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Commanders Fall vs. 49ers: 3 Takeaways from Washington's One-Sided Loss

The Washington Commanders dropped their second straight game and a big decision looms heading into next week.

The Washington Commanders have hit a fork in the road after their 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Not only have the Commanders gone nearly a month without a win, but they also don’t know who their quarterback is moving forward.

Luckily for the Commanders, the New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions all lost their games, so they’re still the seventh seed heading into their Week 17 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from Washington’s loss to San Francisco ...

Heinicke’s Time is Up?

There’s no disputing Heinicke’s impact on the team. Washington wouldn’t be in this situation without him.

He led a 1-4 team back into playoff contention, and if the season were to end today, they’d still be a playoff team.

But the last three weeks have shown it’s time for the Commanders to start Carson Wentz again.

Heinicke started 5-1, but since then, he has gone 0-2-1 and has had multiple game-changing turnovers that have cost Washington. It’s also worth noting that four of Heinicke’s wins came against teams already eliminated from playoff contention.

It’s not all Heinicke’s fault, but it’s clear the team needs a change, and that should be Wentz becoming the starting quarterback again.

Second-Half Woes

In the first half, Washington competed tooth-and-nail with the 49ers to a 7-7 tie.

Then the wheels fell off.

Brock Purdy found George Kittle for a 34-yard touchdown to start the third quarter, and they connected again for a 33-yard score after Washington turned it over on downs deep in its territory.

Washington made it a one-possession game on a three-yard touchdown from Heinicke to Terry McLaurin with 2:46 left in the third, but the 49ers steadily pulled away with three field goals in the fourth quarter.

Defense Needs Help

Washington’s defense has been the backbone of the team.

They kept the Commanders in the game by getting a fourth down stop deep in their territory on San Francisco’s first drive. Darrick Forrest also had an interception that led to Washington’s game-tying touchdown near the end of the first half.

Washington’s offense getting stopped on downs, an interception, and a strip-sack caused the dam to burst in the second half.

If the Commanders hope to play beyond the regular season, the offense needs to play more complementary football to give their defense a chance. 

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