Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera seems to understand he’s not guaranteed a job with the organization beyond Week 18 as his 4-6 side prepares to host a 2-8 New York Giants team this Sunday that may be “tanking” the rest of its season.
“My big disappointment is that we haven’t played as well on defense as we’ve needed to,” Rivera told reporters on Friday, per John Keim of ESPN. “Does that make my job security shaky? It could. I have no idea what [new team owner Josh Harris] is going to do. The truth is, it’s the nature of the game. I get it. If it happens it happens. If I stay I stay. Until then we will continue to work.”
The Commanders have gone 26-33-1 under Rivera since the start of the 2020 season, and he seemingly declined to pursue Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson this past spring after Jackson’s rights were retained via the franchise tag.
According to ESPN stats, Washington starting signal-caller Sam Howell enters the weekend ranked 21st in the NFL among qualified players with a 47.3 adjusted QBR and first with 2,783 passing yards on the campaign. Howell, a 2022 fifth-round draft pick, tossed 17 touchdown passes and nine interceptions across Washington’s first 10 games.
Washington became a seller by shipping pass-rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young away ahead of the Oct. 31 trade deadline.
It’s been rumored that the Commanders could attempt to trade for New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick this offseason assuming Belichick and the Patriots are ready to part ways. Commanders insider JP Finlay of NBC Washington later poured cold water over that theory, in part because such a move “would be completely opposite of how Josh Harris has run his other sports teams.”
“Mr. Harris has been terrific,” Rivera added. “He’s playing everything close to the vest as he should and it’s his prerogative as the owner to make decisions he feels are best for the future. We’ll continue to work and play hard and see how it unfolds. I’ll control what I can and that’s what goes on on the football field.”
As of Friday afternoon, oddschecker listed the Commanders as nine-point favorites against the Giants. That could prove to be a can’t-lose game for Rivera as it pertains to his long-term future in Washington.