Ron Rivera did not seem to know Commanders could be eliminated on Sunday

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera did not seem to understand the stakes for his team on Sunday.

Following their ugly 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Rivera was asked if he would consider starting rookie quarterback Sam Howell in Week 18 if the Commanders were eliminated from playoff contention, which they would be if the Green Bay Packers defeat the Minnesota Vikings in the 4:25 time slot.

Rivera’s response was to sit in silence for a few seconds, before asking: “We could be eliminated today?”

NFL coaches tend to be extremely focused on things they can control, but it still seems wild to believe that he did not know his team’s playoff scenarios going into this week. 

Especially given the decision at quarterback to not only go back to Carson Wentz — who had been ineffective all season prior to his injury — but to also stick with him all day when it was very clear he was not playing at a playoff caliber level.

The Commanders are now 7-8-1 and not only need a win next week, they also need some help to make the playoffs. 

That is a disappointing position to be in after starting the season 7-5. Since then they have gone 0-3-1 and are close to allowing the season to slip away from them. 

The Commanders have made the playoffs just one time in the past seven years and have won just one playoff game since the start of the 2000 season. 

Given their start to the season, as well as a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch in the second half of the season, this would be aa bitterly disappointing result. 

Especially when the coach did not seem to know the circumstances and the stakes. 


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