4 Commanders on the hot seat entering Week 9 at Patriots

Daron Payne
Daron Payne / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Jack Del Rio - Commanders DC

Although it was a much-improved performance from the Washington Commanders in Week 8, their defense once again fluffed lines in key moments. This placed coordinator Jack Del Rio firmly under the microscope - something the experienced figure is pretty familiar with after an underwhelming campaign on that side of the football.

Del Rio is under increasing strain and will now be without his two starting defensive ends to further complicate matters. How he manages the pass-rushing rotation and implements different ideas to create pressure will be of critical importance in the pursuit of ending the Commanders' recent skid.

Even without Young and Sweat, the Commanders have plenty of talent. It's also worth remembering that the New England Patriots aren't exactly the most explosive offense despite hiring Bill O'Brien as their offensive coordinator earlier this year.

If the Commanders cannot find ways to make things uncomfortable for Mac Jones and continue to give up big plays, the finger-pointing in Del Rio's direction will continue. Something that will lend further weight to the consensus that he's on borrowed time.

Not having Young or Sweat to call upon should give others the urgency needed to take advantage of additional opportunities. But Del Rio must put his players in the best positions to thrive.

Simple as that, really.