Washington Commanders lose to Kansas City Chiefs in preseason Week 2


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Heading into Saturday’s preseason recreation on the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Commanders Coach Ron Rivera mentioned ideally he would be capable to play his starters a full half. “Now is the time,” he mentioned.

The time for the starters to get reps, to work out the kinks within the offense and remove the errors on protection and shortly shift focus to Week 1 of the NFL season.

However the Commanders, in a 24-14 loss that appeared to show all of their shortcomings, failed to determine their very own rhythm.

Their points from earlier weeks (even earlier seasons) remained in all three phases. And with accidents depleting their roster, their issues won’t ease anytime quickly.

As an alternative of his supreme situation, Rivera stored in his starters for 19 performs, roughly 1 / 4 and a half. The offensive line was with out three of its starters in addition to two key reserves, and the tight finish corps was down to 2 wholesome gamers. Enjoying quarterback Carson Wentz any longer might have risked his well being with the Sept. 11 season opener approaching, so 19 performs have been all Rivera was prepared to permit.

And for many of them, the offense appeared out of sync, with wasted third downs and one other gradual begin. A couple of chunk performs in between offered some hope however not a lot.

The Commanders have been 3 for 10 on third downs; in the meantime, Patrick Mahomes carved up their protection and helped the Chiefs go 9 for 15 on third downs. Within the first quarter alone, the Chiefs have been 4 for 4 on third downs to build up 69 of their 150 yards within the interval.

Via two preseason video games, the Commanders have allowed their opponents to transform 60.6 p.c of their third-down makes an attempt (20 of 33).

Defending Mahomes is a tall activity for any protection. However he and backup Shane Buechele totaled 9 completions that went for 14 yards or extra, three of which have been on third downs, leaving Rivera upset his gamers failed to remain of their pass-rush lanes to restrict the quarterbacks’ possibilities to flee the pocket and make performs.

“A big disappointment in the third downs,” Rivera mentioned. “We gave them good situations, had a couple of third-and-longs, and we lose our rush disciplines. With this quarterback, you cannot give him time to find people downfield. We got to be more disciplined. We got to understand our responsibilities.”

The numbers flipped in Washington’s favor within the second quarter, when its offense went 2 for 3 on third downs, totaled 9 first downs and gained 117 yards to Kansas City’s 39.

The gradual begins Rivera hopes to shed this yr proceed to hinder the Commanders — on either side of the ball. Halfway via the second quarter, after a false-start penalty put Washington at third and 10 from the Kansas City 34-yard line, Wentz lined up within the shotgun and took an pointless sack for a lack of six yards.

The starters ended their afternoon after that play.

“I got to make a better play, better decision,” Wentz mentioned. “I mean, we were in field goal range. That’s a decision I got to be smarter on. Glad it’s preseason and I can learn from that one.”

Wentz accomplished 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards, together with a few chunk performs to rookie wideout Jahan Dotson and veteran Terry McLaurin. He has but to throw an interception however hasn’t thrown a landing go, both.

Washington’s lack of self-discipline value it factors on either side of the ball.

Early within the third quarter, the Commanders’ protection gave up essential yardage when rookie security Percy Butler sprinted down the sector and clobbered quarterback Buechele on a scramble. Butler was penalized for pointless roughness, permitting the Chiefs to choose up a complete of 23 yards together with the 15-yard penalty. The Chiefs kicked a 36-yard subject objective 4 performs later.

“It’s preseason,” defensive finish Jonathan Allen mentioned. “… There are some things we want to do better, and we’ll do that.”

However a 3rd and 10 within the second quarter actually irked Rivera. Mahomes threw his second landing go of the sport when he hit Jody Fortson on a crossing route within the nook of the tip zone. Washington’s go rush got here undone.

“We got one guy coming off the edge, and we got someone that’s not setting the edge, so the quarterback steps aside,” Rivera mentioned. “… That was a big disappointment, the second touchdown pass that Mahomes threw. … The defensive end gets up field, doesn’t get good level and washes up and over. Mahomes just steps where he was, buys time and is able to stretch a little bit away from [defensive end Montez Sweat]. Montez was coming off the back side. You have to stick to the process. You have to do your job.”

Many preseason video games are devoted to evaluating the gamers, however Washington game-planned for Kansas City, treating the matchup with a way of significance. The Commanders have one preseason recreation remaining — subsequent weekend on the Baltimore Ravens — however groups usually don’t play starters within the ultimate exhibition.

Washington has performed with a light-weight linebacking corps this season, opting to make use of extra nickel and Buffalo nickel sub-packages, in addition to five-man fronts.

The group lacks depth. However its starters, Cole Holcomb within the center and Jamin Davis exterior, struggled in protection whereas making an attempt to comprise Kansas City’s tight ends. That group accrued 72 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

“We just got to put it all together,” Holcomb mentioned. “We can’t rush without coverage; we can’t cover without a rush. We have to play off each other.”

Washington’s most notable constructive in Kansas City was rookie Brian Robinson Jr., who took the primary collection at working again. The 6-foot-1, 223-pounder has impressed coaches along with his highly effective working type and consistency, and Saturday he ran for 31 yards on eight carries. In two preseason video games, he’s averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

Washington’s day all however ended on a sack of third-string quarterback Sam Howell, whose alternative for a late-game rally fizzled as quickly because it began.

The Commanders, with yet one more preseason recreation earlier than the preliminary 53-man roster is determined, are nonetheless looking for constant play. Perhaps subsequent weekend at Baltimore will really be the time.

Mentioned Allen: “We’ll be ready Week 1.”

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