Commanders took no deep shots
With the Seattle Seahawks often keeping eight men within three yards of the line, the Washington Commanders needed to find a way to back them off. The best way to do that is to exploit a lot of man-coverage with throws downfield.
Unfortunately, the Commanders' offense never did this.
There are plenty of reasons why. For one thing, the Seahawks have a good defense. Their secondary features two excellent man-corners and very good safeties. Their linebackers drop into coverage very well. But even so, you have to stretch them.
Hit a big play. Get a pass interference call. Even if it doesn’t work, it gets them thinking.
The main reason Washington did not take deep shots has little to do with the talent in the Seahawks' back seven. They can’t take deep shots because they cannot protect quarterback Sam Howell long enough to allow for such plays.
And again, I am no longer blaming the players.
The middle of the line isn’t very good. The coaches have to find ways to buy a little extra time to allow for shots downfield. Put John Bates and Alex Armah Jr. in the backfield if you have to. Roll the pocket from time to time.
We’re seeing a lot of short rhythm slants and rocket screens, but they only work in conjunction with the occasional long ball. This was non-existent at Lumen Field on Sunday where the Commanders were concerned.
Which leads me to my next point.