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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

Commanders PFF grades: Best and worst performers vs. Eagles in Week 8

Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell had perhaps the best game of his young NFL career on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Howell completed 39 of 52 passes for 397 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception.

Howell wasn’t perfect, of course, but he kept the Commanders in control for much of the game, trading scores with the defending NFC champions for the second time in five weeks.

Was Sunday’s game Howell’s highest-graded performance from Pro Football Focus?

Who was Washington’s highest-graded player?

Here are PFF’s top-graded players from Week 8.

Top 5 offense

Jahan Dotson #1 of the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
  • WR Jamison Crowder: 90.6
  • RG Sam Cosmi: 80.5
  • RB Brian Robinson Jr: 77.6
  • WR Jahan Dotson: 76.0
  • RT Andrew Wylie: 75.0

Jamison Crowder is one of this season’s true feel-good stories. The former Washington fourth-round pick has taken over as the team’s punt returner and on Sunday, took advantage of his playing time at wideout.

Finally, Dotson had his breakout game. I would expect more from Dotson moving forward. It was almost like he just needed that one game to get him going. He’s going to be just fine.

Somehow, Wylie was again PFF’s top-graded offensive lineman for Washington. I don’t care how PFF defends its metrics; they’re not always right.

Top 5 defense

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Julio Jones (80), Washington Commanders safety Kamren Curl (31) and Commanders cornerback Danny Johnson (36). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
  • S Kamren Curl: 89.8
  • LB Khaleke Hudson: 86.4
  • CB Kendall Fuller: 81.5
  • DE Montez Sweat: 68.9
  • DT John Ridgeway: 63.3

Sweat was Washington’s highest-graded defensive lineman. He did have a sack, but it was Daron Payne who made the play. Hudson played limited snaps again but made the most of them. Curl was excellent.

Fuller remains Washington’s most consistent cornerback. He wasn’t really tested Sunday and made some excellent tackles at or near the line of scrimmage.

Bottom 5 offense

Washington Commanders guard Chris Paul (75). (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • WR Terry McLaurin: 58.0
  • C Tyler Larsen: 55.6
  • LT Charles Leno Jr: 55.5
  • WR Dyami Brown: 47.7
  • LG Chris Paul: 42.4

McLaurin had a good game, but those two “drops” will be remembered the most. On back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, Howell threw low to McLaurin, one hit him in the face mask, while the other bounced off his hands. They weren’t perfect throws, but McLaurin will tell you he should’ve caught them.

As far as these grades on the OL, they seem harsh. Howell was sacked one time on Sunday. By far, his lowest total of the season. Now, I am not saying Larsen or Paul were perfect, but I thought they held up well, particularly Larsen.


Bottom 5 defense

Benjamin St-Juste #25 of the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)
  • DE Chase Young: 52.6
  • DT Phidarian Mathis: 52.2
  • DT Daron Payne: 50.6
  • LB Jamin Davis: 50.0
  • CB Benjamin St-Juste: 42.4

Emmanuel Forbes would have been the lowest-graded here, but we only rank those who played 10 snaps or more. Forbes played five snaps. He struggled again, but he should’ve never been matched up with A.J. Brown after what happened four weeks ago.

This was Mathis’ first game of the 2023 season, and he played 14 snaps. Young didn’t threaten the Eagles’ outstanding offensive line on Sunday in his 50 snaps. St-Juste had a tough day at the office.

Other notable grades

Jalen Hurts #1, Jonathan Allen (93). (Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)
  • DT Jonathan Allen: 58.1
  • S Percy Butler: 58.4
  • LB David Mayo: 55.4
  • QB Sam Howell: 67.7
  • TE Logan Thomas: 62.6

Percy Butler continues to play every snap for the Commanders since Darrick Forrest’s injury. While Butler has yet to make any game-changing plays, his speed is evident. Mayo replaced Cody Barton and didn’t really stand out.

Howell’s grade feels low, but he was intercepted in the second half; it was a really costly turnover. There was also his throw on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter that should have been picked off. Overall, though, Howell was excellent.

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