Commanders must restrict Dexter Lawrence
The New York Giants defense succeeds when Dexter Lawrence is living in the backfield. He's been a problem for the Washington Commanders in the past, and the hulking nose tackle is too much for any one blocker.
Center Nick Gates has the inside track on Lawrence from his own time with the Giants, but the Commanders' pivotman will need additional assistance. That help maybe shouldn't come from right guard Sam Cosmi, who was tossed aside too easily by Calais Campbell last week.
Cosmi has been beaten up along the interior this season, just like fellow guard Saahdiq Charles. Both are converted tackles prized for their mobility, but the Commanders lack the kind of play strength in the trenches to handle somebody like Lawrence.
Perhaps moving 6-foot-8, 328-pound Cornelius Lucas inside could give the Commanders the necessary size advantage. What harm could it do?
Ultimately, it's going to take a collective and creative approach. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy needs to show Lawrence different looks, including double teams, wham blocks from tight end John Bates, and regular chipping by running backs.
Essentially, the Commanders must do everything they can think of to prevent Lawrence from taking over this game. Otherwise, more hits will be coming Sam Howell's way.