Commanders defense allows less than 20 points
When are these guys simply going to show up?
Are we ever going to see some urgency and accountability from this Washington Commanders' defensive unit on a week-to-week and down-to-down basis?
It’s not just the insufferably subpar performance of linebacker Cody Barton.
It’s not only the very visible growing pains of first-round rookie cornerback Emmanuel Forbes.
It can’t all be put on the highly-touted and highly-drafted defensive line not consistently dominating as it should.
And it’s not completely the fault of the clearly questionable schematic and strategic decisions of defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
If everyone involved does their job, the rest will take of itself. A sentiment head coach Ron Rivera clearly wanted to send to his team after he put up a sign saying as much in the locker room this week.
But will the seemingly simple message be received?
With safeties Darrick Forrest and Jeremy Reaves landing on injured/reserve, Washington’s undermanned defense will attempt to stop the bleeding this week against an Atlanta Falcons team known for its high-powered rushing attack.
Second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder is coming off his best game as a pro after throwing for a career-high 329 yards and scoring two total touchdowns in Atlanta's win over the Houston Texans last week.
Thought of more of a game manager than a gunslinger, the Commanders would do well to force Ridder to try to replicate last week's outlier performance and send constant pressure at the young QB. But the primary focus should undoubtedly be stopping Bijan Robinson and the formidable ground game.
The Commanders' defensive line puts the entire unit on its shoulders against Atlanta, routinely harassing Ridder and Robinson in the backfield while holding the Falcons to less than 20 points in the contest.