After winning their first game of the season, the Washington Commanders have lost four straight, including falling to the Titans 21-17 on Sunday at FedExField.
The Commanders had it first and goal from the Titans’ two-yard line with 19 seconds left and no timeouts. However, Carson Wentz had two straight incompletions, and on third and goal, his pass was intercepted by Titans LB David Long Jr.
At this point, the NFC East looks like one of the best divisions in football. The Eagles are undefeated at 5-0, and the Cowboys and Giants are 4-1, and right now, the 1-4 Commanders are in last place in the division.
In the NFL, quarterbacks win championships, and right now, Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones, and Cooper Rush have been getting it done for their respective teams. Regarding Rush, it appears the Cowboys have a lot around him on both sides of the ball that are helping him win games with Dak Prescott injured. In terms of Jones and Hurts, they are playing well, but there are still questions.
On Monday, when asked why the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants are ahead of the Commanders, Washington coach Ron Rivera said: “Quarterback.”
When pressed about Dallas having Rush, Rivera said the following:
” They started with [QB] Dak [Prescott],” he said. “They build around Dak, and the offense is built around Dak. Their backup is a guy that is very solid inside of what they do. The truth is that this is a quarterback-driven league, and if you look at the teams that have been able to sustain success, they’ve been able to build it around a specific quarterback.”
On Sunday, Wentz had some good moments and completed 25-of-38 passes for a season-high 359 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Washington acquired Wentz in the offseason from the Colts, and while he’s been up and down this season, Rivera has no regrets.
“No, I got no regrets about that quarterback,” Rivera said. “I think our quarterback has done some good things. There’s been a couple games that he struggled, but you look at his numbers from yesterday, and you would say, okay, look, his numbers he’s had throughout the year, there times he was very solid. And then we had the unfortunate Philadelphia game, and he struggled a little bit in the Dallas game. But the way he performed yesterday, and it just shows you what he’s capable of, and we chose him because we believe in him. We chose him because we looked at what we felt were things that pointed towards him.”
According to Rivera, the Commanders can build around the 29-year-old Wentz.
“We have a guy that we think we have a chance to build around,” Rivera said. “We had a guy in [QB Ryan Fitzpatrick], and he gets hurt in the first quarter and a half of the season. And so it was a little different. I just think right now we have a guy that is really growing in what we’re doing. I thought yesterday was a good indicator of his potential for us in this, and we’ll continue to work with it.”
The Commanders are not a good football team, and Wentz has been just okay at this point. It’s not all on him, but he has played a role in the team’s slow start. Washington battles the Bears on Thursday night in Chicago. If Wentz struggles again, he might not be the starter going forward. The Commanders have 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell, who was impressive in the preseason, waiting in the wings, so if things continue to go awry, Wentz’s time as a starter in Washington could be over sooner than later.