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Instant Analysis | Commanders fall to 0-2 in 'dress rehearsal' game against Chiefs


There was a slightly larger sample size of the Washington Commanders' starters against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason, but the increase in snaps ended up being similar to the product from the previous week: some good, some bad and evidence of a lot more work that needs to be done. 

Carson Wentz recorded 64 yards on 6-of-9 completions, and the Commanders dropped to 0-2 in the preseason with a 24-14 loss. 

If anything, the issues that Washington showed against the Carolina Panthers -- third-down struggles and slow starts on both sides of the ball -- were magnified against the Chiefs' starters. Patrick Mahomes and his offense converted their first six third downs, while Commanders, despite some flashes from Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, could not get much traction.  

In fairness, the Commanders were playing without many of their starters on offense, mostly on the offensive line. With Wes Schweitzer and Andrew Norwell both out with nagging injuries, that left Aaron Monteiro and Saahdiq Charles to man the interior.

The Washington Commanders have begun their second preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

It was good to get the depth players more experience, but the positive moments were mixed with the frustrating ones. On the starters' last drive of the game, a third-and-5 at the Chiefs' 29-yard line ended in a punt after a false start and a sack.

On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs were humming. Mahomes led his offense on back-to-back scoring drives, both of which ended with touchdown passes to tight end Jody Forston. The Commanders' pass-rush did manage to flush Mahomes out of the pocket on several occasions, but the former MVP did what he was known for throughout his career: sidearm strikes and magician-like lobs to receivers for chunks of yardage downfield.

Mahomes finished the day 12-of-19 for 162 yards and two scores.

The Commanders' fortunes improved once Taylor Heinicke and the backups entered the game. A 22-yard catch-and-run by Antonio Gibson was part of an 11-play, 84-yard drive that ended with an impressive grab from Cam Sims.

That continued once Sam Howell got into the game, and just like the previous week, the rookie did deliver a spark. A 22-yard pass to Dax Milne set Washington up inside the 5-yard line, and Jaret Patterson finished off the drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown, making the score 17-14.

But the rookie did deliver a reminder that he does have much to learn, as he threw an interception to Chris Lammons that led to a touchdown three plays later.

A final effort from the offense to put up points ended with a turnover on downs, allowing the Chiefs to bleed out the clock.

With less than two weeks left before final roster decisions need to be made, the players hoping to make the initial 53 have one last chance to impress coaches in a game scenario. Kickoff against the Baltimore Ravens will be on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.

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