Commanders punt coverage
It seems like a minor point, and in a game like this, it is in fact a minor point. But this is something that the Washington Commanders need to clean up.
Tress Way punts the ball a long way. Christian Holmes, who has become Washington’s best gunner, has been adequate this season. But too often, there is not another player within 20 yards of the returner when he fields the punt.
If he can elude Holmes, there will be a big return. This is exactly what happened late in the first quarter.
That play was exacerbated by a second mistake - a holding penalty on David Mayo. That gave the Buffalo Bills the ball on Washington’s 35-yard-line. They scored a touchdown one play later.
We’ve been told that players like Percy Butler and Khaleke Hudson are outstanding special teamers. Jeremy Reaves was the special teams All-Pro selection last season. But on Washinton’s punt coverage this year, I see a lot of uncomfortable-looking scrambling coming from players like Cole Turner and Chris Rodriguez Jr.
The Commanders cleverly covered up for this weakness by turning the ball over five times, thus eliminating the need for punts, but that doesn’t seem like the best strategy going forward. This is something Nate Kaczor needs to fix before it causes trouble in a game that is actually close.