What sneaky threats must the Washington Commanders pay close attention to when they travel to the Denver Broncos in search of a Week 2 victory?
The Washington Commanders' efforts to fix issues in pass protection and protecting the football will face a tough examination from the Denver Broncos in Week 2. An offensive line that surrendered six sacks against the Arizona Cardinals last week could struggle to resist edge-rushers Randy Gregory and Jonathon Cooper if not accounted for from start to finish.
If the duo is allowed to run riot, quarterback Sam Howell will likely turn the ball over in costly moments, similar to what we witnessed in Week 1. The young signal-caller needs time to slow the game down and make better decisions. Part of his process should involve avoiding all-action inside linebacker Josey Jewell.
It's more realistic to expect the Commanders' defense to again carry the Howell-led offense. But those in power would be wise not to ignore these sneaky threats, which also include a familiar face.
Commanders must contain Samaje Perine
Javonte Williams is the primary workhorse in the Denver backfield, but Samaje Perine can't be overlooked. Not after he averaged 5.13 yards on eight rushing attempts against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1.
The 240-pounder, who spent two seasons with the now-Washington Commanders to begin his career in the pros, is a relentless bruiser capable of eventually wearing down a rugged defensive front. Perine's power combined with Williams' breakaway threat can dominate the clock, protect Russell Wilson from a formidable pass rush, and force Sam Howell to win this game with his arm.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio would be smart to deploy their 'Cinco' package - a five-strong defensive front designed to stop the run. The scheme worked against the Baltimore Ravens during preseason scrimmages, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
Taking away the Perine and Williams one-two punch will put the onus on Russell Wilson to prove he can still throw to win. The jury is still out in that regard.