3 matchups that should worry Commanders against the NY Giants
By Jonathan Eig
2. Interior of the line
Many have been touting Washington defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne as the best interior line tandem in the league. (Count me as one such touter.) If you are not putting the Commanders duo first, then you are almost certainly putting the Giants’ Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence ahead of them. Both are stout against the run, and are capable of collapsing the pocket in the same way Allen and Payne have been doing.
The Commanders offensive line has struggled this season, and most of that struggle has come on the inside. Now that Tyler Larsen, Andrew Norwell, and a hopefully healthy Trai Turner have been able to play together for several games in a row, things have certainly improved. But this is still a potential weakness, especially when facing good interior linemen.
They struggled some against Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett, and this week they have two premier interior linemen to handle. (For the record, Jarrett lines up in various positions and causes problems in all of them.) I doubt the run game will be significantly affected because Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson have been productive without massive holes to exploit. But I worry a lot about Taylor Heinicke being forced into bad decisions and bad throws when pressure comes up the middle.