July 23, 2024

New England Patriots vs. Washington Commanders: Hitters and Misses

Washington arrived prepared to play on a stunning November afternoon in New England!

Yes, a few poor decisions made the game much closer than it needed to be, but when it came down to it, the defence held the Patriots’ offence in check for the majority of the contest—even without their starting two EDGE rushers, who were traded earlier in the week.

Eric Bieniemy called a solid offensive game overall. In addition to racking up 23 first downs on the afternoon and controlling time of possession 37–23 minutes, Sam Howell and the offence ran up 432 yards in total and converted nine of seventeen third down attempts.

Sam Howell: Please bear with me; there are a few layers to this. Yes, just before halftime, Sam threw an utterly appalling interception in the end zone. That was unacceptable and needs to be fixed going forward. But the positives far outweighed the negatives.

Throughout the game, he displayed excellent ball placement and accuracy. He had excellent pocket presence and distributed the ball to all of his receivers, making several tight-window throws that other quarterbacks in the league are simply incapable of. On third and 23, he had a fantastic 24-yard scramble to gain a significant first down. I simply get the impression that this young person is “it.”

Jahan Dotson: Dotson performed in the role for the second straight game. He caught four passes for 69 yards, including a nice touchdown. Although he still struggles with attention span issues, which he will need to address as the season progresses, it is encouraging to see him back playing a part in this offence.

Terry McLaurin was the top receiver with five receptions for 73 yards, but even with a star receiver, it’s the little things that sometimes go unnoticed—like the block on Brian Robinson’s touchdown.

Juan Gibson – Gibson caught all five of his targets for 42 yards after running hard between the tackles. Also, he blocked effectively when instructed to do so. Three kickoff returns netted him 72 yards.

Emmanuel Forbes – Forbes has his best game as a pro against the Patriots. He was lock-down in coverage and nearly grabbed his second interception down by the goal line. So happy to see this young man get back on track.

 

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