Highlights from Commanders’ win over Bears include Al Michaels on Dan Snyder

A look at the good (Hail!) and bad (Fail!) from the Washington Commanders’ 12-7 wins over the Chicago Bears on Thursday.

In the wake of an ESPN report Thursday that Daniel Snyder has told his inner circle about the private investigators he has hired to gather dirt on fellow team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Amazon Prime play-by-play man Al Michaels addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding the Commanders co-owner, who is under investigation by five entities. He was quite frank.

“Just my feeling, I think what the league would love is for Snyder to sell the team,” the legendary Michaels, who is as plugged in with the NFL as any broadcaster, said as cameras showed Snyder with team president Jason Wright in a suite at Soldier Field. “Not have to go to a vote, but just sell the team. Because it’s becoming a major problem around the league, obviously. And we’ll see what happens. I think it’s got a long way to go, and Dan is very well known for digging his heels into the ground.”

On the pregame show, reporter Michael Smith said he talked to a high-ranking league official who told him it was “50-50 that Snyder survives these scandals.” Chants of “Sell the team!” could be heard during Amazon Prime’s on-field postgame show.

Daniel Snyder no longer under any NFL restrictions, his attorneys say

Three times the Bears advanced at least as far as the Washington 5-yard line, and three times the home team came away without points. That’s how the Commanders managed to end their four-game losing streak despite being outgained by 178 yards by one of the worst offensive teams in the league. In the first half, Washington intercepted Justin Fields on a pass headed for the end zone and stopped running back Khalil Herbert for no gain on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1st. With Chicago driving for the potential game-winning score in the final minute, the Commanders kept the Bears out of the end zone on four consecutive plays from inside the 5, and they sealed the win when cornerback Benjamin St-Juste tackled wide receiver Darnell Mooney inches short of the goal line on a fourth-down catch .

Wide receiver Curtis Samuel had 22 catches and two touchdowns over Washington’s first three games. He has 12 catches and hasn’t scored in three games since, including two grabs for six yards against the Bears. On the Commanders’ final drive of the first half, Samuel dropped what should have been a 40-yard touchdown and another pass that should have been a first down within the span of four plays.

Commanders can rebrand all they want. Dysfunction is their true identity.

Hail: Carson Wentz, bulldozer

With little time to throw and his receivers letting him down when he did, Wentz failed to eclipse 100 yards passing for only the third time in his career. He also played his first turnover-free game with Washington, improved to 7-0 on “Thursday Night Football” and threw a vicious block on a run by Brian Robinson Jr. for the second consecutive week. On the first play after the Bears muffed a punt midway through the fourth quarter, Wentz leveled all-pro linebacker Roquan Smith, jumping Robinson for a five-yard gain. The rookie running back scored the go-ahead touchdown on the next play.

“It’s not planned by any means, but especially when you’re down there by the goal line, and it was an ugly game, I’m going to do anything I can to help this team get in the end zone,” Wentz said , who was hampered by a hand injury he suffered in the second quarter on top of the biceps tendon strain he suffered Sunday. “That was fun, I guess. Hopefully I’m not making a living doing it.”

Fail: The wrong number of men

It’s Week 6. Washington has an experienced defensive coordinator in Jack Del Rio. At the very least, the Commanders should have the correct number of players on the field when they’re missing tackles, blowing assignments and giving up explosive plays. Twice Thursday, Washington was penalized for having 12 men on the field, which is one too many. Embarrassingly, one of those instances resulted in the Commanders allowing a 40-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis. Equally inexcusable, Washington had only 10 men on the field on one play during Chicago’s final drive.

Fail: ‘Freshman’ teams

Despite combining for two touchdowns, Chicago and Washington managed to play a lower-scoring game and a less appealing brand of football than what viewers were subjected to last Thursday, when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Denver Broncos, 12-9 in overtime, in a contest that featured nothing but field goals.

“I’ve been on these types of teams,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez said on the pregame show. “They’re the JV teams of the NFL. But there’s a silver lining to that, folks. I think we’re going to have a good football game.”

Gonzalez, who was the leading receiver on the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs team that finished 2-14, amended his take at halftime with Washington leading 3-0.

“This might be the freshman team,” he said. “This isn’t good football.”

Buckner: Commanders can rebrand all they want. Dysfunction is their true identity.

Washington came into the game with one takeaway through five weeks and the second-worst turnover differential in the league. Jonathan Allen ended Chicago’s second possession inside the Washington 10-yard line when he intercepted a pass that deflected off fellow defensive lineman Efe Obada’s helmet. Commanders rookie Christian Holmes pounced on a muffed punt by Chicago’s Velus Jones Jr. with eight minutes remaining, setting up the Robinson touchdown run that proved to be the difference in the game.

Fail: Ron Rivera’s challenge flag usage

It’s been a rough season for the Commanders’ third-year coach in the replay challenge department. In last month’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he didn’t throw his challenge flag fast enough to contest a catch that appeared to be incomplete. In last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, he sacrificed a timeout on Washington’s final drive by challenging a play that had little chance of being overturned. On Thursday, Rivera may have goofed again when he decided not to challenge a third-quarter catch by Mooney that appeared to hit the ground. Rather than facing third and long, Mooney’s catch set up third and short. David Montgomery ran for a first down on the next play, and the drive resulted in a touchdown.

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