Which key players must the Washington Commanders keep quiet to stand any chance of success in Week 2 at the Denver Broncos?
Scraping past the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 got the Josh Harris era off to a winning start for the Washington Commanders, but things will be tougher this week. The Denver Broncos couldn't overcome the Las Vegas Raiders, but this is still an experienced team led by Super Bowl-winning head coach Sean Payton.
His main task is to awaken some dormant playmakers on both sides of the ball. Payton's focus will continue to be on getting veteran quarterback Russell Wilson back on track, something the Commanders' defense can't allow.
Commanders must keep Russell Wilson in the pocket
Wilson only threw for 177 passing yards against the Raiders, but he still tossed two touchdowns and missed on only seven of 34 pass attempts. A more efficient signal-caller can damage any defense, particularly if he's allowed out of the pocket.
He couldn't escape last week, so Wilson might be given more freedom after a losing start. That would mean Sean Payton introducing some RPOs and bootleg passes.
Wilson has always been most effective throwing on the move, so the Washington Commanders need to maintain pressure with discipline and cut off the signal-caller's outside rushing lanes.
Fortunately, defensive end Montez Sweat should be up to the task of keeping Wilson boxed in after dominating against the Cardinals.
With Sweat winning off the edge while defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne collapse the interior, the Commanders will force Wilson to beat them exclusively from the pocket.