Ron Rivera correctly identifies the QB he picked as a team weakness

The NFC East is currently the toast of the NFL. The division is home to the league’s remaining undefeated team, as well as two other four-win teams. The Cowboys have an impressive defense, the Giants just stunned the Packers in London and the Eagles pulled off a nice away win over a desperate Cardinals team. And then you have the Washington Commanders who are 1-4 and lost to a brutal end on Sunday.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was asked about the gap between his team and the rest of the division at today’s press conference, and he immediately diagnosed the problem: “Quarterback.” Rivera made unconvincing clarification that he didn’t say that his Quarterback Carson Wentz sucks, even though he does, but that NFC East’s other teams have had more time to build their QBs. The Cowboys’ situation would be an obvious riposte to that explanation, but Rivera said their success speaks to Cooper Rush as a replacement for the system they built around injured starter Dak Prescott. (That apology feels like Rivera is offering a strike on himself.) When asked if he regretted the team’s decision to trade for Carson Wentz — a decision he was instrumental in making — Rivera said he did not done it.

What about those “good things” that Rivera attributed to Wentz? The QB has the fourth most passing yards in the league, despite the offensive line with a real flair for making opposing pass rushers grind his body. If he’s got the time and the space in his pocket, he’s capable of it makes incredible throws. He threw a startlingly poor selection to seal Sunday’s loss to the Titans. After a penalty that put the Commanders on the first-and-goal with 18 seconds left at the two-yard line, the team didn’t have the luxury of trying to run the ball as they ran out of time-outs. So they chose three consecutive passplays, and after doing their best Throw an interception on First and then on Second DownWentz finally succeeded.

Given those last three pieces, it would be fair for Rivera to call Wentz that if they were part of a healthy and well-structured organization that could handle, and possibly even benefit from, that kind of openness and transparency. Too bad the commanders are the opposite of that. Ron Rivera correctly identifies the QB he picked as a team weakness

John Verrall

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