clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Enemy Reaction 2023: Washington Commanders

It’s meltdowns from Seahawks and Commanders fans, but only one set got to be jubilant in the end.

Washington Commanders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

I don’t do Enemy Reaction after Seattle Seahawks losses, but this year I feel like I’ve done it six times already. This has been the weirdest season in terms of general fan tone I can ever recall on this site, which makes me wonder if 2022 was one of the worst things to happen. Having no expectations made last year generally fun and hopeful, whereas this year’s 6-3 start, which includes wins over the 7-2 Detroit Lions and 6-3 Cleveland Browns (albeit with PJ Walker starting), has been a hell of a lot more contentious than previous seasons.

Is it actually preferable for this team to deliberately lose every game the rest of this year so we can get to talking about drafting a quarterback in the top-10? Because that’s essentially what I’m gleaning from some of the comments I’ve read. Or, maybe more realistically, the atmosphere would perhaps change for the better if Pete Carroll was no longer the head coach and not a part of the front office. I firmly believe the discourse and discontent is more about Pete and less about Geno Smith, but it’s easier to go after Geno given his struggles, and he’s the one with the ball in his hands. The remainder of Pete’s legacy is tied to the Russell Wilson trade and choosing Geno over Drew Lock or a rookie QB—side note, could you imagine if the Broncos were any good this season? Unless he leaves on his own accord, Pete’s not getting fired any time soon. But that’s all I’ve got. Short of actually making a Super Bowl run, a completely new coaching staff (read: not retreads of bad coaches) and presumably a new QB (read: a rookie) is the only way I can envision greater calmness in the Puget Sound seas among the fan base.

Anyway, the Seahawks won a 29-26 nail-biter over the Washington Commanders. We’ve never had a regular season win at Lumen Field over the Commanders until now, so let’s celebrate with some Enemy Reaction! Hogs Haven is where Commanders comments can be found.

Brian Robinson Jr escapes down the sideline for an easy touchdown (6-0 WSH)

Emmanuel Forbes ejected for hit on Tyler Lockett (6-0 WSH)

Geno Smith’s end-of-half intentional grounding gaffe costs Seahawks shot at a field goal (9-9)

Brian Robinson wide open again, leading to a Commanders field goal (12-9 WSH)

Kenneth Walker’s first receiving touchdown goes for 64 yards (16-12 SEA)

Devon Witherspoon forces Sam Howell fumble, Riq Woolen recovers (16-12 SEA)

Sam Howell gets hit, still finds Antonio Gibson for the score (19-19)

4th down pass interference on Benjamin St. Juste extends Seahawks drive (19-19)

Geno Smith to Tyler Lockett gives the Seahawks the lead (26-19 SEA)

Dyami Brown ties it up on a dart from Sam Howell (26-26)

DK Metcalf gets loose and puts the Seahawks into field goal range (26-26)

Jason Myers for the win! (29-26 SEA Final)

Post-Game: This defense looks cooked (Sam Fortier, Washington Post)

Sure, the Commanders (4-6) could look better next week at home against the abysmal Giants (2-8), which started undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito on Sunday and were outgained by Dallas by 468 yards. But the following weeks will feature elite offenses, including Miami, San Francisco and Dallas twice.

One Achilles’ heel is explosive plays. Washington has allowed 7.9 per game this year, the fifth-worst rate in the NFL. In past years, the defense has improved by greatly reducing its explosives allowed. But the Commanders gave up 11 on Sunday, their highest single-game total since 2021.


Washington’s great hopes for this defense dimmed considerably long ago. But after its performance in Seattle, there might not be any hope left at all.

Post-Game: Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are duds (Bryan Manning, Commanders Wire)

What was up with Washington’s time management and timeout usage on Howell’s game-tying drive? The Commanders burned through two timeouts, one of which came when the clock was stopped. Howell overcame the issues, but what if Washington had needed those timeouts for the defense? It’s a persistent theme for Rivera.

Another questionable call — although I didn’t knock Rivera for it — was not going for the two-point conversion. Against Philadelphia in Week 4, I believe Rivera should’ve gone for the two points. But against the Seahawks, there was just too much time left, and it would not have mattered anyway. Could it have changed Seattle’s decision-making? Sure, but the Seahawks moved the ball with ease against Washington’s defense all day.

Speaking of that defense. Jack Del Rio, what is going on? This defense stunk with Chase Young and Montez Sweat, so let’s not pretend the Commanders missing them is why they were terrible against the Seahawks. Washington’s defensive issues are a much bigger problem than just the talent on the field.

Post-Game Video: Sam Howell is the 2024 starter, Ron Rivera shouldn’t be the 2024 coach (The Hoffman Show)

Enemy Preaction: Los Angeles Rams

As a result of this win, Seattle has breathing room in the playoff race. If the Seahawks beat the Rams and get a couple of favorable results elsewhere, it’d take an all-time collapse plus some hot streaks from other teams for the Seahawks to miss the playoffs. I’d like to not think about that collapse possibility and I’d really like to not think about Sean McVay thrashing the Seahawks defense again. In some ways, the Rams game is more important than the Thanksgiving game against the San Francisco 49ers, because surviving rough waters at 7-3 vs. 6-4 makes a huge difference. We’re all still waiting for them to play their best football of the season... unless it already happened in September.

Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!