Commanders defensive middle
The Washington Commanders' defensive line played a marvelous game against some big, powerful runners on Sunday. Jonathan Allen was a beast. Cody Barton, who I have been ripping since preseason, was far more effective. He still ran himself out of plays - but this week he also ran himself into a couple big plays as well.
Atlanta is a good running team and Washington stonewalled them for most of the game. They held Bijan Robinson to half his season average yards-per-carry. This is no mean feat whatsoever.
Unfortunately, I can not say the same thing about the pass coverage in the middle of the field. Up until the final defensive play of the game, Washington looked mostly helpless in trying to cover quick slants and crosses.
Barton and fellow linebacker Jamin Davis rarely got into throwing lanes. The cornerbacks had a lot of trouble with huge receivers like Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Kamren Curl and Percy Butler couldn't close fast enough to interrupt the quick throws.
Indeed, for most of the game, Atlanta was able to convert third and mediums at will. Right up until Davis snuck inside on Robinson and made a game-saving interception at the end.
Going forward, the Commanders have to come up with ways to disrupt those rhythm throws across the middle of the defense. Neither linebacker looks good in coverage now - Davis’ sensational pick notwithstanding.