3 Patriots players the Commanders must keep quiet in Week 9

Keeping these threats quiet will be crucial...

Christian Barmore
Christian Barmore / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders must contain Rhamondre Stevenson

Demario Douglas is emerging as a playmaker of note, but the New England Patriots still operate best when they keep the football on the ground. Preferably, with Rhamondre Stevenson lugging the rock.

Stevenson hasn't been quite as difficult to bring down as he was last season, but No. 38 can still move the pile when he's at full speed. As Evan Lazar showed, the former fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma was in 2022 form against the Miami Dolphins.

Plays like this don't bode well for a Washington Commanders defense surrendering 4.2 yards per carry. The absences of Montez Sweat and Chase Young might help improve fortunes against the run since the latter wasn't always the most disciplined in this particular area of production.

Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera now have an obvious reason to put an extra defensive tackle like John Ridgeway on the field more often. Three interior linemen will help linebackers like Jamin Davis and Khaleke Hudson flow to the ball and track down Stevenson.

Stopping the run should see the Commanders leave New England with a much-needed win. That would be just what the doctor ordered after another dramatic week for everyone associated with the franchise.