Chase Younger will miss the beginning of the NFL season, and it might be a loss the Washington Commanders protection can’t compensate for. Jack Del Rio’s protection entered 2021 with lofty expectations, a few of which they set for themselves. The unit was anticipated to supply top-of-the-line outcomes of the season, propelling an underwhelming offense to a attainable playoff push.
However that’s not what occurred. Actually, they fell on the alternative finish of the spectrum. Washington’s protection was horrendous, ending twenty ninth in EPA and twenty seventh in DVOA. And regardless that they misplaced Younger after Week 10, they had been thirty first in defensive EPA by 10 weeks.
Washington Commanders are unlikely to show it round with out Chase Younger
The line of defense continues to be good. Washington has three stable defensive linemen: Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat. And in true Washington trend, the Commanders added one other inside defender excessive within the NFL draft (forty seventh general) with Phidarian Mathis.
Nevertheless, the Commanders lack depth, notably on the sting. William Bradley-King and Shaka Toney each struggled to persistently beat NFL tackles as rookies. Nevertheless, they obtained fewer alternatives than gamers equivalent to James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, who’re each nonetheless on the roster.
Few groups are as reliant on their two beginning defensive ends as Washington. Though Younger’s impression early in his profession hasn’t been as evident as we believed popping out of Ohio State, he’s nonetheless some of the proficient younger move rushers within the league.
Del Rio and linebackers coach Steve Russ must get probably the most from second-year linebacker Jamin Davis. He was a developmental prospect with excellent athleticism, however it didn’t present as a rookie. Cole Holcomb is about as common as linebackers within the NFL come, however that’s nonetheless adequate to begin within the league.
Their secondary was probably the most disappointing facet of the protection final season. Whereas Kendall Fuller was excellent, the remainder of the cornerback group struggled final season. William Jackson must return to the participant we noticed in Cincinnati, and Benjamin St-Juste wants to point out development in his second season.
Washington’s offseason of controversy might have frayed strings
The Washington group has not had a great offseason. They’ve been below federal investigation, and proprietor Dan Snyder did his finest Houdini act for some time to keep away from testifying. And whereas Washington’s organizational flaws had been already within the information, Del Rio added to that along with his feedback on the tried coup on Jan. 6, 2021.
One other disappointing defensive effort might be the ultimate straw for the long-time defensive coach. The staff lacked self-discipline final season, enjoying very inconsistent task soccer. Dropping Younger for any prolonged interval to begin the season solely makes a defensive turnaround much less doubtless.