Stud and duds from Commanders' tie with Giants in Week 13




 

The Washington Commanders had plenty of opportunities to win their fourth game in a row Sunday against the New York Giants but squandered multiple chances in regulation and overtime, leading to their first tie since 2016.

Washington's offense got off to a fast start against the Giants, scoring the first 10 points of the game. The Giants finally got going behind the legs of quarterback Daniel Jones. The combination of Jones and running back Saquon Barkley powered a New York comeback, combining to rush for 116 first-half yards.

A Washington turnover early in the third quarter led to another New York touchdown, giving the Giants a 20-13 lead. The Commanders finally tied things with under two minutes remaining on a Jahan Dotson touchdown.

Washington had one more shot in regulation and in overtime but fell short.

Here is a look at the players who impressed Sunday and those who didn't.

Stud: QB Taylor Heinicke

Go back and watch this game; quarterback Taylor Heinicke made multiple big-time throws. His fourth-and-4 throw to wide receiver Curtis Samuel late in the fourth quarter kept Washington in the game. It was a terrific play from Heinicke to evade the rush and still make an accurate throw down the field. Samuel did the rest. Heinicke was under duress throughout the game. He completed 27 of 41 passing attempts for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Stud: RB Brian Robinson Jr.

We are seeing what type of player rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. is over the last two weeks. It's still difficult to believe Robinson was shot twice in the leg in late August and is out there rushing for 100 yards three months later. Robinson had his first career 100-yard game last week. He followed that performance up with 21 carries for 96 yards. He also caught two passes for 15 yards. Robinson is heating up at the right time.

Studs: WRs Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson

 

Washington Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson (1) celebrates his touchdown catch and run with wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17). Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a look at the stats for Washington's wide receivers in this game:

  • Terry McLaurin: 8 receptions, 105 yards, touchdown

  • Curtis Samuel: 6 receptions, 63 yards, 23 rushing yards

  • Jahan Dotson: 5 receptions, 54 yards, touchdown

You saw the potential of this group in Sunday's game. They are all terrific. Dotson's touchdown catch-and-run was amazing. Samuel made one of the plays of the game on the fourth down and also had a critical 21-yard run that put the Commanders into New York territory on their first overtime possession. McLaurin was, well, McLaurin.

The Commanders should continue running the football, but you see the potential of this offense when McLaurin, Samuel and Dotson are involved.

Studs: DTs Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen

Daron Payne added two more sacks to his total for the season, which now stands at 8.5. As a duo, he and Jonathan Allen combined for 12 tackles, three for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hits. The Commanders didn't get a chance to hit Daniel Jones often because the Giants had a strategy to get the ball out of hands quickly. After allowing the Giants room to run in the first half, Washington shut it down in the final 40 minutes.

This duo will continue to carry Washington throughout the final stretch run.

Dud: QB Taylor Heinicke

Yes, Heinicke is on here twice. The reason Heinicke makes this list is due to the multiple overthrows. In the first quarter, Heinicke had 6-foot-6 tight end Logan Thomas open for what would've been a touchdown but threw it over his head. There were at least three other instances where a Washington receiver was open, and Heinicke threw it too high. One of those plays was across the middle as Heinicke tried to put a little air under the ball to get past the linebacker's depth but put it too high for his receiver.

Those are missed opportunities.

Dud: Pass protection

 

New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) in front of offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. (72). Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

Washington's offensive line had been playing well in recent weeks. Part of that was due to Heinicke's mobility, hiding them a bit in pass protection. Against the Giants, Washington's offensive line had a tough day in pass protection. The Commanders allowed 10 quarterback hits and sacked Heinicke five times. Heinicke was hit hard multiple times after releasing the football and was fortunate to remain in the game. Now, the Commanders have potentially lost center Tyler Larsen for the season. That's another difficult blow.

Offensive line coach John Matsko will likely be busy during the bye shoring up Washington's pass protection issues.

Dud: Offensive coordinator Scott Turner

We don't need to hear the excuses. Turner doesn't trust his quarterback. He doesn't trust his offensive line. When Samuel carried the ball into New York territory in overtime, Turner began calling plays like he was trying to run out the clock. Two consecutive runs put the Commanders in a third-and-long. On third down, Turner calls a quick pass to Samuel, who is dropped quickly, forcing a punt.

There's also Washington's final possession in overtime. Sure, the Commanders were backed up deep in their own territory, but instead of playing to win, Turner calls a draw on third-and-10. Washington picks up five yards and then punts. Why are you not playing to win there?

Dud: CB Christian Holmes

The seventh-round rookie from Oklahoma State had a good game in his first NFL start in Week 12. With Benjamin St-Jute out again, Holmes received another start. Things didn't go as smoothly.

Jones didn't throw it downfield often, but he did throw one deep to Slayton. Holmes was in position on the play, but Slayton comes away with the football. Holmes looked lost in the play. Then Jones targeted Holmes in the end zone on a touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins put a move on Holmes and got open for the touchdown.

The coaches replaced Holmes with veteran Danny Johnson.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire

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