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Same Ol’, Same Ol’
Greetings from The Booth
When will I learn? I’ve just spent another wasted Sunday afternoon, hoping against hope that somehow the Washington Commanders will have found a way to win a close football games. What is that old saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? I truly must be insane. I drank the Kool-Aid when the team started 2-0, and basked in the waters of optimism under a new ownership. Things were surely going to be different in 2023: an elite defense was going to keep us in games while we developed a new quarterback. OC Eric Bieniemy was coming from the Chiefs to spruce up the offense. Former Owner Dan Snyder was gone. All was right with the world.
Fast forward to late October. Since the 2-0 start, the Commanders have sputtered to 1-5 in their last six games, finding a varfiety of ways to lose. A heartbreaking overtime loss to Philadelphia was followed by embarrasing defeats to NFL bottom feeders Chicago (on National TV) and the New York Giants. While not embarrasing themselves yesterday in a 38-31 loss to the Eagles, the end result was all too familiar.
Vince Lombardi once said “winning is a habit.” So is losing, which has become habitual with the once proud Washington franchise. When the Commanders jumped out to a 14-3 lead over Philadelphia yesterday, I tried not to get too excited. In fact, my high school football broadcast partner, Ryan Rutherford, texted that basically the Eagles had us right where they wanted us. We’ve seen the movie before. Washington sprints to early lead, Washington loses lead, Washington makes a comeback to make things interesting in the 4th quarter, only to find a way to lose at the end. And that’s exactly what happened yesterday. It was predictable.
So what now for the Washington Commanders? At 3-5 with the trade deadline approaching (Oct. 31), some hard decisions will have to be made. Is there a playoff run for the club or do they sell some valuable players for future draft capital? Chase Young and Montez Sweat are being mentioned as players who may have played their last game as Commanders. There’s also the question of what role Head Coach Ron Rivera will play in these decisions. Yesterday’s loss to the Eagles may have sealed his fate in Washington. Traditionally, a new owner likes to bring in his own people, and it’s no big secret that this has been an evaluation year for Rivera (and just about everyone else).
Speaking of evaluation, I don’t think any more is needed for Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio, who has worn out his welcome in DC. The Commaners’ defense is hot garbage. There is no pass rush from a supposed elite D-Line, the linebackers are slow, and the secondary is getting torched week after week. Don’t look now, but the Washington defense has given up 30 or more points in 5 of the last 7 games. In a results-based profession, the numbers don’t lie.
Meanwhile, another Sunday I can’t get back is in the books…and sadly it’s the same ol’, same ol’.
Until the next visit from The Booth…Happy Halloween!