Lions' next opponent: Carson Wentz tosses four TDs, Commanders come back to beat Jags

By Stephen Whyno
Associated Press

Landover, Md. — Carson Wentz went to the sideline after throwing interceptions on consecutive plays, stomped the ground and looked at coach Ron Rivera.

“Hey, you’re going to have to win this,” Rivera said. Wentz responded, “I will,” before walking away.

Wentz did just that, rebounding from the costly mistakes to complete his third and fourth touchdowns and lead Washington to a 28-22 comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in his debut for the team now known as the Commanders.

Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz reacts to converting a 2-point conversion against the Jaguars in the closing minutes of the second half on Sunday.

“You make a couple bad plays, it’s time to go fix it,” Wentz said. “It’s a tough stretch there to bounce back from, but guys did a good job. Everybody was rallying around each other, and obviously we got it done.”

It was Wentz’s first four-TD game since the day he tore the ACL in his left knee while with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. And it came with former Eagles coach Doug Pederson on the visiting sideline in charge of the Jaguars for the first time.

“He played a heck of a football game,” Pederson said. ”Showed a lot of composure and brought his team back. Hats off to him and his team for doing that.”

Wentz connected with Terry McLaurin on a 49-yard TD and then hit rookie Jahan Dotson in the end zone from 24 yards out to put the Commanders ahead with 1:46 left after they squandered an early lead. With fans chanting, Wentz engineered a 13-play, 90-yard drive that kept him from losing to the Jaguars in consecutive games following a similar two-turnover effort in Week 18 last year with the Indianapolis Colts.

He finished 27 of 41 for 313 yards and produced enough points to make up for two bad mistakes on the interceptions.

“To come back and respond in the way he did, I think that’s the true test of his character,” McLaurin said. “The real key point is just the way he responded and the way he came back and stayed poised under pressure and hit the throws that he needed to to win the game.”

Jaguars second-year QB Trevor Lawrence was intercepted with 1:10 to go, ending any chance of a comeback by the team that was last in the league each of the past two seasons. Lawrence was 24 of 42 for 275 yards, a touchdown pass to James Robinson and the pick. Robinson also ran for a touchdown.

Pederson said the Jaguars beat themselves, and there were notable mistakes that kept points off the board. Lawrence overthrew Travis Etienne early on what should have been an easy TD, Jacksonville failed to convert on fourth down deep in Washington territory and kicker Riley Patterson hit the right upright on a 37-yard field goal attempt.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot,” Lawrence said.

The Jaguars lost on the road for an 18th consecutive game and extended their NFL-record streak of losses to NFC opponents to 17.

Commanders at Lions

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit

Line: Commanders by 1

TV/radio: FOX/97.1