After allowing touchdowns on each of the Broncos' first three possessions to open Sunday's game in Denver – on drives of 61, 75 and 90 yards – the positive vibes around the start of the Washington Commanders' season looked to be souring. And then the offense had their second-straight three-and-out and the special teams allowed a 45-yard punt return to set up the Broncos in Commanders territory. The chance of Washington turning it around was about as thin as the Mile High City air: just a 3.7 percent win probability per ESPN Analytics.
Two plays later, pressure flushed Russell Wilson from the pocket and as he was dragged to the ground, linebacker Jamin Davis dislodged the ball for the game's first turnover before Washington would score the next 18 points to level the score.
"Man, I'm running to the ball trying to get Russ down and just Jamin come out of nowhere," Allen said during his weekly appearance on Monday with 106.7 The Fan's The Sports Junkies, which is presented exclusively by our partners at MainStreet Bank — Cheer Local. Bank Local. Put Our Team in Your Office."
"He's been a guy that's been playing super, super well for us and I'm happy for him. Obviously, his first couple years probably wasn't to his standards, and he received a bunch of flack. But I'm really, really, glad he came out here and starting this season out strong and man, he looks incredible," Allen told the Junks.
Allen said the adjustments made by the defense after the first three drives was to calm down and eliminate the "gifts" they gave Wilson and Denver in blown coverages, playing "not gap sound" defense and making communication errors.
The Commanders would build an 11-point lead with just over seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter and hang on to a 35-33 victory, made close only by a 50-yard touchdown on a Denver Hail Mary with no time remaining before the game-tying two-point play failed.
"It was exciting, man. I just wish we didn't have to make it hard on ourselves," Allen said on 106.7 The Fan. "Definitely a new era, man. It was definitely good to go out there and be able to come back after playing so poorly defensively in the first quarter and tighten things up and give our team a chance to win and we were able to do that.
"Hats off to our offense, man, they played a great game. Guys made big plays when they needed to, it was just a great team victory."
He added, "This is by far the most complete team I've ever had. Man, we have a lot of potential, but we're just looking forward to continuing this going. It's gonna be a fun season."
"...No one here is satisfied. Why not us? We're gonna keep working and see what happens," Allen said.
Allen was on the field for all but nine of the defense's 66 plays, the most of any defensive lineman, said his view of the Hail Mary, he was so tired "I didn't even know what to think at that point."
"It was unfortunate play for us, but luckily we made a great play on the two-point conversion and didn't have to go to overtime," he told the Junkies.
In his season debut, Chase Young had three tackles (two solo) with 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and two QB hits. Allen said it "felt great" to once again be playing alongside the former No. 2 overall pick.
"Whenever you have a player of Chase's caliber back on the field it can do nothing but help your team," he said. "It felt great, I loved it and I'm looking forward to having a fun season with him."
Allen later said that he is glad Young had the success and looked incredible, but nothing he did Sunday was a surprise after seeing him perform like this all year.
"This is something that I'm gonna expect every game," he said of Young's level of play. "Obviously, you can't predict how many sacks or however many whatever you're gonna call, but the way he looked [Sunday], that's just normal Chase. That's just what I've seen every day in practice for the last two, three months. So, no surprise here."
First-round draft pick Emmanuel Forbes got his first career interception, and Allen said the "level-headed, calm," rookie defensive back has the demeanor of a five-year NFL veteran.
"He fits so well with this defense," he told the Junks. "He's not phased by making mistakes and when you play cornerback, it's gonna happen. So for him to be able to give up a play and then come back and really make a crucial play for us, tells you everything you need to know about him."