Jahan Dotson has already made a great impression on the Washington Commanders' fan base.
With less than two minutes left to play, Washington needed points down two in the season opener. After starting at their own 10-yard line, Washington was at the Jacksonville Jaguars' 24 facing a third-and-8. Carson Wentz surveyed his options, spotted Dotson in end zone and fired.
Dotson hauled in the pass, and with the score, his second of the day, he ensured that the new era of the Commanders' franchise started on a good note.
After jumping out to a 14-3 lead in the first half, Washington came back from an eight-point deficit to defeat the Jaguars, 28-22.
It was about as much of a roller coaster ride as someone can manage for a Week 1 matchup. After zipping downfield to the tune of 145 yards on their opening drives, the Commanders did little to answer a Jaguars team that was never really out of it. But Washington got the points when it needed them, as two of its final three drives ended in touchdowns.
Washington out-gained the Jaguars by seven yards, 390-383. Washington was able to string together drives on a more consistent basis, though, even with the lull in the second half. It converted 7-of-10 third downs compared to the Jaguars' 3-of-12.
The Washington Commanders are kicking off the 2022 season with a home matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photos by Kourtney Carroll and Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
Wentz, who did throw two interceptions on back-to-back plays, also completed 27-of-41 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns. It was also the return of Curtis Samuel, who finished the day with 72 total yards. Antonio Gibson was the top playmaker for the Commanders, leading the team in rushing and receiving with 130 total yards on 21 touches.
The Commanders accomplished something that they have not been able to do on the opening drive of a season since 2019: get into the end zone. Washington marched down the field on an eight-play, 74-yard drive, and Wentz recorded his first touchdown with the Burgundy & Gold with a three-yard pass to Samuel.
After the defense forced Lawrence and the Jaguars to punt, during which the unit was limited to -2 yards, Washington got on the board again with another Wentz touchdown, this time on a grab by Dotson, who finished his first game with three receptions for 40 yards.
Jacksonville did make things more interesting in the third quarter. A 49-yard bomb from Lawrence to Christian Kirk put the Jaguars at the Washington 16-yard line, and three plays later, James Robinson scored his first touchdown of the season to close the gap. A failed two-point conversion made the score 14-9.
Jacksonville was not finished, though. After an interception by Wentz, Lawrence moved his offense 19 yards downfield to get in range for a 44-yard field, giving the team a 15-14 lead. Things got even worse for the Commanders on the first play of their ensuing drive, as Wentz's pass was intercepted and returned to their 11-yard line. One play later, Robinson rushed in the touchdown to make the score 22-14.
With Washington in need of a big play, Wentz looked Terry McLaurin to supply the offense with a jolt of energy, and the fourth-year pro did not disappoint. McLaurin hauled in a 49-yard touchdown, and after a failed two-point conversion, the Commanders closed the gap, 22-20.
And with the ball placed at the Commanders' 10-yard line, Washington marched 13 plays downfield to set up Dotson's touchdown. On the Jaguars' ensuing drive, Darrick Forrest secured an interception to close out the game, giving the Commanders a 1-0 start for the second time in three seasons under Rivera.