Stock Report: Late heroics from Carson Wentz, Jahan Dotson save Washington

There are crazy rides, there are wild rides, and then there’s what happened with the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

On consecutive passes, new quarterback Carson Wentz threw two fourth-quarter interceptions and basically gift-wrapped a win for the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.

But then Carson Wentz threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to bring the Commanders right back in the hunt and, eventually, win the game.

If this is going to be the Carson Wentz experience in Washington, buckle up.

The Commanders made their regular season debut and for the first 30 minutes, FedEx Field rocked with happy fans cheering on their favorite team.

Then the second half happened.

Washington led 14-3 at halftime but eventually trailed 22-14 with about 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Ron Rivera’s defense suddenly seemed incapable of getting stops and a Carson Wentz threw a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions that gifted the Jaguars perfect field position to take over.

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In the end, Washington’s defense intercepted Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence and Wentz got to take a knee for his first win as Commander Carson.

Stock Up:

  • Jahan Dotson – The rookie didn’t take long to make a big impression, catching two touchdowns including the game-winner with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter. A smaller wideout with long arms, he runs clean routes and catches everything. Quite a day for the first-rounder that some draft analysts thought went too high. They were wrong.
  • Curtis Samuel – His first season in Washington went badly, struck by injuries and little production. His second season in Washington started with a bang, going for 72 total yards and his first ever touchdown in a Commander’s uniform. Samuel looked great, making defenders look foolish as they tried to tackle him but landed with nothing but air. Quick and fast, there’s a difference, Samuel also showed real guts with some impressive catches in traffic.
  • Daron Payne – The fifth-year pro looked tough all afternoon, logging a sack of Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence in the fourth quarter. Payne got to match up much of the day against former Washington All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff, and it was a battle the football gods would certainly enjoy.
  • Terry McLaurin – The newly paid team captain made up for a lack of volume with one gigantic play. With the stands quiet and the sideline depressed after two Wentz interceptions, McLaurin got open deep and hauled in a 49-yard touchdown. Without that, no chance the Commanders come back to win the game.
  • Antonio Gibson – Much was made about the demise of the third-year runner, but with rookie RB Brian Robinson Jr. on the Non-Football Injured List, Gibson proved he can still move the unit. He finished with 130 yards from scrimmage and showed good hands to go with inside running.
  • Darrick Forrest – The second-year safety was thrust into action with Kam Curl out with a thumb injury and Forrest stepped up in a big way. He finished with four tackles and the game-sealing interception of Lawrence. He missed a lot of time as a rookie, but showed how he can make an impact Sunday.
  • Good Carson Wentz – The new QB was electric on his deep touchdown throws and it’s a big day when the passer goes 313 yards with four touchdowns. There were absolutely some gems from Wentz on Sunday.

Stock Down

  • Interior Offensive Line – Injuries mounted up but the middle of the Commander’s offensive line looks like trouble. The team lost Scherff in the offseason and brought in a pair of veterans as reinforcements.
  • Secondary – When the Jags got hot in the second half it seemed like their receivers were running wide open downfield. Christian Kirk finished with 117 yards and carved up the Washington defensive backs.
  • Bad Carson Wentz – The talk from Indy and Philly was that Washington’s new QB was inconsistent, and that showed up on Sunday. Wentz was pretty good most of the afternoon, except for the two interceptions he threw on consecutive passes. Besides the picks, he was good, but interceptions can’t be ignored. He finished 27 of 41 for 313 with 4 TDs and 2 INTs.

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