KyleSmithforGM of Hogs Haven was nice enough to answer five questions about his Washington Commanders heading into Sunday’s game. This is a game the Tennessee Titans absolutely need to win but has the feeling of a game they will struggle with because that is what they do.
1. How has Carson Wentz been for the Commanders so far? Do they see him as a long-term solution?
Well, my easy answer to that is that I wrote a piece arguing for a QB change earlier this week (https://www.hogshaven.com/2022/10/3/23385036/its-time-for-the-commanders-to-make-a-qb-change). The longer answer is, in four short weeks I’ve gotten enough of the Carson Wentz experience to know that I don’t want any more of it. I’m probably at the leading edge of that curve, but a significant portion of the fanbase is probably only a few weeks behind. Carson showed some flashes of brilliance in Washington’s first game, against the Jaguars, but since then he’s largely been putrid. To be fair, the defense didn’t play well early in the season and his offensive line has been riddled with injury.
All that having been said, however, all the things Wentz has done so far are exactly what Eagles and Colts fans warned us about: a slow ability to process, an inclination to make back breaking gaffes, and a refusal to take easy options in the passing game. There’s frankly no excuse for a 7-year vet to still be doing these things, particularly one with Wentz’s physical gifts. I think it’s very unlikely he’s the team’s starting QB in 2023.
2. I’m a Bama guy. Give us an update on Brian Robinson’s recovery. What is your projection for him once healthy?
Robinson’s recovery appears to be nothing short of miraculous. Within days of having been shot twice - once in the backside and once in the knee - he was already visiting the team facilities on crutches. He’s been working out since then and just started practicing with the team. Before he was attacked, Robinson had earned the RB1 role based on looking great in the pre-season and in camp.
Earlier this week, Robinson said that the couple of days he was in the hospital were the lowest point in his life. What’s come through in his remarkable recovery is the extent to which playing football is integral to his identity and how much he wants to get back onto the field. Washington fans can’t wait either.
3. We all know about Terry McLaurin. What other weapons do the Commanders have the Titans need to be ready for?
Rookie Jahan Dotson has looked great this season, already catching 4 touchdowns. Lucky for the Titans, he’ll be out with a hamstring injury. Curtis Samuel, who was injured most of last year, has looked very good this season when Washington has been able to get the ball in his hands, which hasn’t been nearly enough in the past two weeks.
With Dotson out, Dyami Brown will have an opportunity to take a significant number of snaps as WR3. Brown, in his second year, hasn’t shown much to date, so the next couple of weeks represent a pretty important try out period for him, if he’s going to have a longer term future in DC.
Antonio Gibson has been very solid so far this year, and if Brian Robinson plays this week, I expect Gibson to be moved all around the offense, in the mold of Cordarelle Patterson.
4. The Commanders have spent a lot of resources on their defensive front. How good are they at pressuring opposing QBs?
The defensive front, even without Chase Young back from his knee injury, has been respectable this year. Jon Allen and Daron Payne, in particular, have played very well, keeping a lot of pressure up the middle. Montez Sweat has yet to collect a sack this season, and it will be interesting to see if he can finally get home against Tannehill.
The linebackers, Cole Holcolmb and Jamin Davis, were serious concerns coming into the season, but seem to be improving week to week, with Davis now leading the team in sacks with three. The safety play has been solid, led by Kam Curl, but the cornerback play has been wildly uneven, with communication issues continuing to plague the backend of the defense.
5. The Titans are currently 2 point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbooks. Which side of that are you taking? Give us your score prediction.
For the past three weeks Washington’s offense has been anemic and, frankly, difficult to watch. I’ve called for switching out the QB in advance of the TItans’ game and won’t believe the offense has gotten its act together until I see it. I think this is a low scoring game, with the Titans ultimately winning 21-10.