Last Sunday, the Washington Commanders were officially knocked out of playoff contention, and it was revealed that their head coach, Ron Rivera, was unaware of this fact. Rivera faced significant criticism for his lack of awareness regarding the team’s elimination.
People became more concerned about Rivera’s mindset towards the elimination rather than the elimination itself. Fans started questioning whether Rivera didn’t care enough about the Commanders’ playoff chances or if he was solely focused on winning the game without considering other possible outcomes.
Following the Commanders’ 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, a reporter asked Rivera about the team’s quarterback situation for week 18.
Rivera’s response was surprising, “We could be eliminated?”
#Commanders HC Ron Rivera found out during his postgame press conference that they could be eliminated from playoff contention in a few hours.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 1, 2023
Commanders’ Playoff Hopes Crushed by Packers’ Victory
In a resounding victory, the Green Bay Packers demolished the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field with a final score of 41-17, effectively eliminating the Commanders from playoff contention. Subsequently, Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera claimed his previous answer had been misconstrued and clarified his thoughts in an interview with ESPN’s John Keim.
Rivera explained to Keim that he had misunderstood the initial question and that his frustration had clouded his response. He admitted that he was unaware of the possibility of the Commanders’ elimination because he had been solely focused on their potential victory and the subsequent outcomes in that scenario.
Ron Rivera clarified his postgame remark about not knowing they could be eliminated. Said he was frustrated by the question; said he didn't know they could be eliminated because he thought they would win & only focused on what would happen IF they won. Didn't consider alternative
— John Keim (@john_keim) January 1, 2023
After a promising start, the Commanders have faced challenges in maintaining their playoff presence. Since their initial postseason appearance with a 7-9 record, the team has encountered difficulties in securing playoff berths, missing out for two consecutive seasons. As per NBC Sports, the Commanders have been unable to achieve a winning record above .500 since 2016.