Commanders bright spots
Early in the season, I wrote that defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson was playing better than the other backups. Then, he was demoted to the practice squad while Phidarian Mathis and John Ridgeway got the bulk of the snaps behind Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen.
On Sunday, with Allen, out, Anderson was back. It was pretty clear he was the Washington Commanders' best defensive lineman.
Maybe Payne was better, but not by much. Anderson routinely made stops at the line. He disrupted plays and drew a holding penalty on a pass. Washington’s other defensive linemen did virtually nothing. I fear Mathis’ days may be done.
Khaleke Hudson tried out a technique that we haven’t seen employed by Commanders linebackers in a very long time. He would read running plays, shoot the hole, and make a quick tackle. I wonder if anyone on the coaching staff ever thought of this strategy before.
Hudson had 13 tackles on the day, including 10 solo tackles. Instead of accumulating tackles by getting pushed eight yards downfield before making the stop - as has been common for Commanders' linebackers - he recorded tackles for loss. He made plays behind the line of scrimmage.
So why are these two bright spots in the disappointments column? Because Washington has had these players on the roster all season. They chose not to play them. They kept rolling out higher profile/less productive players.
That’s not just disappointing. That’s maddening.