Commanders must get the football out quickly
The Washington Commanders are making encouraging strides offensively through five weeks. Eric Bieniemy and Sam Howell seem to be developing impressive communication and chemistry - although they aren't being helped by a defensive unit that's failed to meet expectations up to now.
Starting slowly leads to the Commanders throwing the football almost constantly. This was once again evident against the Chicago Bears and something Howell coped with extremely well, but it's far from ideal from a balance standpoint and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Bieniemy deserves credit for adjusting to the in-game situations far more effectively than defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. But Howell is getting hit far too much behind an offensive line that's not really built to cope with so much pass protection.
How can the Commanders counteract this without changing the starting five on their protection? The personnel isn't there for any major shift, so altering the scheme slightly could be the best route forward.
This centers around Howell getting the football out quickly and into the hands of his playmakers. One of the biggest strengths of players such as Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, and Terry McLaurin is generating yards after the catch - it's time the Commanders started putting this to better use.
Establishing the run would also benefit Howell greatly. However, that's difficult if the defensive side of things keeps putting this team in a hole right out of the gate.