The Washington Commanders did not get the result they were hoping for in their big-stakes matchup against the Giants on Sunday Night Football. New York's game plan, in combination with Washington's failure to execute, led to problems for the home team on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the Commanders struggled in an area they are aware is an Achille's heal: red zone conversion. The team marched into the red zone three times against the Giants and only scored one touchdown.
"The better teams in the league are better at situation football…red zone and third down. Can you dominate those two stats as an offense?" Commanders analyst Fred Smoot said in Monday's edition of Mission Debrief on the Command Center. "We drive the ball 80 yards just to kick a field goal. That's not what you want to do."
And in general, Washington was slow to find its rhythm offensively. Logan Paulsen believes that issue might have had some to do with overthinking and trying to incorporate play action that the Commanders have not necessarily had a ton of success with up until then.
"They kind of outsmarted themselves to start the game," Paulsen said. "They tried to do a little bit too much. They got away from who they were."
But it was not just the offense that sputtered. The Commanders defense could not shut down a lot of the Giants' explosive plays.
"I think the Giants came out with an excellent plan quite frankly. I think they did a really fantastic job saying, 'We know where we're weak. We're going to call plays – passes and protections – to get the ball out of his hands quickly," Paulsen said. "Daniel Jones was dealing. Dude was making plays, and you have to give him some credit."
Jones held on to the ball for a lot less time than the defense was perhaps used to or expecting, which decisively minimized the threat of Washington's defensive front.
"They took our best unit out of the game by getting the ball out of there quickly," Smoot said. "I think we needed to be the aggressor and we weren't. We sat back and took the punches, and we got punched in the eye."
As compared to their thirteen days in the lead up to this loss, the Commanders do not have much time to lick their wounds. They will need to focus on learning from Sunday night's missed opportunities and get ready for a West Coast trip to play the 49ers on Christmas Eve.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 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 looks ahead to the Commanders matchup against the 49ers following Sunday's loss.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Philips reports on Ron Rivera's Monday comments after Washington's Week 15 defeat.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala reports on the Commanders' frustrating loss to the Giants.
- The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga gives his perspective on the Week 15 loss.
- The Washington Post's Scott Allen gives four takeaways on the Commanders' loss.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about the Commanders reflecting on their loss to the Giants.
- The Washington Times' Jacob Calvin Meyer goes into detail about the Commanders' red zone struggles.
- NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay gives his stock report after the Commanders' loss to the Giants.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux reports on Terry McLaurin recording his third straight 1,000-yard season.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux also writes about the Commanders trying to make sense of the bizarre ending against the Giants.
- The Athletic's David Aldridge gives his thoughts on the quarterback position.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about the Commanders' missing an opportunity against the Giants.
- CBS Sports' Jared Dubin writes about the officiating against the Giants.
- NFL.com's Kevin Patra writes about the last calls against the Giants.