The Commanders didn’t just beat the rival Eagles on Monday night, handing the NFL‘s last unbeaten team their first loss of the year. They also gave coach Ron Rivera a reason to get choked up. Roughly three weeks after he was to visit his mother, Delores, who died soon after, Rivera addressed Washington after Monday’s 32-21 upset while fighting back tears: “My mother would’ve been proud,” he told the players, before star receiver Terry McLaurin took over.
Rivera needed a few tries to get the words out, then retreated to a nearby hallway as the Commanders’ celebration continued, clearly emotional over the night and his recent personal loss.
“You can see how much (this) means to him,” McLaurin told his teammates in the postgame locker-room huddle, after Rivera stepped aside. “But it means a lot to everybody in this locker room, bro. We set the … tone. We took it to them! We don’t gotta take shit from nobody!”
Rivera’s Commanders have now won four out of five to improve to 5-5 on the season. Washington remains in last place in the NFC East but is within striking distance of the Cowboys (6-3), who fell to the Packers on Sunday. Next up, his squad will travel to Houston to play the Texans (1-7-1), with a chance to eclipse .500 for the first time since Week 1.