4 Washington Commanders on the hot seat entering Week 5 vs. Bears

Big performances are needed from these Commanders in primetime.

Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Cody Barton - Commanders LB

It tried, I really did. But the All-22 footage didn't lie once again where linebacker Cody Barton was concerned.

Barton is not living up to expectations following his free-agent switch from the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll is a shrewd operator, so there's probably a good reason why he didn't bring the former third-round selection out of Utah back into the fold once his contract expired.

Something the Washington Commanders are finding out to their cost.

It was another woeful performance from Barton at the Philadelphia Eagles. He looks like a rabbit in the headlights and devoid of any confidence, which is a real concern with just four games of the 2023 campaign gone.

We spoke this week about the Commanders potentially making changes at the defensive second level alongside Jamin Davis. That might be difficult on a short week, but Khaleke Hudson's been around the set-up long enough to potentially provide better assistance, especially considering the flashes he showed in Week 18 last time around and throughout the preseason.

Barton is giving up a 118.7 passer rating in coverage and even though he's only missed two tackles, is extremely hesitant with his run pursuit angles and lacks the explosiveness needed to get to the points of attack before significant yardage is gained. Something reflected in his measly 41.0 grade from Pro Football Focus.

If last weekend was the last chance saloon for Barton, it's hard to project a bright future for the player with another subpar outing against the Chicago Bears. And the Commanders need him to produce the goods versus a decent running back tandem and one of the league's more mobile quarterbacks in Justin Fields.