Commanders defeat Jacksonville in their opener, 28-22

Photo Credit: Kourtney Carroll and Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders

Washington Commander fans can take a sigh of relief, as the Commanders win their first game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, albeit in roller coaster fashion. The pass rush put consistent pressure on Trevor Lawrence and made him uncomfortable all day long. New Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz looked really impressive (at times) and brought the Commanders back from behind in the fourth quarter for the win. He finished with 313 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Carson Wentz got off to a hot start in his first start on his new team. He threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns, going 16/22 in the first half. Wentz’s first touchdown went to Curtis Samuel on the teams impressive first offensive drive. Then, on their next drive, Wentz found first-round rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson for his second touchdown pass of the day. Wentz looked impressive and *eh-hem* in command. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel looked great early on and was targeted often. Running back Antonio Gibson also looked good, getting involved in the run and pass game, finishing the game with 130 all purpose yards. Washington had a 14-3 lead going into the half and an offense that, for a moment, looked unstoppable.

Unfortunately, the offense stalled at the start of the second half. Jacksonville came out with some defensive adjustments that stifled Washington’s run game and got Wentz out of sync. The Jags made some big chunk plays and started to put pressure on Washington. Momentum started to shift. Jacksonville was within a score of Washington, 14-9. Wentz then threw two awful, back-to-back interceptions. It was a quick reminder to Commander fans on why many are not high on the 29 year old quarterback. Then, the defense did not help out much with the secondary struggling and Washington lost their lead. Trevor Lawrence and company scored four times in the second half. Washington looked like they were spiraling, down 22-14 in the fourth quarter.

But, Wentz redeemed himself. He threw an absolute beauty of a deep ball to wide receiver Terry McLaurin for a touchdown. That then brought the Commanders within two points of the Jaguars after a failed two-point conversion. Then, on the next drive, Wentz hit rookie receiver Jahan Dotson down the sideline for an impressive throw and catch that resulted in the rookie’s second receiving touchdown of the day to take the lead. The Commanders would not relinquish their lead again.

Lawrence would then throw up an ugly, wobbly prayer that was intercepted by safety Darrick Forrest, putting a cap on an impressive day by the second year safety. There were a lot of positives that fans should take away from today’s game. But, there’s a lot of work to do. The secondary looked highly questionable, the run defense was something to be desired in the second half, and Wentz is still building chemistry with his receivers despite gaudy numbers on paper. However, it’s the first game and no team is perfect in their opening game. For now, enjoy the victory.

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