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Assessing Game Two – Washington Commanders vs. Denver Broncos

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By: Ken.Johannesen

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders survive a late scare and the altitude at Empower Field

Any NFL game in Denver comes with a football version of caveat emptor – beware of the altitude and the effects it has on players. The Washington Commanders shrugged off those concerns, and after a poor start, the good guys began to mount a comeback after trailing by eighteen points halfway through the second quarter. The Burgundy and Gold were underdogs, but they found a way to overcome and achieve. Let’s have a look and assess game two against the Broncos. Note: We will include PFF ratings today.

Offense

In the first 22 minutes of the game, the offense was not efficient, but their fortunes suddenly changed for the better. Washington outscored Denver 32-6 at that juncture, but Denver added a late touchdown to account for the final margin of 35-33. This was most points scored by the Commanders since winning on Thanksgiving Day in 2020.

Quarterback

Sam Howell had his best game as a Commander thus far. He remained focused after a couple of team miscues earlier in the first half.

Stats: 27-39 for 299 yards and 2 TD passes, 2 rushes for 13 yards, 70.2 PFF rating, QBR – 108.8

Assessment: B

Running Backs

Brian Robinson was superb on Sunday. Antonio Gibson made the most of his opportunities against the Broncos.

Stats: Robinson – 18 carries for 87 yards and 2 TDs, 2-pt conversion, 2 catches for 42 yards, PFF rating 76.8 .

Gibson – 2 carries for 9 yards, 3 catches for 44 yards, PFF rating 64.4

Assessment: B

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas hauled in an impressive touchdown catch, but had to leave the game when he suffered a concussion on the play. The tight ends enjoyed a solid game.

Stats: Thomas – 2 catches for 22 yards, 3 targets, 1TD, PFF rating 78.9

Bates – 3 catches for 46 yards, 5 targets, PFF rating of 64.8

Turner – 2 catches for 22 yards, 2 targets, PFF rating of 71.7

Assessment: A

Wide Receivers

The receivers had a productive day, but the numbers seem a bit low as ten different players had at least one catch. Nine players had two or more catches on Sunday.

Stats: Terry McLaurin – 5 catches for 54 yards, 6 targets, 1 TD, PFF rating 60.8

Dyami Brown – 3 catches for 25 yards, 3 targets, PFF rating 56.7

Jahan Dotson – 3 catches for 22 yards, 5 targets, PFF rating 53.3

Assessment: B-

Offensive Line

The offensive line had a decent, to slightly above-average, game, but improvements are still needed.

Stats: Saahdiq Charles – PFF rating 82.9

Nick Gates – PFF rating 66.7

Sam Cosmi – PFF rating 66.0

Assessment: C+

Defense

It was all about survival against the Broncos as the defense looked lethargic and winded through much of the game. The altitude took a toll on the defensive players, but they did just enough to contribute to the victory.

Defensive Line

This unit delivered when it was needed, but there were some periodic struggles on Sunday. Welcome back, Chase Young.

Stats: Daron Payne – 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed, PFF rating 86.0

Montez Sweat – 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, PFF rating 65.3

Chase Young – 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks, PFF rating 76.1

Assessment: B

Linebackers

The linebackers improved over last week, but better play is still needed. Jamin Davis created a key fumble/turnover. Cody Barton still needs to read and react better than what we saw against Denver.

Stats: Barton – 10 tackles, PFF rating 52.1.

Davis – 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, PFF rating 67.1

Assessment: C

Safeties

The safeties had a somewhat decent game, especially in the second half. Kamren Curl shined on some plays, but he did have some difficult moments as well.

Stats: Curl – 9 tackles, PFF rating 62.9

Darrick Forrest – 3 tackles, PFF rating 60.8

Assessment: C

Cornerbacks

This unit was gouged at times and the altitude seemed to affect them the most. Also, they stepped up at crucial times in the second half. Emmanuel Forbes contributed a key interception in the fourth quarter.

Stats: Forbes – 3 tackles, 1 INT for 3 yards, 2 passes defensed, 36.4 PFF rating

Benjamin St-Juste – 5 tackles, 2-pt attempt defensed, PFF rating 72.5

Kendall Fuller – 4 tackles, 1 pass defensed, PFF rating 68.6

Assessment: C

Special Teams

Tress Way is still one of the best punters in the league. However, the thinner air in Denver didn’t help this unit on Sunday. By the time you read this article, long snapper Camaron Cheeseman could be unemployed.

Stats: Way – 3 punts, 56 yard average, long of 66 yards, 2 inside the 20

Joey Slye – 2-4 FG with a long of 49 yards, 3 XPM on 3 XPA

Assessment: C

Analysis

The Commanders are now 2-0 and the last time they accomplished this feat was way back in 2011. There is still room for improvement, but the team looked better than the previous week. Will Cam Cheeseman be released? The Burgundy and Gold will return to FedEx Field on Sunday to face the Buffalo Bills and this game could be the toughest challenge thus far. See you as we go along.

Originally posted on Hogs Haven