Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
2. Run and Pass Defense
A handful of Commanders’ defenders came to play, but the group collectively disappointed Sunday. We’ll start with the pass defense.
While Trevor Lawrence’s final stats weren’t great, it was apparent to the naked eye that the Jaguars quarterback was very comfortable and confident picking apart the opposing coverage. Long story short, Washington’s secondary had zero answers when the pass rush couldn’t generate pressure.
At the end of the day, the Commanders’ were bailed out by several missed opportunities by Jacksonville. Had Washington played a more seasoned and potent offense (the Jaguars have a ton of new faces) they truly might’ve lost this game.
You can only play who’s on your schedule, but Sunday was another worrying sign for the secondary, which struggled all preseason.
Furthermore, the Commanders’ run defense was almost as disappointing, allowing Jaguars rushers to compile 128 yards on 6.8 (!) yards per carry. That cannot happen. Luckily, Jacksonville only dialed up 18 running plays.
Game script had a lot to do with that, so if the Commanders ever find themselves trailing this season (that’s inevitable) they’re going to have to stop the run. The defensive line played its part, but Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis, who logged 100% of the linebacker snaps, filled the wrong gap on one too many occasions.