SNIDER: Commanders – lipstick on a pig


The Carson Wentz hatred is growing – wrongly.

It's completely unfair to change quarterbacks after just one month that started with seven touchdowns in two games. Benching Wentz now is punting on the season before the leaves turn color. It's punting on the coaching staff and front office plus a high draft pick next season owed for the Wentz trade.

A new coach will want to draft a passer in the first round and that punts on backup passer Sam Howell, who in preseason looked like a possible 2023 starter. These changes mean another three-year rebuild that likely fails, too.

Then again, when the boat is sinking, you hit the life rafts before submerging. And, the Commanders are sinking faster than the Titanic.

Year 3 looks like a regression, though the next 10 days could be a dramatic turnaround. Beat Tennessee on Sunday followed by Chicago four days later and suddenly the bandwagon is blaring #HTTC at 3-3.

But, the Commanders' problems don't look reversible. There’s no help coming to a hobbled offensive line where only left tackle Charles Leno is playing well. Right tackle Sam Cosmi looks worse than last season as a rookie. Center has changed three times and the guards couldn't protect Fort Knox. Replacing guard Trai Turner in midgame for poor performance is startling because it's so seldom done.

The corners have looked naked too often. It's time to admit William Jackson was a free agent bust and Kendall Fuller isn't much better. Linebacker Jamin Davis has his moments good and bad, but Dallas undressed him when covering CeeDee Lamb on Sunday.

Really, the only solid defensive players have been interior linemen Jon Allen and Daron Payne and the latter becomes a free agent in 2023.

So, the defense can't stop anyone, especially early. The offense has suddenly crumbled because Wentz has little time and can't scramble his way out of collapsing pockets without running into opponents. Having three solid receivers is great, but without time Wentz can't use them to spread the field.

And the kick return game has been abysmal. Poor execution, even worse decisions. That doesn't help.

But quarterbacks get all the money so they get all the blame. Wentz's opening month was two good weeks and two poor ones. Frankly, it's not about him right now.

The Commanders' problems lie in coaching. The game plans are suspect and game reactions are poor. Even worse, the lack of passion has spread throughout the team and they're already looking defeated.

There are many major decisions to make come January. For now, though, there's still time to ride with Wentz. If the season collapses then maybe Howell gets a late look, but that's probably irrelevant should the team change coaches.

The franchise can change the name and uniforms, but it's just lipstick on a pig.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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