Commanders 2023 midseason awards: Biggest Disappointment
- Defense Continues to Underwhelm
One of the reasons the Washington Commanders may have felt the need to trade Chase Young and Montez Sweat was despite their individual statistics, the overall team defense was subpar.
Yes, getting rid of two of your top performers is counterintuitive but how much worse could the defense get? The team was ranked No. 29 in defense by yards before trading both defensive ends, allowing 374 yards per game.
In the week after the trade, the Commanders improved and allowed 327 yards to the New England Patriots offense. But, yet again, more big plays were given up by the defense.
This time, running back Rhamondre Stevenson broke multiple tackles en route to a 64-yard touchdown. Week after week of breakdowns gets old fast. The bigger disappointment is the reinforcements Washington drafted have underwhelmed or barely seen the field.
Emmanuel Forbes was embarrassed by A.J. Brown and eventually benched for undrafted free agent Danny Johnson. He has played less than 50 percent of defensive snaps this season.
Quan Martin, K.J. Henry, and Andre Jones Jr. have combined to only play 61 defensive snaps, with the majority of those coming in Week 9. Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio might be gone after this season, and that could allow the defense to finally play up to its potential.