3. Injuries pile up
Injuries, injuries, injuries. Dyami Brown, Logan Thomas, Brandon Scherff, and even Tory McTyer, were all unable to finish Sunday’s game. A disappointing outcome for a Washington group that stayed relatively healthy this season. Without three of Washington’s starters offensively and a key rotational defensive back, the Football Team must embrace the “next man up” mentality as they will likely be without four key members of their roster for this Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
2. Not nearly enough from LBs
We’ll start with the linebacker room. Cole Holcomb wasn’t bad today. He had some lapses in coverage, but nothing noteworthy. Jamin Davis had a very good play against the run late in the fourth and he was bulldozed on one occasion in the run-game, but all in all, No. 52 has improved from week to week.
The “captain” of the defense though, Jon Bostic, has been abysmal this season. Missed tackles, blown coverage assignments, and pulling the old “Will Compton special” running straight into blocks in run support. It’s been pretty bad, and as respectfully as I can say this, he shouldn’t be on the field for Washington much, if at all, for the remainder of this season. It has been that bad, leaving you questioning why Ron Rivera and company felt the need to “live” with their personnel at linebacker, knowing how limited they were. The scheme is not the issue here with Jon Bostic, he just is not a starting-level NFL linebacker.
1. Secondary struggles continue
The defensive back room has been even worse than the linebackers. I know, I know. Landon Collins in particular, has played some of the worst football at the strong safety position that we have seen here in recent years. What should have been a routine fit here as a box-safety, playing downhill against the run with minimal coverage responsibility, has turned into a nightmare. Collins cannot stay out of his own way, and when it comes time to make a play, he fails to do so time and time again.
For example, some believed late in the first half that Collins’s inability to tackle Cordarrelle Patterson was simply a matter of poor scheme plus poor execution. I say, nonsense. Collins is taught in the open field to attack offensive players near-hip, wrap up and make a tackle. In football, the low man always wins. Collins stays upright, over-runs and out-leverages himself in the open field, and gets juked into the sideline. Landon Collins does not fit in Washington, at least not in the scheme they want him in.
Quite frankly, I am unsure of what scheme actually fits for a guy who struggles at just about every ask of the position, including asks of other positions like linebacker. Luckily for Collins, he isn’t the only player who has struggled on the back end. This week, it was Kendall Fuller and Bobby McCain who may have played just a tick worse than Landon. Both Fuller and McCain were lost in coverage whether it be man or zone, both players have started out slow and have regressed significantly from their play last season.
They’ve moved Fuller around from slot corner to outside corner and it didn’t work. For McCain, his responsibility as a free-safety prioritizes around keeping the play in front of him, something he hasn’t been able to do on a consistent basis.
The Washington Football Team’s defensive back room has been horrendous, arguably the worst room on the roster given the amount of talent there. Nonetheless, they have a huge test against offensive mastermind Sean Payton next week, someone who can attack this unit in ways they never thought were possible.