The Washington Commanders had a chance to pull off the win.
After taking two steps forward, followed by one step back, for the previous five minutes, the Commanders found themselves at the Tennessee Titans' 2-yard line with less than 20 seconds left to win the game.
But after an interception by David Long, followed by a strange stretch of time where the linebacker was ruled down with six seconds left after many of the players had run off the field, the Commanders' hopes at climbing back into the win column were dashed with a 21-17 loss.
It was a back-and-forth affair where many of Washington's previous errors of the last three games were not nearly as prevalent. The offense looked efficient at times, while the defensive line harassed Ryan Tannehill with five sacks. Dyami Brown had two touchdown grabs, resulting in 105 yards of offense. The offensive line, which has dealt with multiple changes to the lineup, protected Carson Wentz well enough against a Titans defensive line that is known for being disruptive.
The Washington Commanders take on the Tennessee Titans for their Week 5 matchup at FedExField. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
And yet the same issues returned at inopportune times. They committed nine penalties for 71 yards, often putting the offense back after making progress downfield. The defense did a good job of limiting explosive plays, but one -- a 61-yard reception to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine -- set up the Titans for a touchdown.
And even more frustrating, Washington completed just one third down on 11 attempts.
The Titans got started at their own 48-yard line and only needed six plays to cover 52 yards. A 24-yard screen pass from Tannehill to Derrick Henry put the Tennessee offense inside Washington's 15-yard line, and Dontrell Hilliard wrapped up the drive with a 13-yard screen reception of his own to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.
Washington then went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by a 50-yard field goal from Joey Slye and Brown's first career touchdown. On the first play following a three-and-out from Washington's defense, Wentz aired out a bomb to Brown, who hauled in the catch over his shoulder and ran in for the 75-yard touchdown.
Tennessee retook the lead near the end of the first half. The team went on a 15-play, 81-yard march that ended with Henry plowing forward for a one-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a 14-10 advantage at halftime.
Washington got back on the scoreboard in the third quarter, and once again, Wentz looked for Brown, who made an impressive one-handed, 30-yard score, putting Washington back on top, 17-14.
But Tennessee was quick to respond. After a 61-yard grab by Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Henry plowed forward again from the Commanders' 1-yard line to retake the momentum, 21-17.
With less than five minutes left to play, the Commanders went 87 yards downfield on 18 plays. A defensive pass interference call placed Washington at the Titans' 2-yard line. On a third-and-goal with just six seconds left, Wentz targeted J.D. McKissic on the left side of the end zone, which led to the eventual game-sealing interception.
The Commanders are now 1-4, but they do not have much time to reflect on the loss. They have a short week with the Chicago Bears up next on Thursday Night Football.