Commanders defensive front seven
Once again, the Washington Commanders' defense let a mediocre offense look good. The Seattle Seahawks were averaging 22 points per game. They scored 29 in Week 10.
They were averaging 332 yards per game. They rolled up almost 500 against Washington. Their yards-per-run and yards-per-play were about a half-yard more than their season average. Doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, that’s huge.
I blame the defensive front seven. The secondary faltered at crucial moments, but for the most part, quarterback Geno Smith had all day to throw, and still often had to throw the ball away. Without blitzing, the Commanders generated no pressure. Even when they blitzed, it only worked when they sent the house.
That lack of pressure is somewhat explainable after the trades of Montez Sweat and Chase Young. The leaky run defense is far more worrisome.
The four primary players on the inside of Washington’s defense - Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Jamin Davis, and David Mayo - all made a couple of good plays. But for most of the contest, they were blown off the ball by Seattle’s brawny interior.
Damien Lewis and Anthony Bradford are not going to the Pro Bowl, but those guards didn’t have much trouble with Washington’s Pro Bowl-caliber defensive tackles. And once again, Davis and Mayo usually failed to get off blocks in time to make tackles anywhere near the line of scrimmage.
I am beginning to think Washington should begin playing without any linebackers. Since Davis and Mayo are helpless in coverage, they aren’t contributing anything if they cannot make more consistent plays against the run.
Washington fares a little better with its five-man defensive fronts. I’m wondering if a base 5-0-6 defense isn’t the answer for this season-long problem.
I’ll end with a little cross-training to both make a point and highlight a disappointment. Let’s talk basketball for a moment.