Commanders need press coverage to beat Jaxson Smith-Njigba
The Washington Commanders got a bonus when Emmanuel Forbes returned to the field and thrived against the New England Patriots in Week 9. The rookie cornerback had been riding the bench, but the No. 16 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft looked more comfortable with the physical aspects of the game at Gillette Stadium.
He still isn't rough and ready enough to lock up towering target D.K. Metcalf, but Forbes is the right matchup against Jaxson Smith-Njigba. The latter is 6-foot and 197 pounds, so he's unlikely to bully the Mississippi State product.
Tight coverage from Forbes can limit the kind of plays Smith-Njigba made during a six-catch outing against the Baltimore Ravens last week, highlighted by Player Profiler's Jason Allwine.
Having Forbes shadow Smith-Njigba can free Kendall Fuller to travel with Tyler Lockett, leaving Benjamin St-Juste to duke it out with Metcalf with safety help over the top, while Kamren Curl jams Noah Fant.
All of this man coverage will be a risky way to travel, But it can test Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Geno Smith's ability to throw into tight windows.
Commanders' signal-caller Sam Howell will be similarly tested by a Seattle defense with more than one game-wrecker up front.