Which sneaky threats must the Washington Commanders contain during their Week 1 home clash against the Arizona Cardinals?
Budda Baker, Zach Ertz, and Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown are the big names the Washington Commanders will be wary of when they host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1. But there are also a few under-the-radar threats head coach Ron Rivera's team can't ignore.
Those sneaky threats are led by a burgeoning edge-rusher and a gadget wide receiver who can win on the ground and through the air. Having answers for the hidden game-wreckers on the Cardinals' roster will ensure the Commanders don't get caught cold in a winnable matchup.
Here are five such individuals the Commanders need to game plan for.
Commanders must contain L.J. Collier (DT)
The Cardinals performed a steal when they snatched L.J. Collier from NFC West rivals the Seattle Seahawks in free agency. He's a natural disruptor in the trenches, a defensive tackle sure to test the Washington Commanders' lightweight guards Saahdiq Charles and Sam Cosmi.
Both Charles and Cosmi have converted from the tackle positions, so they could get run over by a 291-pounder like Collier. The 27-year-old hasn't played much over the last two seasons, but he registered 17 pressures and three sacks when he was healthy enough to start all 16 games back in 2020.
Arizona's defense isn't overflowing with game-wreckers up front, but if Collier can recapture his best form, he'll be tough to handle. A few double-teams will be needed to prevent him from crushing the pass pocket and trashing the running game.