Commanders’ Ron Rivera suggests he didn’t know the team could be knocked out of the playoffs with a loss


Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera raised eyebrows Sunday with a confusing response to a question about the team’s playoff scenarios following a loss to the Cleveland Browns.

For the Commanders to qualify for the playoffs on Sunday, the team needed to beat the Browns, have the Seattle Seahawks lose and the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers lose or tie. But they didn’t keep their end of the bargain and at the end of the day, they were in danger of being eliminated.

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Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera talks to an official during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Santa Clara, La California.
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Rivera suggested in his post-game press conference that he was unaware of the threat of being knocked out of the playoffs before the game. He made the switch to go with Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback over Taylor Heinicke. Washington lost 24-10.

He was asked about the quarterback’s strategy for Week 18 if Washington is eliminated.

“We can be eliminated? Rivera asked after pausing for a few moments.

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According to ESPN, Rivera later said he was frustrated with the question and had no strategy for them to lose because he didn’t think the team would.

Carson Wentz #11 of the Washington Commanders throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the game at FedExField on January 1, 2023 in Landover, Maryland.

Carson Wentz #11 of the Washington Commanders throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the game at FedExField on January 1, 2023 in Landover, Maryland.
(Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

By the end of Sunday afternoon, all of the teams the Commanders were set to lose won and reduced their chances of making the playoffs to zero.

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Washington has lost two of its last three games with a tie against the New York Giants in Week 13, their only advantage in their recent role.


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