Ron Rivera says 1 thing separates Washington from rest of NFC East
The NFC East suddenly looks like one of the strongest divisions in football again, and the Washington Commanders are having a tough time keeping up. Head coach Ron Rivera says there is one big reason for that.
Rivera on Monday was asked what separates the 1-4 Commanders from the Philadelphia Eagles, who are now 5-0, the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys and the 4-1 New York Giants. At first, he gave a very simple response that many interpreted as a shot at Carson Wentz.
"Why do you think the teams in the division are farther ahead at this point?"
Ron Rivera: "quarterback"
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 10, 2022
Context is important, of course. As you can see, a reporter followed up by asking Rivera if he regrets trading for Wentz. He praised Wentz for the way he played in Sunday’s 21-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Rivera also clarified that he was referring to how the three other teams in the division have had more time to build around their current quarterbacks.
Rivera: "If you look at teams that sustain success, they're able to build it around a specific quarterback. Now we have a guy we think we have a chance to build around….The way he performed yesterday showed what he's capable of. We chose him because we believe in him."
— John Keim (@john_keim) October 10, 2022
Wentz went 25/38 for 359 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on Sunday. His play has been inconsistent through five games, but that has hardly been Washington’s only problem.
Some would point out that Jalen Hurts is in only his first full season as the Eagles’ starter and the Cowboys have won four straight games with Cooper Rush. Rivera feels Rush is a good fit for the Dallas system and has had more time to assimilate.
We know Wentz’s former boss does not think very highly of him, but the same is not true for Rivera. At least, not yet. Wentz just isn’t good enough at this point in his career to compensate for a team that has so many issues.