A Dynamic Trio at Receiver | Washington Commanders
By Adam Aniba
In Washington's '22 season debut, new quarterback Carson Wentz led the team to a late game 28-22 comeback victory. The touchdown drive came after Washington possessed the lead for the majority of the afternoon.
Wentz utilized his weapons on offense, targeting 10 different receivers, connecting with 7 of them. The trio of Terry McLauirn, rookie Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuels were responsible for all 4 of Wentz' touchdown passes.
The hope was that Washington's other pass catchers would help relieve some of the burden and attention by the defense dedicated to McLaurin. Being able to spread the ball around will keep opposing defenses guessing.
It was all smiles postgame and McLaurin believes the weapons at receiver, will make the difference this season.
"I think we can be a dynamic group."
On the day, McLaurin only had 2 receptions for 58 yards, but his 4th quarter 49 yard TD catch and run, came after back-to-back interceptions from Wentz.
As McLaurin mentioned, having multiples receivers with different skill sets that can make plays on the perimeter is huge for this passing game.
In the first half Samuel put on a show, frequently juking defenders out of their shoes on designed runs/receptions and kept the chains moving. McLaurin's former OSU teammate finished the day with 8 receptions for 55 yards with and 17 yards on the ground. The Commanders only had 85 total rushing yards on the day, so although minimal, Samuel played an important role in the run game.
As OC Scott Turner continues to utilize more RPO concepts and misdirection plays, expect Samuel to be a mainstay in the run game, especially with Brian Robinson Jr out for the next few weeks.
The rookie Jahan Dotson rounds out what could be the best trio in the league, if all goes right. The former PSU receiver proved to be the difference in the win over the Jaguars. Dotson had 40 yards receiving for 2 TD receptions and the game clinching touchdown with less than two minutes to go.
Dotson impressed coaches and teammates all offseason with his ability to catch the ball and make veteran like adjustments to the ball. It's only one game, but the rookie has a bright future in this league and seems to be the clearcut WR2 of this team.
Samuel adds another dimension to the group. His role as a gadget weapon is also imperative to their success with McLaurin consistently drawing opposing teams' CB1.
Fans will have to deal with the ups and downs that come with Wentz under center, but McLaurin, Samuel and Dotson all have the ability to win any time they face one-on-one coverage.
Up next, Washington faces a Detroit Lions team who's coming off a 38-35 loss to the Eagles. The Lions boast young, but talented defensive unit, despite the score and equates to a classic trap game. There is no wide receiver trio more infamous than the Posse, but Turner could have something special on his hands if plays his cards right and embraces innovation.
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