It’s time to hail a cab out of D.C. for Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio

It's time to hail a cab out of D.C. for Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio

Jack Del Rio (l.) and Ron Rivera have made a mess of a promising season in Washington.
Photo: Getty Images

How the tides have turned.

Or not.

I guess they’ve kept status quo, which in the case of the Washington Commanders, with a new owner, new quarterback, new offensive coordinator and a renowned sense of Dan Snyder-less pride among its dormant fan base, is figuring out whether they’ll finish 9-8 or 8-9 this season. Why I believed this wasn’t the prophecy for this franchise is now beyond me, although I predicted otherwise earlier this month. Not all theories pan out. I stand by the previous three games for the Commanders as the Litmus test for the state of the team. After nearly beating the Eagles on the road, who’ve looked superb this season, Washington had three winnable games. Winning them all should be the standard for one of the NFL’s cornerstone franchises.

Teams that had a combined 4-11 record heading into those matchups, with the sucky Falcons representing three of those four wins, beat Washington in that stretch twice. A 1-2 record in three must-win games makes a failing grade seem too nice. And with that summation, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio still being employed in the Washington D.C. area is generous. Their seats are beyond hot if they aren’t both given pink slips by the time you read this. How could things seem worse than giving Chicago its first victory in about a year? It was whatever that Giants game was yesterday. Both teams were terrible. The Giants didn’t deserve to win, they played like crap. The Commanders just found a larger mondo duke and lost by default. Do you know how much your poop has to stink to out-stench New York?

Of course, there’s more blame to go around, and Eric Bieniemy’s offense scoring seven points against the Giants defense is unacceptable. The Commanders only touchdown on Sunday came off a muffed punt with ideal field position, where a fourth-down conversion was needed to continue the drive. It’s not a good look for Bieniemy. In terms of long-standing problems though, Bieniemy’s influence isn’t one of them. A drop should be expected when coaching Sam Howell and Logan Thomas instead of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. And Washington’s best athlete on offense, Terry McLaurin, made some insane catches to keep his team in it.

In fact, what other coach could Washington find that would be better than promoting Bieniemy? Give him the chance to run his own team and either unlock the genius that’s been bottled up because he hasn’t gotten that chance yet, or show why he had to make the lateral move from Kansas City in the first place. That’s an easy-to-understand risk for the Commanders. And what do they have to lose? They haven’t been to a conference championship game since the 1991 season. To replace Bieniemy, let him go out and give a chance to a young offensive prodigy. Someone like Sean McVay was seven years ago. If it doesn’t work, you’re no worse off than the purgatory Washington is currently in.

This had a chance to be a special season for Washington. This had a chance to start an upward trend to take one of the league’s most valuable teams and restore them to glory. And I can’t even blame anyone for thinking the previous sentence was wrong, because it’s hard to remember a daunting Washington team. Was this team ever going to do a ton of damage in the playoffs? Probably not, but getting into the postseason consistently is how teams build the ability to win in January. And the Commanders blew that chance this season thanks to poor management. Time for Riverboat Ron and Los Del Rio (Hey Macarena, Ay!) to go. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.