Commanders must win physical battles with Durham Smythe
He's not the most physically imposing, but Durham Smythe is a game blocker from the tight end position. The 6-foot-6, 246-pounder is used creatively by head coach Mike McDaniel in the running game.
Smythe often plays off the line and gets a running start to help create inside rushing lanes. It worked when No. 81 helped clear New England Patriots rookie defensive end Keion White out of the path of running back Raheem Mostert in Week 2, per Sports Illustrated's Omar Kelly.
While he doesn't need to pancake any opponents, Smythe's ability to nudge defenders away from the ball is crucial on many of Miami's cutback and stretch runs. Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera needs a linebacker like Jamin Davis to react quicker and beat him to the punch.
If Smythe proves too quick, Davis and other Commanders' defensive players must put the tight end on skates. The Dolphins are known for their dynamic air attack, led by Hill and Waddle, but everything in McDaniel's expansive schemes is built upon what happens on the ground.