The Washington Commanders hit the road for their first away game of the season, heading north to Motor City to face the Detroit Lions. The visitors struggled on both sides of the ball in the first half, falling behind 22-0. Despite a second half offensive rally, Washington was unable to seriously threaten Detroit and lost its first game of the season, 36-27. Here are three numbers to know from the defeat.
The man they call the "Sun God" shined at Ford Field today against Washington. The Commanders' defense did not have an answer for Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, as he went on to amass 184 yards (116 receiving, 68 rushing) with 11 touches in Detroit's second home matchup.
The game marked the eighth straight in which St. Brown has caught at least eight passes. That matches the NFL record set by Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown. Impressively, St. Brown is just 22 years old while Thomas and Brown were 26 when they achieved the feat.
The USC product capped off his day in the form of two touchdowns. His 13-yard reception was the from Jared Goff resulted in the Lions' first touchdown of day, which also gave Detroit a 12-0 lead. His second touchdown, an 11-yard throw from Goff, delivered Detroit's last points and the final dagger in Washington's coffin.
Carson Wentz found himself on the ground way more than he would have liked against the Lions. The quarterback was sacked five times in this afternoon's defeat. Peering beneath the hood of the stat reveals that Washington's offensive line struggled after holding their own against the Jaguars for the most part. The performance was unfortunately capped by an injury to center Chase Roullier, who left the game during the final Commanders series with a lower leg injury.
All credit must be shown to the Lions defense. Bolstered by the hype of their crowd in their first home game of 2022, the unit put relentless pressure on the Commanders offensive front. The star of the persistent onslaught was Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who became the first rookie in franchise history to record three sacks and matched the league record for a rookie. All three of his sacks came in the first half.
That sets up the final number to know in Week 2. As indicated by the Hutchinson stat, the Commanders had an incredibly difficult time making things happen in the first half and put up just 39 total passing yards. The Lions defensive effort was stifling, and the Washington offense that looked so creative and improved from a year ago to open the game against the Jaguars seldom looked dangerous against Detroit.
Wentz, who completed nine of his 17 pass attempts, struggled to get the ball out of his hands against a stifling pass rush, and that was clear by the lack of movement from the unit. The Commanders collected just two first downs, and those did not come until the second quarter.
Washington's offensive stars did not mince words when talking about the performance.
"The first half was as bad as it can get for us," Terry McLaurin said.
"We were horrible in the first half," Wentz admitted.
The offense did a near 180 when they came out of the locker room to start the second half, and Washington finished the game with respectable stats in all offensive categories. The Commanders currently have the seventh-ranked offense in terms of total yards, and Wentz is second in passing yards.
However, regardless of how good the offense looked in the third and fourth quarters, the unit is just as much to blame for the team's double-digit deficit. Fighting off sluggishness and starting off the way they played in the back half of the game will be a major priority for the Commanders looking ahead.
"It's just a matter of putting four quarters together," McLaurin said.