By Adam Aniba
Moral wins have become cliche for Washington fans, but after the blowout loss to Buffalo last week Howell and the offense looked noticebaly more efficient, displaying resilience under Eric Bieniemy's tutelage. Heading into their Thursday Night Primetime matchup vs Chicago, the offense looks to build off their 31 point output against a stout Philadelphia defense.
Quarterback Sam Howell was responsible 330 total yards of offense (40 yards rushing) and led the offense to 4 TD drives (1 TD pass) finishing with a 98.6 passer rating.
The overtime loss was disappointing, but nonetheless Bieniemy called his best game as Washington's offensive coordinator. With the o-line struggles and leading the league in sacks allowed heading into the game, EB called more quick game and utilized more max/extra protections. He showed more dedication to the run with 14 runs plays compared to 18 pass plays in the first half.
Although the run game wasn't dominate against the Eagles with Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson combing for only 64 yards, Howell did scramble for 40 yards on 6 attempts.
The offense just seemed more crisp this week, moving the pocket and playing to Howell's strengths. In 3-5 step drops, Bieniemy utilized six/seven man protections and put his signal caller in a better position to have success.
It seemed as if almost everything going right for the offense in Philadelphia, even a Robinson Jr. fumble in the Eagles endzone was recovered by McLaurin for a touchdown.
There was a clear plan to get the ball to their top playmaker Terry McLaurin early and often, targeting him 10 times completing 8 for 86 yards (recovered a fumble in the endzone for TD).
Howell just seemed calm and read the field better, while facing an intense and talented Eagles pass rush. Although he was sacked 5 times in Philadelphia, he had zero turnovers for the first time in his career and looked decisive all day. In fact, the former Tar Heel signal caller had completions to 9 different pass catchers
Although Washington came up short, rarely have we seen a Washington team bounce back, after a blowout loss and go blow for blow with an Eagles squad that looks like the early NFC favorite to repeat as NFC Champs.
Some will wonder what if "Riverboat Ron" actually went for the 2-point conversation, rather than the conservative approach to kick it for the tie in regulation.
One thing seems clear though, after scoring 89 total points in four games (only 3 vs BUF), the Commanders now have an efficient offensive scheme, a mobile/accurate quarterback to run it and pass catchers that can go toe-to-toe with any of the remaining teams on their schedule.