1. Front four rushing with discipline
In 2021, the Commanders front four struggled with getting on the same page. Ron Rivera dubbed it generally as “maturity” issues. What he really was saying though was the defensive line was playing without discipline.
Quarterbacks were freely able to roll out of the pocket after the edge or interior rusher was washed out of the play, and then complete a pass outside of the pocket. Patrick Mahomes took the Commanders’ lunch money throughout his lone two drives against the Commanders a few weeks ago.
While Mahomes did his usual wizardry at times, the Commanders made it easier on him by rushing with a lack of discipline. On one play, Casey Toohill gets completely flushed out of the play, before Mahomes rolls out left and flicks a pass for a touchdown just beyond the reach of Kam Curl.
Against Trevor Lawrence, who also can use his legs outside of the structure to make plays, the Commanders will need to rush as a unit on Sunday. Trevor Lawrence in his rookie year had a propensity to scramble from pockets too early.
While that isn’t always a positive for the second-year quarterback, his inclination to do that could work to his benefit if the Commanders’ front freelance. The Commanders need to rush with discipline, collapse the pocket, and make Lawrence make plays from inside the pocket.
Allowing him to scramble outside of the structure, is where the Commanders could get into big trouble. Containing the uber-talented quarterback could be hard enough in the first place, there is no need for the Commanders to make it any harder on themselves.