blame Ron Rivera’s resolution to play for extra time. However regardless of what was finally a loss, the Washington Commanders performed their finest sport of the 2023 season in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Coming off of a humiliating 37-3 residence loss to the Buffalo Payments, the Commanders have been an 8.5-point underdog to the Eagles on the street. They fought till the bitter finish and simply may have received had some breaks gone their means.
The discuss shall be all a couple of controversial name throughout extra time during which Terry McLaurin was dominated out of bounds. Test it out.
It was a name that merely got here all the way down to what the unique ruling on the sector had been and a scarcity of indeniable proof to overturn it. The decision compelled Washington to punt and the Eagles scored on the following drive.
Some may even level to Ron Rivera’s name on the finish of regulation – following a landing to Jahan Dotson as time expired – to kick the additional level to tie the sport, versus going for the win. Nonetheless, he would even be thrown below the bus had the Commanders gone for 2 and missed. Hindsight is all the time 20/20.
The very fact of the matter is that whereas there are normally no ethical victories within the NFL, the Commanders confirmed unbelievable grit and resilience on this one. Every week after throwing 4 interceptions, QB Sam Howell bounced again by compiling 330 whole yards (290 passing, 40 speeding) and a landing with no turnovers in opposition to the defending NFC champions.
Most significantly, Howell was big within the clutch as he gave his workforce an opportunity. He marched Washington down the sector in lower than two minutes, needing a landing to tie and accomplished the drive with the rating to Dotson.
It is these kind of performances from Howell that cement his upside as a franchise quarterback for the Commanders. The first focus for this season was all the time going to be about his growth and after his first actual wakeup name in opposition to Buffalo, his skill to place that sport behind him was large.
He and the Commanders now have two upcoming video games during which they’re going to seemingly be favored, in opposition to the Chicago Bears and on the Atlanta Falcons. Holding serve these subsequent two weeks is crucial, as whereas there are ethical victories to remove from Sunday’s loss, that will not be the case in opposition to both of these groups.