Commanders must be wary of Boye Mafe
Losing Uchenna Nwosu to season-ending knee surgery was supposed to deny the Seattle Seahawks their only marquee edge-rusher. Instead, Boye Mafe has emerged as a force on the outside.
Mafe has logged a sack in six-straight games. He's winning with speed and power, a combination Washington Commanders' left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will struggle to deal with if he doesn't have help.
Backup tight end John Bates is always a competent blocker when asked. There's also the prospect of Alex Armah getting more involved if the coaching staff sees fit.
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has options for helping Leno, so there's no excuse to allow Mafe many one-on-one pass-rush opportunities.
Commanders know all about Leonard Williams
The Commanders might have thought they'd had a gut full of Leonard Williams from his days with the New York Giants. Unfortunately, a trade means the beefy defensive tackle is now manning the interior for the Seattle Seahawks, along with underrated Jarran Reed.
Williams and Reed represent a formidable double act for the middle of Washington's offensive line. It will help to have Tyler Larsen continuing at center in place of Nick Gates.
Larsen impressed against the New England Patriots, with head coach Ron Rivera applauding the eighth-year pro's ability to handle line stunts. The figurehead also mentioned the benefit of adding greater bulk over the ball, per ESPN's John Keim.
Greater size will be useful against 300-pound Williams and 306-pounder Reed. If the Commanders can control the interior, Sam Howell will have the time and lines of vision he needs to dissect a suspect Seahawks secondary.