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- Daron Payne was spectacular today for the Burgundy & Gold. He had multiple pressures, a sack, and 2 passes deflected. As he starts his contract year, Payne was critical in keeping points off the board for the Jaguars.
- Jonathan Allen, like his counterpart, played really well for the Commanders. He had a sack, two tackles for loss, and multiple pressures. He continues to live up to the lucrative contract extension he signed last July.
- While he didn’t tally a sack or tackle for loss, Montez Sweat had solid moments for the Commanders. He had a few pressures, and his ability to knife up the middle on a stunt led to Jonathan Allen’s first-half sack.
- With Kam Curl missing the opener, Darrick Forrest stepped up in a huge way for Jack Del Rio’s defense. He had a massive hit and forced fumble in the first half, multiple passes defended, and the game-winning interception. In his first career start, he gave the Commanders everything you could ask for out of the second-year player.
- The Commanders were mostly solid in the red zone. The Jaguars had five trips and only converted on two of them. One, where Etienne dropped a sure-fire touchdown pass, was more the Jaguars shooting themselves in the foot, but still. Largely the Commanders shored up their operation in the red zone with pressure.
- It wasn’t a good day in the office for either Kendall Fuller or William Jackson III. Jackson III got beat on a double move in the first half by Marvin Jones. An innacurate pass by Lawrence made it a no harm, no foul, but that had touchdown potential. Fuller had multiple penalties, got beat deep on occasion, and also could’ve allowed a touchdown to Zay Jones if it weren’t for an errant pass. I’d expect both to recover but neither had a great opening game.
- Jamin Davis was picked on repeatedly in coverage. Whether he was covering Travis Etienne, or inexplicably matched up with Christian Kirk, he was a step behind in coverage. Asking him to cover Kirk isn’t schematically smart, but his inability to stand in the way of Etienne is concerning. His ability to cover in space with his athleticism was a major reason he was a first-round pick, so his struggles are noteworthy.
- Cole Holcomb didn’t struggle nearly as much as Davis but he wasn’t spectacular. On a few occasions, he filled the wrong gap on a run or was no match for Evan Engram in coverage. The linebacker position remains a point of concern for the defense.
- The Jaguars had five red zone trips. While the defense inside the 20s is encouraging, the five trips are concerning. At points, the Jaguars could do what they want with the football. Against better opponents, Washington may not be as fortunate as they were Sunday.
- Phidarian Mathis had what looked to be a serious knee injury. If so, that really stinks for Mathis, who was slated to play a huge role in his rookie year. It also affects the Commanders depth, but Mathis’ health is of most importance.
- No spectacular plays but good news! No missed kicks, blocked punts, long returns, or fumbles. Overall, a solid day in the office for the special teams unit.