What disappointments emerged from the Washington Commanders' hard-fought triumph at the New England Patriots in Week 9?
The Washington Commanders traveled to the New England Patriots on Sunday. They were the best team on the field.
In memory serves, this is the first time since the Revolutionary War that this was the case.
They were better despite not having Chase Young or Montez Sweat. They were better despite giving up some ill-timed big plays. They were better despite allowing three sacks and five tackles-for-loss. They were better despite a bizarre third-down deep shot to wide receiver Dyami Brown late in the game when they only needed six yards to seal the victory.
The fact is, Washington dominated this game on the field and corrected a lot of problems that have been plaguing them this year. So where can we possibly look for disappointments?
Fortunately, you have a veteran pessimist on hand to lead the way. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Commanders gave up too many slants
Admit it - you were worried on that first drive, weren’t you?
The New England Patriots got three consecutive first downs on slants. Demario Douglas beat tight coverage from Benjamin St-Juste on one. Stevenson cleanly beat Jamin Davis on another. And Hunter Henry beat Kamren Curl for the third.
The Washington Commanders back seven did make some plays on slants later, but they struggled with them throughout the game. This is largely due to the inability of the team's linebackers to cover in space.
Without Darrick Forest, the safeties are not particularly good in coverage either. Teams will continue to exploit the middle of the field until Washington finds a solution.