Washington Commanders fans are familiar with the fumbling issues that Antonio Gibson dealt with last season and during the preseason, and the third-year running back had heard all the noise that came with them.
Ron Rivera has stuck with Gibson, though, insisting that he was still a key part of the offense. On Sunday, he served up a reminder as to why that is the case.
Gibson was the team's top playmaker during its 28-22 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, leading the way in rushing and receiving with 130 total yards (72 receiving, 58 rushing). He asserted ahead of the game that he was still one of the best backs in the league, and he backed that up with speed, quickness and, most importantly, no fumbles.
There was a reason for Gibson's effectiveness: the team found interesting ways to highlight his athleticism.
"We talked about how he is a young man that when you give him the ball in space," Rivera said. "He's electric and such a dynamic football player."
Most of that involved leaning on Gibson's background as a wide receiver. On his first touch of the game, Gibson was lined up to the left of Carson Wentz and sprinted past safety Andre Cisco before making a catch at the Jaguars' 4-yard line for a 26-yard strike.
Next, on a third-and-1 in the second quarter, Gibson got open on the left side of the field and turned Wentz's pass into a 25-yard gain.
Of course, Gibson's abilities as a running were still on display. Fifty-five percent of Gibson's ground production came in the second half, and he was able to convert three first downs in the process.
Gibson showed why Rivera views him as such an important part of the offense, and it sounds like the plan to keep using him in more unique ways throughout the season.
"Hopefully when Brian Robinsonreturns, you'll get an opportunity to see us use AG a little bit more in space, and try and create opportunities for him to get the ball in space," Rivera said. "And that's what we think we can do with our offensive personnel."
The next opportunity for Gibson to show that will be on the road against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 18.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about Brandon Scherff returning to FedExField.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about what the analytics say about Carson Wentz.
- The Washington Time's Matthew Paras preview the Commanders' Week 1 matchup against the Jaguars.
- The Washington Time's Matthew Paras also writes about Carson Wentz learning to ignore his instincts and let go.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Carson Wentz calling Washington's matchup against Jacksonville just another game.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about the Jaguars' defensive coordinator calling McLaurin "a 5-star" ahead of Week 1.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey reports on the Commanders' offensive weapons.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig and David Aldridge give their predictions and superlatives for the Commanders.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras looks at the third year jump Ron Rivera wants to see.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about Curtis Samuel's mentality heading into Week 1.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier gives his take on the Commanders start to season.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillips gives his Commanders season preview.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Antonio Gibson's desire to prove himself.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala and Sam Fortier write about the Commanders' coverage and pass rush working together.
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