The Commanders turned it over six times on Sunday, including four in the second half, on the way to dropping its second game in a row in a disappointing 31-19 loss to the lowly New York Giants.
It’s the most turnovers by any team in the NFL in a game this season.
Washington turned it over on each of its first two possessions to start the game. First, an interception by quarterback Sam Howell followed by a fumble by tight end Logan Thomas just two offensive plays later.
The Giants took the Thomas fumble and scored just four plays later, on a 24 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tommy DeVito to Saquon Barkley to make it 7-0.
The Commanders took good care of the ball for the remainder of the half, putting together a field goal drive after the two turnovers, followed by back-to-back three-and-outs.
After another Giants touchdown made it 14-3, Howell and the offense finally put together a good drive, finishing with a Howell rushing touchdown from 7 yards out to cap off a 12 play, 75 yard scoring drive to make it 14-9 at the half, following a missed PAT.
In the second half, the turnovers began to pile up, beginning with the opening kickoff of the half, which was fumbled by returner Byron Pringle.
The Commanders defense, which played great all day long, stood tall and forced a stop, getting the ball back for Washington, which in turn put together a 13 play drive that resulted in a field goal, making it 14-12.
After another Washington defensive stand, the Commanders turned it over for the fourth time, this time on a fumble by Chris Rodriguez as the Commanders were driving on New York to take the lead.
Five plays later, it was New York that scored on DeVito’s second touchdown pass to Barkley, extending the lead to 21-12 Giants.
Washington’s defense played one of its best games of the season. The Commanders sacked DeVito 9 times in the game, including 5 in the first quarter.
The unit impressively did not allow any Giants rushing yards for the first 44 minutes of the game, finally letting New York gain some yards on the ground on the final play of the third quarter.
Following Howell’s second interception on Washington’s first fourth quarter possession, New York extended the lead again with a field goal drive, putting the Commanders in a ‘now or never’ scenario.
Washington responded, as Howell threw his only touchdown pass of the day on a 12 play, 75 yard drive capped off with the pass to Jahan Dotson in the endzone.
The Washington defense quickly forced a three-and-out, getting the ball back for their offense, trailing 24-19 with just 1:49 to go.
Just seven plays into the drive, with the Commanders in Giants territory, Howell threw his third interception, this time a pick-six returned for a touchdown by New York’s Isaiah Simmons to seal a Giants victory, 31-19.
It was the sixth Washington turnover. The Giants scored 24 points off those turnovers.
With the Commanders falling to 4-7 and accounting for two of the Giants three wins, Head Coach Ron Rivera is now firmly on the hot seat, with his position very much in question.
Rivera was asked about that in the postgame presser, saying “I’m not going to discuss that right now.”
It’s a short week for Washington, which heads to Dallas for a Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys.
It might be now or never for Ron Rivera to prove he’s the man for the job going forward.