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Instant Analysis | Commanders sputter in first half, fall to Lions in 36-27 defeat


The Washington Commanders were hit with blow after blow from the Detroit Lions' pass rush in Week 2, and it created a hole that they were never able to fully recover from.

First-round pick Aiden Hutchinson led a suffocating attack with three sacks, handing the Commanders their first loss of the season, 36-27.

The Lions owned the line of scrimmage for most of the contest, and that was exemplified by a dominant first half in which the Commanders had almost no production on offense. It took Washington until the second quarter to get a first down, as the Lions out-gained the team, 250-56 in total yards. Detroit's defensive front often disrupted plays before they even began. Wentz amassed just 39 net passing yards, while the running game could only muster 17 yards in the first two quarters.

Detroit's top weapons, Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift, made their presence known early in the game. After a three-and-out to start the afternoon, St. Brown got open in the middle of the field and sprinted downfield for a 49-yard gain. That play, which was part of a 184-yard performance for the wide receiver, led to a 35-yard field goal.

Swift's play, a 50-yard rush on Detroit's ensuing drive, did not lead to points, as the Lions turned over the ball on downs at the Commanders' 3-yard line, but it did help put Washington in a precarious position. Wentz fumbled the ball in the end zone as he was being sacked, which resulted in a safety.

From that point, the Lions scored 17 unanswered points with touchdowns coming from St. Brown and Josh Reynolds. Wentz's final pass of the quarter was incomplete, ending a disappointing 22-0 half.

Washington finally put together a response in the third quarter. The offense zipped 64 yards downfield on five plays, and facing a third-and-5 at the Lions' 15-yard line, Wentz fired a shot to Curtis Samuel, who scored his second touchdown of the season.

Washington was back in the end zone two drives later. The offense got to work at its own 6-yard line, and with help from a 35-yard completion from McLaurin as well as a 27-yard catch by Samuel, the Commanders closed the gap again with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas.

From there, the game became a back-and-forth affair. After a 58-yard run by St. Brown, the Lions extended its lead back up to 14 with a 22-yard completion by Swift.

The Commanders responded with a 12-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Antonio Gibson. After a failed two-point conversion, Washington climbed back within one score of tying the lead, 29-21.

However, the Lions responded once again. St. Brown wrapped up a six-play, 70-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown to make the score 36-21.

Washington found the end zone once more in the fourth quarter after Jahan Dotson score a one-yard touchdown, but a missed extra point from Joey Slye all but dashed any hope the Commanders had of taking the lead.

The defense did manage to cause a turnover on downs, but the Commanders' final offensive play, fittingly, was a sack on Wentz, allowing the Lions to run out the clock.

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