Washington Commanders Head North to face the Detroit Lions
In Week one of the 2022 NFL season, the Washington Commanders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-22. The game was highlighted by a brilliant performance from the Commanders wide receiver group, Antonio Gibson and a good but shaky at times first game for Carson Wentz.
This week, the Commanders head north to face the Detroit Lions who lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. Jared Geoff had a shaky first half but rebounded in the second half to go 14-22 for 162 yards and nearly defeated one of the favorites to win the NFC East.
The Commanders come roaring into Detroit with a huge comeback win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and with very few injuries to the starting lineups; on the other side, the Detroit Lions are banged up but Washington can not hang their hats on this; they must play with poise, consistency and urgency because a loss here could start a trickle of losses. Here is my game plan for a Washington Commanders victory this Sunday
Keys to the Game
Offensive Game Plan
Carson Wentz had a statistically good game last week going 27-41-313 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The two interceptions were costly and allowed the Jaguars back into the game. This week, Wentz must not have multiple turnovers and he must take what the defense gives him but also look for the big play when there is one on one coverage.
Against the Jaguars, the Commanders showcased their wide receivers...rookie Jahan Dotson grabbed two touchdowns and won the rookie of the week reward; Curtis Samuels grabbed eight receptions and a touchdown and Terry McLaurin caught a forty-nine your bomb for a big touchdown. Key Player to Watch...Curtis Samuels, he was the catalyst for the entire passing game, he got the ball rolling with his surprising seven receptions and a touchdown...Can he duplicate it?
Verses the Detroit Lions, this group must continue to play well and they should because they are facing a very inexperienced Detroit secondary that will be looking to make a plash against Washington's new aerial attack.
Logan Thomas did not have a huge game against the Jacksonville Jaguars but this week, the Commanders might need to make him the center of attention early to open up big holes behind the Lion's linebackers and create more one on one matchups for the wide receivers.
Antonio Gibson had a great all around game in week one. Gibson stacked up fourteen carries for fifty-eight yards and grabbed seven receptions for seventy-two yards. Personally, I would love to see Gibson carry the ball more in this game and rack up hundred yards or more; if the Washington's passing game is hot early, I expect Gibson to have a monster second half running the ball against the Lions weak rushing defensive. Key Player to Watch...JD McKissic...he did not have a big receiving game last week but he is one the best receiving backs in the league....look for the Commanders to showcase him more and early.
The Offensive line was sensational verses the Jaguars and they need to be so again. They can not go into this game thinking the Lions defensive line and linebackers are going to be a push over....Keep Wentz upright for most of the game and he will have a big day.
Defensive Keys to the Game
Even without Chase Young, the Commanders Defensive Line is one of the best in the National Football League. This week, they must do two things. (1) Stop the banged up D'Andre Swift who is one of the swiftest and most elusive backs in the league. (2) Pressure and/or Sack Jared Geoff who was not very good early against the Philadelphia Eagles. Key Player To Watch...Montez Sweat, he did not have a big stat game verses the Jaguars but he was in the backfield a lot and caused a lot of problems...he needs to duplicate this verses the Lions.
I am not going to sugar coat it; the Commanders may have the worst set of Linebackers in the league. This week they must tackle and cover better or Jared Geoff is going to have a big game.
The secondary made some big plays last week but I am not going to hail them as great because they are still giving up to many yards. This week, they are not facing the greatest group of receivers but sometimes this can work against the secondary because players tend to be more lazy against weaker opponents...laziness this week will lead a huge loss.
The Detroit Lions are favored in this game, primarily because the game is in Detroit. Like any good homey, I have the Commanders winning 34-22 because I think the Commanders talent on the offensive side of the ball is far greater than the Lions defense and the Commanders defensive line is far greater than the Lions offensive line.